Wasps Legends Charitable Foundation AGM – 29th November 2021

 

“Thank you for attending our recent Annual General Meeting. As always, it was a pleasure to be able to update you on the progress we are making at WLCF and to share our plans for the future.  , Whilst 2021 has presented its challenges and continues to throw up problems, we have been able to revive and expand our fundraising events,  improve our membership platform and, most importantly,  honour our grant-giving commitments.”

Genevieve, Chair WLCF

Behind the scenes

With the pandemic continuing to create uncertainty, we maintained a steady grip on our finances in 2021, ensuring that we were able to honour our grant-giving commitments to the recipients of our main grants – The Change Foundation and Switch the Play.

We have also been busy switching our Legends and Friends to a new membership platform, improving our membership benefits package, and improving our governance framework, which puts us in a strong position as we move into 2022.

Furthermore, we have increased our engagement with the Wasps professional teams in Coventry, and we intend to expand the Board and the committees to represent all members of the Wasps family better.

Finally, we have welcomed a new member of staff to the team, Ollie N’Jie. Ollie will join Max Porter and take on responsibility for marketing and communications, including social media.

Finances

Despite the uncertainty around in-person events at the beginning of 2021, we were still able to raise £111k. This allowed us to support eight charities with our small . It also allowed us to honour our grant-giving commitments to the Change Foundation’s, which we had to postpone last year.

We maintained a reserve of £50k this year. Over the next five years, we aim to increase our reserves from £50k to £100k; this will help align us with our more robust reserve policy.

We have successfully registered 194 Legends and Friends on our new membership platform, which generates a base income of £9,7000 per year. However, we are still striving to convert 1000 contacts on our mailing list to paying members and further improve our membership offering.

We have a hopeful outlook for 2022. We will resume our grant-giving program, providing both primary and small grants. Our fundraising event program will be brought back in full force, including the introduction of new events. Finally, we will continue to invest in the infrastructure & resources to support the growth of WLCF.

Long-term, we hope to see the growth of WLCF returning, and we are forecasting to be strong through the event program, which was evident by the Long Lunch, where we were able to raise £74k. There will be a longer profile delivery of the headline strategy to donate £1m due to a few setbacks. However, we will continue to invest in the plan to raise £1 million over the next five years.

The key focus for next year is to build new revenue streams. We would like to increase our number of Commercial Partnerships and continue to create unique and improved events that can aid the charity and meet our aim of engaging the broader Wasps community. For example, the introduction of the cycling fundraising events in April. We also want to grow our Business Club as we have seen promising results where both parties benefit.

Events

Despite having to cancel all our events in 2020, Wasps legends were able to host five events this year:

  • The Lions Lunch – July 22nd, 2021
  • Wasps Legends Business Club – September 15th & November 24th, 2021
  • The Long Lunch – October 14th, 2021
  • The Xmas Lunch – December 2nd, 2021

All events have been successful in fundraising and positively received by all attendees.

We have events scheduled for the first half of 2022:

  • Wasps Quinquennial Dinner – 22nd February
  • Wasps Legends Business Club Breakfast -March 9th
  • UK Golf & Cycle Classic, Hall of Fame Dinner, Heritage Day – April 22nd – 23rd
  • La Manga Golf and Cycle Classic – June 23rd – 26th

We plan to host two more fundraising events in the second half of the year. However, dates will be confirmed in due course:

  • Wasps Legends Long Lunch: October (TBC)
  • Wasps Legends Xmas Lunch: December (TBC)

This year we are happy to announce the return of the Hall of Fame dinner and Heritage Day. Furthermore, we are excited to announce the introduction of the Wasps Legends Golf and Cycling event in 2022. For more information, please email

Finally, we hope to return to La Manga (Covid permitting) for the Annual Golf fundraiser, a highly anticipated event to return.

Marketing and communication

The first half of the year was focused on a membership campaign. We successfully registered 194 members onto our new platform, which allows us to follow the status of members more accurately communicate with our database more effectively, and the direct debit feature will enable members to renew their membership efficiently.

The WhatsApp group is still going strong and continues to accumulate new members. The four groups have helped people reconnect and support each other through the good and bad of 2021.

Our Social media accounts are continuing to grow. We now have more than 1,200 followers on Twitter, and our LinkedIn account is reaching 2000 impressions per post. Don’t forget to follow our socials!  Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

Just as a reminder, there are many benefits to joining our membership scheme!

  • Exclusive access to the WLCF discount platform
  • Priority booking for events including Long Lunch and La Manga Golf & Cycling Classic.

More details can be found here: https://www.waspslegends.co.uk/wasps-legends-member-form/?mc_cid=9745590719&mc_eid=2bb80769a7

Our communications plan has also delivered several successes:

  • Numerous Wasps Legends have been reconnected to the Wasps Legends network
  • We have had more than 100 first time event attendees
  • Successfully sold out two events this year.
  • We received a £10,000 donation from a communication to the Wasps network.
  • Successfully launched the Business Club with multiple new businesses supporting the Legends.
  • Increased engagement with Wasps fan base with raffles and competitions

This year, we have successfully dropped a new Wasps Legends kit; the items are available in men’s, women’s, and juniors.  To get yours today, please follow the link: .

 

Governance & Planning

We are continuing our restructuring and recruitment both on to the Board and on our committees which we have had success with this year. We are pleased to have created a “Wasps Women’s” role as a trustee. Furthermore, we are welcoming numerous applicants onto all of our committees; more are still welcome. Please direct all enquiries to

We will also be opening our calendar for small grant applications from members early in 2022, so please make sure your membership is up to date. The small grant is worth £2,500. We will keep you updated when you can apply for large grants.

Switch the Play

Although we had some difficulties at first, we have found new ways of working and engaging the Wasps Men’s Rugby Team, Wasps Women’s Rugby team, Wasps Netball and The Wasps Academy with Switch the Play. Covid has meant that we have been delivering a programme on a “needs” basis. This means the professional team can request sessions via Wasps Legends, and we can help provide them in collaboration with Switch to Play.  Through this partnership, 50 Beneficiaries have been helped with developing a life outside of sport.

For the 2021/22 cycle, Switch the Play has delivered:

  • 4x Life After Lockdown sessions

Six additional classes we are planning to cover are:

  • Creating psychological Safe Environments
  • Take & Give care
  • Switched-On Activation
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Financial Wellbeing

 

We look forward to the continuing support of our members through our engagement with Switch the Play.

AOB

Finally, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to our Chair, Genevieve Glover, who will step down at the end of February 2022 after five years as Chair of WLCF and ten years of working with the foundation.  Genevieve has played a pivotal role in defining the strategy for WLCF and articulating our objective to raise £1million over the next five years.  We are incredibly grateful for her contribution and wish her the very best of luck for the future. I am sure we will continue to see her at WLCF events. In terms of succession, the Board are currently interviewing candidates and will announce due course.

By Ollie N’Jie