Where do entry fees go?

As discussed recently at the AGM, the club typically tries to break even on Level D events, relying on larger events like the November Classic to cover the club's running costs. Julian had previously suggested that it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the accounts for a recent event: Farley Mount on 10 April.

First up, income. The event had 51 seniors and 13 juniors with the entry fees set at £9 and £4.50 respectively. Helpers also pay half price and one person used £3 credit (e.g. from a refund due to Covid related non-attendance at a previous event). As a consequence, the total income was £516.

Now the expenditure, with the most expensive first:

  • £144 for one portaloo! Our agreement with Forest England requires us to provide toilets if there are none on site. The toilet itself is £60, but then it's another £60 for collection/delivery + VAT.
  • £115 to Forestry England for land access. In 2023, this is the minimal levy payable to Forestry England and covers events with 1 to 150 senior participants. If you're wondering why the courses did not use the open hillside, this is owned by Hampshire Country Council and would have required payment of an additional levy.
  • £88.70 for printing. 82 maps @ 65p, 175 control descriptions @ 12p, £12 for delivery and £2.40 VAT. Whilst pre-entry has helped greatly with estimating map numbers we try to allow a few for last minute entries and, of course, maps are needed for control hanging/collection on the day. We used to collect the maps from BML in Romsey but sadly they are no longer based locally hence the delivery charge.
  • £82.50 to British Orienteering for the levy. The levy is currently £1.50 per senior with juniors counting as one-third of a senior (rounded down). SCOA levy only applies to Level C events and above
  • £53.55 for Planner/Organiser expenses. The Planner lives local to the area so did not claim for trips to the area for planning and mapping but claimed mileage to collect/return equipment from the club store in Southampton. The Organiser also only claimed mileage for a single trip to the area via the club store.
  • £24.44 to RaceSignup to cover entry processing fees.

If you're keeping track, the total expenditure comes to £508.19 i.e. the event had a surplus of £7.81. Oh, except that doesn't take into account that, to thank the Planner/Organiser, the club credits these officials with the cost of a run that they can use against a future event (i.e. £9 each).

Hopefully, this goes some way to explaining why entry fees are as they are. You'll see that the majority of the costs are actually fixed so, if we can increase attendance, the cost per competitor will decrease. You'll also see why events that are not on Forestry England land and already have a toilet on site are often significantly cheaper.

Thanks for the very clear explanation, David. Does that mean that the club is currently setting Level D fees on an event by event basis or is there a defined fee structure?

In reply to by Pete Davis

Yes - currently on an event by event basis although I have suggested to Andrew that things may have settled down sufficiently now that we could reinstate a defined fee structure (subject to exceptions). As was previously the case, there would likely be a Forest/non-Forest split although probably even more defined than it was in the past.