The draft minutes of Monday’s meeting have been written and, once agreed by Richard as Chairman, will be circulated.

In the meantime, as fundraising is critical to the Trust’s future, and will have to shape everything that I now have to do over the immediate future I have put together the following thoughts:

As of the end of this month (April) we will have a balance of some £37,000 from which has to be deducted about £11,000 for the cost of the second animation and, as my expenses since last July now total nearly £4,000, I would like to have these paid now, this leaves us only some £22,000 in the account.

If I am to be any good both as the Trust’s Director and, in effect, fundraiser, I have to have a definitive plan, and a long-term strategy in which I have to believe if I am to communicate this to potential donors. Here it is.

Strategically we have a splendid opportunity in the HMC conference in October, and the real possibility of launching the Eton Conversation. The website is well launched (though this has always to be kept topical and I am committed to a twice-weekly blog) and the Synaptic Gap could follow shortly.

My eyes are therefore fixed on:

  1. the HMC conference in October
  2. the starting of the Eton Conversation in the Autumn
  3. Preparing to hand operational control of the Initiative over to a younger person some time in 2012, at which stage I might become fully involved in the Eton Conversation.

We have to make the £22,000 stretch through to the end of the calendar year. I hope I have already made it clear that we will need further secretarial support in the office (at about a further £6,000), and possible travel/subsistence costs of up to £9,000. I also believe strongly that we will need to have the third animation (at nine minutes not five) in time for the HMC conference at a possible cost of £25,000. Together this will amount to £40,000 and can’t be committed therefore until we have found at least a further £18,000 on top of our current reserves of £22,000. This is tough, but it is realistic

To keep me on the road I would prefer not to lose the whole of my salary in the next couple of months, and would prefer – if this has to happen – to drop to £2000 a month for the next two months and then, if nothing else comes in, realise that I will have to work for nothing for however many months this might be necessary.

What the Initiative cannot afford to do is to lose secretarial support, website maintenance and office expenses which amount to a minimum of £1,500 per month – THAT IS OUR BOTTOM LINE.

I now give you three “budgets”:

  1. A realistic assessment of need
  2. As above, but me on half pay
  3. As above, but me on no pay

As of May 1st through to December 31st these would look

Eight months office expenditure 48k 30k 12k
Extra office support 4k 2k 0
Travel subsistence 8k 4k 0
Third animation 25k 25k 25k
Contingency 5k 5k 5k
90k 66k 42k
Monies already in hand 22k 22k 22k
Monies needed 68k 44k 20k


So, starting from directly after Easter, I will set out to do this. What I now ask from every Trustee is that you provide me with whichever contacts you think it might be appropriate for you and I to meet with personally. Do not attempt to do a pre-sale – only say that because you are fully committed to this that the two of us would like to meet with this person to explain this and ask for support. However tedious this may be to you, and to myself, 68 successful plugs for £1000 solves our problem, but even better 7 plugs to produce £10,000 solves it quicker! The road may be long but it has to be travelled, and wonderful if we find some express routes.

As monies start to come in then I will discuss with you what proportion of those monies can be used to release the tension that all this is going to produce on my personal finances.

Separate to all this is the way that we will continue to follow up Rumi and other potential large sponsors

In my simplistic terms some £70,000 would enable us to crawl successfully to the end of the year, and £1million from a sponsor would then mean that we could go confidently into the high-level Conversations at Eton or elsewhere starting in the autumn or at the beginning of 2012.

Please do realise that to do all this is going to be a time-consuming task, and I will have little opportunity for anything else.