CURRENT FINANCIAL REPORT
Postal costs for incoming parcels has risen alarmingly since mid-April because of a new rule that ALL overseas parcels attract the customary handling fee and that has been increased to R51.50 PER PARCEL[$3.74USD]. In past years the fees were lower and graduated (ie. R24.00[$1.74USD] for a small parcel / R40[$2.91USD] for a large parcel) but that has been changed.
In the past only around 20% of the incoming parcels attracted the levy, now ALL parcels are included in the calculation. So, for instance, in the past KAS would normally pay between R750[$54.52USD] and R1500[$109.03USD] for an incoming postal collection, this week Ronda paid R2200.00[$159.91USD]and on at least two occasions in late April and May she paid approximately R3500[$254USD].
It is unfair, but the postal authorities have spotted a lucrative gap in the system and they are completely unmoved by a charitable enterprise being penalized. These are not customs tariffs, KAS never pays those - they send parcels back for re-assessment and they always come back free of customs.
The bank balance reduces monthly as costs to run KAS this year have risen[see graph] We are looking for ways to cut costs, but with PO charges going up, with fuel costs increasing dramatically in SA and generally prices rising across the board ... KAS needs your support
Our monthly donors continue to be the backbone of financial support
These monthly donations allow KAS to continue to serve the children of South Africa.
Thanks to generous one-time donations and numerous purchases in the KAS Shop, the May total has surpassed our expectations.
However, Ronda is being hit with a charge for every parcel arriving at the moment - the postal services are trying to make a profit at our expense! We will need extra help financially until such time this issue can be resolved. The most effective method is a regular subscription as this develops a sense of growth and hitting a target more likely!
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The new artwork is beautiful, I love the dandelion head! Just wondering where the Shop Talk discussion is to promote the new art work and other shop items?
So much support for Thomas in the Shop and that is fabulous. I hope the wonderful new gift cards that are there will get the same love, attention and support.
KAS wins and we all win with stunning artwork.
Some thoughts on the role of the KAS Shop in raising funds to keep us afloat...
Over the years our KAS Shop has been one of the things that has helped keep KAS running. Although we do not have sales totals for 2018, in 2017 the Shop had sales of $5511 plus $142 in Cafe Press sales for a total of $5653 - not a figure to be sneezed at.
We used to have a very active discussion called SHOP TALK, but when I went looking for it today I couldn't find it. Using the Search function, I finally found it in Closed Discussions where no one will ever see it or be able to respond to it.
This was the place where we promoted products, featured new items. and whipped up enthusiasm for Shop purchases.
There are three secrets to increasing sales: "Promotion, Promotion, Promotion".
The August Shop sales were an abysmal $66.Thank goodness some generous soul made a cash donation which brought us up to $383!
We have a NEW item - the Art Prints - Series One which Glo and I spent many long hours creating last spring in hopes that it would be in the Shop in time for Mother's Day and June wedding showers, then be featured in SHOP TALK at Back to School time (there's a great one "Leaving Home" for college students) and then again in October when Christmas shopping begins. In addition to creating the item with Andrea's help, we had worked out several promotional ideas for the Art Prints and the other items in the Shop.
However, for some reason, the decision was made to delay the item until September, so we missed May/June.
By putting more items in the Shop for personal use or gift-giving we might increase sales. Shoppers who might not ever think of purchasing fuel for the KASvan, might be enticed to purchase a little something for themselves or for Aunt Nellie. It really doesn't matter - it's all money in the pot.
Perhaps some of our ideas for personal items will not work, but it doesn't hurt to try something new, and if we don't try, we will never know. There is NO cost to KAS to have these in the Shop, and every purchase is 100% profit. In fact, the only 'cost' is the time we spend creating new items.
Perhaps some of our members will contribute ideas for items they would like to see. We can create anything that is downloadable.
.When I was a Mod, I took SHOP TALK on as one of my 'Mod jobs'. Is there any reason why an ordinary member like me could not do this job again? My hand is up to volunteer.
Anne, as usual, all great thoughts and ideas. How very good of you to offer to resurrect Shop Talk and help stock the shelves of the KAS Shop :) The figures from Shop sales in 2017 are very impressive indeed. It's a shame it dropped so low this year.
I am currently working on something for the shop and hope to have it ready this year. I remember an idea for recipes being tossed around that I thought was a great one. I'm sure others will come up with suggestions for downloadable items. As you say, it doesn't matter what is purchased from the KAS Shop, every penny of it goes to Ronda for her costs.
We can put fuel in the van, wrap a child, pay the Gogos, or help with the rent ... all through a donation in the Shop. We can also help with any and all expenses by purchasing a gift of art for "Aunt Nellie" :)) ... xo
I've got my hand up for the recipe book! Do we have consensus?
Yes, it sounds like a great idea, Andrea.
KAS clearly needs funds, and the shop is a great way to do that when items are promoted. To have a member volunteer (thank you Anne) to be a dedicated shop keeper is amazing, I think it is a great idea!
I also love the idea of a recipe book; I am imagining recipes from members across the world...... I will look forward to Shop Talk again!
Glo, Andrea, and Chris - glad to see that you are as excited about the Shop potential as I am.
I used to dream about the recipe idea too, only I envisioned it as a series of cards so that we could get repeat sales by selling them as sets by region. But, no matter what form it takes, I still think it is a great idea. It would involve lots of members contributing their favourites, and that's always a good way to build enthusiasm. Besides, who wouldn't want a tried and true recipe from a KAS Sister?
Maybe we could form a 'Shop Team' so that if we could resurrect SHOP TALK, no one person would bear the whole load. Are you three up for an idea like that?
The possibilities are endless, and we could invite all members to contribute ideas for downloadable items and perhaps even create them themselves, then if Andrea is game, she could turn them into an item to stock the shelves. (Where would we be without you, Andrea?? Up the creek without a paddle when it comes to Shop items - thanks for all the work you do).
One thing I noticed when I visited the Shop. Glo's wonderful Tunisian Crochet book and the Art Prints appear in 'Distribution'. would it be possible to move them into KAS Merchandise? Come to think of it, we haven't promoted the Cafe Press items (which are in the Merchandise section) in ages.
We might even give some thought to putting our more generic card sets like the Nature series, Toy series, and Flower series ito KAS Merchandise too. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have them appear in two places in the Shop and they make great items for personal use or gift giving.
Christmas is coming and visions of sugar plums (i,e, increased Shop sales) are dancing in my head!
Perhaps we should also consider some promotion on our Facebook page - maybe attract some purchases by non-members?
How about Buy a skein of yarn for the KAS Barn as a purchase in the shop? It is something that we are all really good at. lol
What a great idea, Sue. We should check this out further and get a cost per skein in SA.
As a matter of fact, I just got off the phone - had a call from Mili Kus in Croatia and she mentioned she had purchased a large quantity of yarn in SA and had it delivered to KAS recently. It is so much cheaper there that we might be able to have a Shop item which would amount to a couple of skeins for a reasonable sum and it would be win-win all round.
We do know that yarn is required for the Gogos to crochet an edge on the blankets to stabilize them.
Perhaps Ronda could let us know the average cost per skein and we could get to work on this item. As you said, buying yarn is something we are all good at! From the size of my stash, I would say that I'm a bit TOO good at it.
I love this idea! And as you say it could be a very 'cheap' item to purchase but is vital and essential.
My mother has just been around to help with gardening and she gave me £20 for KAS which is about $27 so have sent that on. It all helps. I do think promotion is good ! We tend to forgot things easily...
Good idea Sue! Ronda's funds will go further if members buy yarn for the Gogos to edge the blankets :))