The EvilImp™ 'Notes To The Account'

A wise man once said you never really know an organisation until you know their numbers. We can't remember who that was but we promise you, that is not something we just made up because we couldn't think of an intro for this piece!

With that in mind we took a stroll through the accounts of several well known dance organisations, much like we did a year ago just before the NPO announcements were made, to bring you, our dear readers, just a small insight into where all the money goes.

These numbers all relate to the end of the financial year for 2011, March 31st last year to be precise. The actual accounts don't become available, via the Charities Commission, until much later however. In some cases the accounts were not filed until January of this year.

Big Company Big Numbers

Let's start with the big companies shall we. Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) spent £14.2Million on productions, touring and education with £8.1Milliion of that money coming from the big bad ACE. Along with funding from Birmingham City Council, their core public funding made up 66% of their total income down from 71% the year before.

They also raised £270,000 from trusts and foundations with their most generous benefactor being the Garfield Weston Foundation who handed over £150,000 in cold hard cash.

BRB spent £7.3Million on staff costs with a total permanent staff number of 175, they brought in £2.6Million at the box office and ended the year with an accumulated surplus of just under £1.5Million. 20 of their staff members earn more that £60,000 per year with two lucky souls earning more than £100,000 per year.

Rambert Dance Company, using a slightly more modest £2.2Million from ACE, sold 46,000 tickets to their shows for the year and ended up with a nice little surplus of £194,851. The tickets numbers are impressive, which they should be because they spent nearly £400,000 on marketing. They also spent £95,000 on fundraising and nobody at the company earns more than £60,000 per year.

The other big touring ballet company English National Ballet performed to 239,000 people during the year with a foundation built on £6.8Million from ACE. To achieve those numbers they spent a staggering £1Million on marketing the company which is an awful lot of Nutcracker posters!

They do have a rather healthy surplus of over £4Million but this didn't stop ACE giving them a Sustain grant of £350,000 to alleviate their alleged financial hardship. The company has 6 employees earning more than £60,000 per year with just one on more than £100,000. That's down from 2 the previous year, so somebody took a pay cut.

Agencies

In the wacky world of the dance agency we looked at DanceXchange, Dance City and Dance East.

DX spent £838,035 producing the International Dance Festival Birmingham. They brought in £42,000 from hiring out their studios and £16,000 hiring out the Patrick Centre (their in-house theatre). They spent £142,000 on performances and workshops and £518,000 on wages and salaries.

They like to talk because they handed over £22,482 on "communications and information technology" which we think is a long way of saying the phone bill and the internet bill.

It cost them £74,000 to light and heat their building, up slightly on the year before, but they cut their costs on printing and postage spending just £4,252 instead of £7,980 from the previous year. Marketing costs went up though from £32,000 to £36,967.

Travel also got more expensive with a £7,000 increase from £12,000 to £19,000. DX spent £7,000 on repairing things.

Dance City, the NDA based in Newcastle upon Tyne, spent more than £45,000 fixing and replacing parts of their broken building. They spent just shy of £50,000 the year before fixing things, their building is apparently made out of cardboard.

The NDA brought in £25,000 from their box office and £196,461 from classes and workshops. £36,000 was expended on advertising and £10,800 on travel and accommodation. Cleaning their fragile home cost £37,000 and wages and salaries £304,513.

Dance City did save a lot on postage and printing this time around though with £12,683 finding its way to the Royal Mail and various print shops down from a staggering £42,783 the year before.

Providing light and heat cost the agency just over £35,000.

Dance East, when they are not running rural retreats, are spending £145,000 on "artists fees" and £80,000 on accommodation and travel. They brought in £75,000 from ticket sales and £97,000 from classes and workshops.

Just like Dance City they managed to cut their postage and printing costs dramatically by more than £70,000 from the year before to £27,000 for printing and £18,000 for postage. Phone and internet cost them £21,000.

Either email is catching on or we're running out of trees!

Paying their teachers cost them £142,000 up by approximately £40,000 from the year before.

The agency's in house cafeteria, Dance Eats (geddit!) made a trading loss of £63,155. Notes in the accounts state that changes have been made to the running of this facility though and a small profit is now being made, no numbers are specified.

None of the agencies pay any of their employees more than £60,00 per year, apart from ThePlace that still has two earning more than that amount.

Notes To The Account

We present these numbers to you because, more often than not, most people are completely unaware of just how much money is flowing through these organisations over the course of a year.

The accounts are freely available via the Charities Commission website for any company that is a registered charity, which is all of them.

We encourage you to download and study the numbers because you never know just how useful they might be the next time Company A tells you they don't have any money to pay you properly which might be down to their very expensive phone bills.

[ The Charities Commission ]

  • Lisa

    I don't mind Dance Agencies gettng a lot of money. But it just never seems to filter down to where it really matters and that's the Artist producing the work. Or at least have the majority of the funds for the artist/new work. Afterall they do claim to be supportive of dance, but i can't help but think most of it goes into nonsense that's unnecessary.

  • Kema

    I would like an explanation of what these Dance Companies actually call Marketing.

    I see small flyers at Manchester Piccadilly Train station when Ballet Companies are coming to Manchester or Salford; obviously there are printing and distribution costs but I can't see how they manage to spend so much and recoup so little. When I was a freelancer I would work out how much I was going to spend on business cards, letters, postage and website, and usually if you got one day of work out of it you recoup your "marketing expenses". But to leave flyers in Art Galleries/Museums/Library isn't what I would call targeted marketing.

    The majority of dance audiences are old Balletomanes (and Contemporomanes!!) who know that their favourite company is coming anyway and school and college groups.
    A email sent to all schools, colleges and Universities that teach dance with a link to a downloadable HD 5 minute trailer would do more that an A4 full colour tri-fold flyer stuck in a "marketing display".

    The videos on Article19 are an excellent VISUAL way of marketing dance. The Arts Council as the main funder could host a dance company trailers website and just ask each company to provide a trailer for their latest show. The detailed visitor stats could give a real idea of how many people (and from which area) have looked at the video marketing as opposed to not knowing who picks up your flyers at the train station!!

  • one possible source of their very expensive marketing costs could be print ads in national newspapers, which are very very expensive. as to the effect of such ads? who knows!

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