Don't panic at the word "budget" for your program. To facilitate creating your program budget, consider some of the key points that will bring the process into perspective. Remember that budgeting is a realistic and honest guessing game.

    * The budget should be one of the first steps to complete in the planning process because:
          o Your regional director needs to approve it
          o It should be shared with potential host sites so everyone knows who is responsible for which expenses
          o It sets realistic boundaries.

Take some time to review the past 2-3 years of budget and actual financial information. This will show you where surprises developed between the estimated budget and final income/expense reports. Some important figures to evaluate from these past reports are:

    * Registration fee. If possible, this fee should remain fairly stable from year to year (it allows campuses that send participants to budget accurately). Registration fees should be roughly aligned with other regions and adjusted as necessary to cover costs specific to your region. The Recreation tournaments need not be a losing venture for the regional treasury.
    * The final balance of last year's tournament will indicate the fiscal responsibility of the tournament. A negative balance indicates that the registration fee was too low or the estimated number of participants was too low. If the balance was positive, the fee may have been too high or more participants competed than originally expected. Naturally, the tournament should aim to break even or make a profit.

There are several factors that determine what you will charge each participant in your tournament.

    * The REGIONAL FEE is used to underwrite the expenses of your tournament including any modest return to the region. To calculate, divide all of the fixed costs by the number of expected participants and add any variable costs per participant, as illustrated here:

n= number of participants

(fixed costs ÷ n) + variable cost per person = REGIONAL FEE


    * A NONMEMBER FEE is charged to any team or participant from a nonmember institution. This fee is your REGIONAL FEE plus 30%.
    * MISCELLANEOUS FEES are fees that are not charged to every participant. Some examples are:
          o Bowling lineage
          o Billiard table time
          o Non-player food service fees
          o T-shirts
          o Late charges

The base registration fee for each participant is the REGIONAL FEE. The NONMEMBER FEE and MISCELLANEOUS FEES are only charged if applicable to a team or participant.

Listed below are the costs to consider when preparing a budget and regional fee. Remember that the host institution should help with costs since they will not experience travel costs. Also consider any institutional support you receive from your campus (photocopies, long distance, Internet usage, etc.).

    * Postage
    * Phone expenses
    * Return to the region
    * Food service and catering
    * Opening/closing/awards meal or reception
    * Regional coordinator meals
    * Medals/Gift Cards
    * Printing
          o Mailings
          o Score sheets
          o Signage
          o Results book
    * Travel (transportation, meals, lodging)
          o pre-program site visit
          o Special guest(s)
          o Event directors
    * Host school fees
    * Participation gifts
    * Honoraria
    * Office supplies on site
    * Add $5 Program fee to ACUI
    * Registration fees for winners to participate in Championships

Be realistic when estimating the number of participants. Take into account location, date, extent of advertising efforts, cost, previous success and your goals. Here is a sample budget but other resources are available for the asking.

If you have any trouble budgeting, contact your Regional Director or the ACUI Central Office at 812.245.ACUI (812.245.2284).

Updated Nov. 12, 2010