Can anyone clear in simple terms what exactly Cadet Funds should be used for?
Anything that benefits the cadets, either directly or indirectly
JoT thanks for that but that is quite vague, I was hoping for something more specific. I have been CWC treasurer for many years but I feel in the Covid induced financial situation that I need too think more about what and why we spend. Hence my previous question regarding Dining Night, does subsdising a Dining In Night benefit the cadets.
I think that’s a fair thing to do… I genuinely don’t know where it stands in regs but as long as the kids have a good time and it doesn’t impact the Sqn… Why prevent it?
Yes absolutely, if that’s what the cadets would like. My old Sqn civ comm would always subsidise the Christmas meal to make it affordable to the cadets.
Have you asked the cadets what they want to do?
Sqn funds have always been used to subsidise cadets for all sorts of things essentially so that no one gets left out.
Agree. Social events are as much a part of the cadet experience as anything else.
Few examples in my mind for justifying expenditure:
- Does it improve the quality of training?
- Does it improve the efficiency of training (e.g. train more at once, speed up training)?
- Does it support the delivery of training (e.g. admin purchases, printers, boards/TVs/Projectors, props, FA requalification)?
- Does it provide a relevant experience (outward bound, social, museum, etc)?
- Does it increase the breadth of training available (e.g. radios if you don’t have any, staff qualifications such as HML)?
- Does it support a cadet with financial insecurities and ensure they get the same opportunities and benefits as others?
- Does it provide something new or different that doesn’t readily exist outside of cadets?
- Does it provide a social (i.e. team bonding, teamwork, leadership) experience?
- Does it replace or supplement existing equipment?
- If it’s equipment, will it be used enough to provide value?
- Does it support PR efforts (e.g. marquee, printing, flags)?
I think that informal social activities are the best things we can do to develop the friendships and esprit de corps that is essential, given our cadets come from different schools and parts of the town.
Non public funds an be used for almost anything that benefits the Sqn.
Fully agree! We try to do a bowling night or similar once a year and our CWC help pay for it and support us to do it!
See when I was at a previous Sqn any social function (Summer/Halloween/Christmas Ball - ie formal dress disco) had to break even.
There was a Summer ball for years then suddenly it had a slow year for ticket sales. The CWC got all panicky and cancelled it weeks in advance as they were concerned they’d make a loss and so cancelled in good time to get room and DJ deposits back.
A few years later a Halloween ball was trier as the Cadets seemed keen and was an initial success as it was “new” to that generation but again was cancelled early the following year…same story with thr Christmas ball.
The CWC appeared adverse to spending money and inisited a profit had to be made.
Thus they didn’t spend the money on Cadets they spent enough to get X% back I profit and thus turn the night into a fundraiser rather than the social event it should have been
From what I’ve seen there are three categories of activities that define what money is spent on it.
1: Core activities: The activities that are most important to the Air Cadets like flying, gliding and shooting and are 100% subsidized.
2: Middle Ground Activities: Activities that are relevant to the cadets but arnt core. These get subsides a to an extend but the cadet has to pay some as well.
3: Everything else: This is stuff like a Skiing trip and stuff which is an extra to the Air Cadets and not part of the basic experience. The cadet pays 100% for this.
I’m not sure if this applies to sqn’s or is more of a wider scale thing, but this could give you an idea on how much money to spend on stuff.
It’s even more simple than that.
Public Money (Money from the tax payer) - this is spent on flying, gliding, uniform, buildings, permanent staff.
Non Public Money (Money raised by subs, back packing, grants etc). This funds everything else.
Why not ask the cadets what they want to spend their money on? Do they want social activities? Do they want new kit that cannot be provided through the system? Unit money should not be hoarded away.
Is there perhaps a glass ceiling thats needs smashing here?
Common perception is that no one will be criticised, or won’t need to worry in an audit if the bank balance is healthy and more is coming in than out. Do we apply too much business think to charity operations?
Conversely, when spending the money, is there a fear of criticism for what the money was used for, or awkward audit questions that therefore act to prevent people from spending?
Do we need some form of clearer and simpler guidance on what non public money can be used for, to encourage greater, but still responsible spending? Because not spending can be as irresponsible as over spending.
I’ve done this several times over the years and the result is always the same, pick the most popular and never the level of interest you expect. I’ve ask about kit etc as I need to ensure it’s going to get used.
For a cadet social: pizza, cake and or chocolate and something to drink with a film / let them do their own thing or bowling with a visit to McKingFCHut. Every time a winner.
Now that’s my kind of fast food
In my book, not spending is more irresponsible than overspending. At least if you overspend, you have been using the money on cadets. If you don’t spend, you aren’t using money for its purpose.
Maybe provide several options, rather than have them pick ideas out of the blue. My cadets asked for more webbing and bivi bags, so I bought more webbing and bivi bags.