Costs & Budgeting for Your Facing Project
Hosting The Facing Project in your community could cost as little to as much as you desire. You could create a Facing Project in your community with in-kind resources, cash resources, or a mixture of the two. It truly depends on the scale of your project.
Some projects may consist of the monologues/LIVE event and the written stories only posted online through The Facing Project website, while other projects may include a printed book, a week of events surrounding the topic area and the launch of the book, speakers for the events, and marketing.
First things first. Discuss with your partners the vision for The Facing Project in your community.
What is our overall goal?
What outcomes do we want?
What is the best way to accomplish our goal and reach our intended outcomes?
To get there, what does our dream project look like?
The next step is creating your dream budget. Think big!
Item Cost Basis Total
Book Design Work 50 hours x $75 an hour for designer $3,750
Book Printing 500 copies of book @ $5.00 each $2,500
Marketing materials Print/web/advertising $1,000
Event Rental Average @ $500 a day x 1 room x 3 days $1,500
$8,750!? And we haven’t even accounted for food. Remember, this is your dream budget. You need to create this to be at a good starting point to decide what is feasible and what’s not; to discuss where there is funding that could cover some of these expenses, what could be covered with in-kind expenses, and what needs to be raised. Your dream budget could easily tally up to $0.00 as much as it could $8,750. It really depends on what you want your project to look like.
Let’s Explore Where We Can Trim Some of the Costs through In-kind Contributions –
In-kind contributions are defined as items that are donated to the project or were already in existence before the start of the project but are being used toward the project. This could include people power and time given to the project, use of facilities at no cost, already existing equipment such computers/video recorders/etc., or reduced or donated design or printing, among others.
Think back to the Finding the Right Partners section of the Toolkit. How might some of the partnerships you’re developing offset expenses? What resources could be shared to make the project more cost efficient?
Though your projects may contain more or fewer components than the dream items we listed in the sample budget, let’s use that as an example on leveraging support.
Book Design Work –
Think about the partnership you’re developing within your community.
On campus, faculty are looking for internship opportunities for their students, and students are looking for relevant work activities for their portfolios. If you don’t have the budget to pay a professional designer, think of the opportunities you could give to college students studying design while helping them discover a sense of being engaged in a community-wide project. Also, students are often good at creating marketing materials and providing administrative support.
Additionally, there may be staff members at the campus, nonprofit, or within the Mayor’s office (or councils) who may have the skill sets for design. Might they be interested in volunteering their time and talents? Or there may be concerned citizen in the community who would be willing to donate some of their design time to the project.
If you have trouble locating an affordable designer, please let us know because we have a design team who can create your book for you at a reduced rate.
Book Printing –
Forging partnerships with area businesses will be important. Businesses often donate to community events for a variety of reasons, but how might they help offset expenses for your Facing Project?
One way is to think about area printing companies. Knowing the scope and scale of the project, they may be willing to donate the cost of printing or offer a reduced price. Most campuses have printing services as well. How might your partners on campus work with their printing services to see if a print job could be donated or reduced in cost.
In addition, past Facing Projects have created “Go Fund Me” pages to leverage support from their friends, family, colleagues, and fans to cover the cost of design and printing for their books.
If you have trouble locating an affordable printer, please let us know because we have our own printing team who can produce your books at a reduced rate.
Event Space –
This is where your partners are key. Event space can be expensive, but this could be one the easiest things to get for little to no cost.
Look at your various partners on the project. What space does each of them have that could be utilized for free or no cost?
Read more about event space under the “Rolling it Out” section of this Toolkit, “Planning of the LIVE Event & Book Launch.”
Now that you’ve thought through some of the cost that could be associated with the project and how to reduce expenses, make a bulleted list of businesses or people who may help cut costs.
Grants and Private Donors—
You also may want to explore grant opportunities or private donations.
In the case of Facing Poverty in Muncie, Indiana, the local community foundation provided support to cover the cost of design and printing for the book. Other Facing Projects have gotten support from project partners, individual community donors, and through creating a Go Fund Me pages.
Explore if any partners have grant dollars that need to be spent down that could go toward the project. Also, businesses involved in the project may have an interest in putting hard dollars toward the project. If your community has a major corporation, it’s likely they have dollars set aside to support community projects that involve their employees. So begin to think about how those employees could contribute to your Facing Project. It could be that they are involved as writers, or they may become strong volunteers who would be willing to donate their time toward the project in areas of design, marketing, etc. But, ultimately, that type of partnership could also lead to monetary support.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about fundraising over the years, it’s that anyone interested in your project, or engaged in some way, may be willing to give some type of gift. What is the number one reason why people haven’t given to a cause they were invested in? They were never asked.
The key to successful donor solicitation is to develop a rapport with the potential donors and remove you from the “asking for charity effect.” Have confidence. Remember that you aren’t asking for charity, you’re asking them to be a part of your community-wide movement.
Outside of your community, a few good places to search for grant opportunities and funding partners include:
Foundation Center: http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/
Charity Foundations—Guidestar.org: http://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx
Foundation Source (Family Foundations): http://www.foundationsource.com/
Governmental Grants—Grants.gov: http://www.grants.gov/
Campus Compact (only for higher education members of the organization): http://compact.org/
Each of these sites allows you to search by keyword so that you are able to find relevant funders who might have an interest in your project.
In addition, we can’t stress enough the value of checking out your local Community Foundation. We have had several conversations with community foundations, and they are highly supportive of Facing Projects because the model brings the entire community together to face important issues. Projects such as Facing is exactly what foundations have been told to support by their Boards.
Also, if you need assistance with fund development, The Facing Project can assist you in this area. If you are interested in having us work with you on your fund development plan or writing grants for your project, let us know (of course, this is based upon availability and comes at an additional cost).
List four potential grant opportunities for your project and four potential private donors.