We’ve known for some time now that TRJFP could really do with its own van. Lots of interceptions go on through the week with our many wonderful volunteers in their own cars (and cargo bikes!) but we also have volunteers with larger vehicles we need to utilise to collect the larger loads. This can become overwhelming and exhausting when we’re continually relying on the same few people because they’re the only ones with enough capacity.
If we had our own vehicle, insured so anyone over 25 with the correct licence could drive it, then we’d be able to do more of the larger collections (we’d still keep doing the smaller ones too – it all adds up!!), and the workload could be shared among more people, and at more days and times throughout the week.
But we also know that having a van comes at a cost. There’s the upfront cost to purchase one; a minimum of £2,000 for an old, potentially unreliable one, but this could turn out to be a false economy if we’re constantly spending money on repairs and if it’s really inefficient on fuel. Ideally we’d prefer to look at spending around £15,000 for one that’s only a few years old and likely to be in better condition. (Well, if we’re completely honest, ideally we’d like a van that is more eco friendly – gas or electric powered, but this just doesn’t exist within our needs and budget right now!)
£15,000 is a lot of money for us! Much more than we have, and we need to meet the financial commitments we already have like rent, insurance, utility bills etc. Then there will be ongoing running costs of a van; diesel is likely to be a few hundred pounds per month, insurance probably at least £1000 per year, plus tax, repairs, and so on. Probably at least £500 per month/£6,000 per year.
So we’d like your thoughts. Do you think we could do it?
We’d like to set up a crowdfunder to try to raise £15,000 (or as much as possible!) towards our first van. IS this the right way to go about it? Would you contribute towards a vehicle? Could you help us fundraise for one? Have you got any ideas for things we could do to fundraise?
We have applied to various funders for cash towards our goal, but because we are a Community Interest Company and not a charity, we’re not eligible for about 90% of available grants (we’re not considering converting to charity status, that’s a whole new can of worms!).
So let’s start by crowd-sourcing your thoughts! All ideas welcome! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 3rd November – we’d love to hear from you!