Why does WAYO charge membership fees?
It costs close to $3,000 per member to run our award-winning programs. The $640 membership fee represents a small fraction of the actual cost and we work very hard to try and make up the many hundreds of thousands required, as well as continually control our spending. Like most small not-for-profit organisations this is becoming increasingly difficult every year. Some of the other state youth orchestras around Australia now charge over $1,500 for their annual member fee.
Why hasn’t WAYO put up their fees much in the last eight years?
Our very low fee base allows virtually every young Western Australian the opportunity to access our programs. It also allows those that are already feeling the financial burden of an instrument and lessons, on top of the cost of living pressures we are all facing, to have a practical side to their musical and social development that WAYO provides. In the last 5 years some of our costs have exploded – for example, rehearsal and concert venue hire costs have increased nearly tenfold. WAYO has been trying to absorb these costs to allow all members to access our program.
How about Government funding?
WAYO is privileged to receive core funding from the Government of Western Australia through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, however no small to medium arts organisation has received any increase for the funding program in the last 5 years to deal with rapidly rising costs. This funding goes directly into our programs. Federally, the Australia Council has removed all funding to all the state based youth orchestras, despite the terrific results these state youth orchestras achieve around the country.
How about finding more sponsors?
Every year WAYO punches well above is weight in sourcing sponsors, and has even won awards and been recognised nationally for its sponsorships. We also have a committed pool of other sponsors and donors that help us partly bridge the gap between the fees charged to members and the actual cost of presenting our programs. WAYO employs no fundraising consultants so the funds we do get go straight back into our programs.