In early 2018, the Board of ASDC, made up of 15 CEOs and senior managers from across the ASDC membership, agreed that for all further funded programmes, ASDC would ask participating Science Centres to contribute 6% of the amount of the grant and equipment, to support ASDC’s role in successfully fundraising for these programmes and to enable ASDC to continue running National Programmes. This is an amount of £180 for a £3000 grant.
We thank our members present at the 2018 AGM for responding so positively to this new approach.
The Board discussed this approach at length and reached this decision for the following reasons.
ASDC undertakes a considerable development role for all our National Strategic STEM Programmes. We build relationships with funders, create ideas for national programmes, write funding proposals, develop budgets and partnerships and negotiate the contracts in a manner that is in the best interests of the Science Centres.
Once this work has happened, the entirety of the grant awarded is dedicated to delivering these programmes. As you know, a large part of the funding is used to create and develop new bespoke sets of equipment that would be time consuming for every centre to undertake individually such as creating the worlds first replica's of the Sokul astronaut suits, making the earthy suit for our environmental programme, acquiring real space food from NASA and making a new hydrogen-powered bus. Likewise with the branding, shows and workshops.
A large portion of the funding is then given to centres in the form of grants, and we absolutely acknowledge that all Science Centres contribute enormously through staff costs to run these National programmes, alongside in-kind support. The remaining funding covers the project manager and expert centres developing and creating sets of resources, handbooks, branding, websites and other assets and in paying for travel and accommodation for the Science Centre staff for the training academies. We know how much work you all put into then taking these programmes, loving them and shaping them to fit your local needs and making them fly.
This development fee is intended to cover ASDC for some of the upfront development time and is in place of each centre using their own fundraising staff to identify opportunities, develop proposals, approach funders and create the content. It also makes it a little fairer for members that don't benefit from ASDC's National Strategic STEM programmes, as usually there are 6-20 selected from a much larger membership.
The Development fee is set at 6%, and levied not on the whole programme value but on just the grants and equipment each centre will be given. It will be a pre-requisite of all future programmes from December 2018 and will be clearly shown in the invitation to participate.
Importantly, The development fee cannot be part of your grant for any programme, as your grant is restricted, for the delivery of the project only. It must come from another budget. Most centres choose to take it from the development budget or staff budgets as it is most related to this.
As an example
If you have a grant of £3000, the 6% development fee is £180
If you also have equipment from ASDC for a cost of £3000, the 6% development fee is £180
The total is £360. This will be invoiced at the start of the programme.
We thank you for your support on this new approach and look forward to collaborating with you on many future National STEM Programmes.