Never underestimate the many tasks that are performed behind the scenes of an association like ours. In previous years, it was run solely by volunteers. Our paid Office Co-ordinator position was created almost 10 years ago when the workload on a few willing members became too heavy. As often happens in not-for-profit organisations, members have busy lives and love developing their art and craft skills, but that makes volunteers difficult to recruit. Our present Office Co-ordi
nator – Jean Elson has now been in the position for five years and made herself totally indispensable from her ever-cheerful disposition to her total reliability towards keeping the organisation running smoothly. Never underestimate the amount of work and interruptions Jean copes with each day.
NACA is also fortunate in the fact that our annual membership fees from our 370+ financial members together with the activity fees, have made breaking even a regular event in recent years. Our workshops, Gift Shop sales, exhibition sales, and donations have acted as a top-up to keep the accounts in credit. The May figures are always in deficit but income in June and July boosts the funds as the annual renewals flow in. Never underestimate how important the membership fees are.
Over the years we had a few grants from Noosa Council which cover some of the cost for our bathroom renovations, new flooring, painting, gallery hanging systems, kilns, kiln shed repairs, added verandah to the Paper-making shed, new eco-lighting, but much of it had to be paid for through our regular income. We still have funds to cope with any emergency expenses and a donations account which we hope to fill in future years to save for our own Gallery/Gift Shop addition to the Wallace House.
Behind the scenes, the workshop Committee member is discovering both new and guest tutors to run different workshops. Other Committee members are constantly updating the website and social media. This includes the many community hubs and sites for advertising our exhibitions and workshops. Facebook has become an integral part of our advertising and we regularly have a weekly post reach of 1500. Many of our Facebook friends share our posts which helps enormously with spreading our news. If every Facebook friend shared our news – it would go to over 50,000 people. Never underestimate the power of social media – please share our news and like our posts.
The Committee members organise three exhibitions and two sales every year. All of these events are held purely for the members giving them opportunities to exhibit and sell their work. This also involves encouraging volunteers to take a shift on the roster to look after our many visitors. Rearranging the rooms to accommodate displays and activity groups is always a challenge – the lighter tables make it less arduous but it’s easier with many helpers. Never underestimate the work involved in setting up the House and returning it to normal for these events.
Even the general supplies for the House such as paper towels, washing-up liquid, is the House Committee member’s responsibility as is the overseeing of the cleaning and maintenance. It’s always pleasing when a member takes home some teatowels or table cloths to wash, cleans a sink, washes a few cups, tidies a shelf or cleans down the art tables. Never underestimate how much all these small tasks help – 370 people using the facilities in the House can create a significant amount of housekeeping.
Our Treasurer is a weekly visitor to the bank with our income and authorises all bill payments. Our Gift Shop Committee member liaises with the Beading group, who have looked after the Gift Shop for a few years, and also enters all the sales for member payments each month. Our membership Committee member is always on hand to make badges and help with the data entry especially at renewal time.
With all the activity in the House, it’s essential we have enthusiastic Committee members who are willing to give their time. Without them, we would need a full-time Office Co-ordinator and a couple of full-time assistants to keep the Association’s administration up-to-date. Never underestimate the Committee members and the amount of time they give to keep the House alive and vibrant. If you feel there could be more achieved and changes made – please nominate for the 2020 Committee and put your ideas into practice.