Manchester Pride has announced a figure of £105,000 for good causes.
However, only £98,000 of this amount was raised during the ten day festival. The other £7,000 came from fundraising at the Manchester Pride Dinner which took place in September 2010 — almost a year before.
This seems to be the first time in recent years that money from other events has been lumped in with the sum raised from Pride at the end of August.
But even with this extra, the amount for good causes in 2011 is one of the lowest for many years (see below). More than a decade ago, GayFest 2000 had no fences or tickets and raised £105,716,77. Which is a much greater sum when you take into account a decade of inflation.
To disguise the embarrassing figure, Manchester Pride has been busy spinning the fact that the total amount raised since 2003 is more than £1 million. However this isn’t so impressive when you consider that Pride’s own income every year is now around the £1 million mark.
Then there’s the money that businesses across Manchester get each year thanks to this event.
According to official figures from Marketing Manchester (the tourist board) businesses benefit from between £17.5 million and £22 million of extra income each year thanks to Manchester Pride.
So, while businesses have enjoyed up to £172 million of extra cash since 2003, good causes have received little more than £1 million.
Predictably, some sections of the media have presented this £1 million figure in a misleading way.
This morning (20 October) on the Gaydio breakfast show, and while talking about the Pride exhibition at the Lowry gallery, presenter Emma Goswell railed against people who criticise Manchester Pride. “Where do they get these ideas from?” she asked.
She went on to tell listeners that recently it had been announced that Pride had raised “over a million pounds.” Neither she nor the other presenter, Chris Holliday, mentioned that the million figure is a grand total from eight years of annual events.
I wonder how many listeners were left with the idea that Manchester Pride had raised £1 million for good causes in 2011 alone?
A lot of wrong ideas come about because people in the media only present half the facts…
Gaydio has responded to this criticism and says the £1m figure was put into proper context in other broadcasts.
There was a second item on Gaydio today which I’ll write about in another post.
JOBS AT PRIDE
Currently Manchester Pride is advertising for an Events Manager and Chief Executive. The latter being a post that hasn’t existed before.
The accounts for 2010 show that the average number of employees including part-time was three. Whereas in 2009 the figure was two and in 2007 it was one.
So while the charity amount keeps falling, it seems their priority is to carry on recruiting staff and increasing costs. Will this pay off? And for whom?
CHARITY TOTALS OVER THE YEARS
Here are the charity totals over the years:
2011: £105,000. But £7,000 of that came from the “Pride Dinner” the previous November
2006: £121,000 eventually, after challenging a £56,000 VAT bill (pay event)
2002: £65,007 (no fences/tickets)
2001: £87,666.63 (no fences/tickets)
2000: £105,716,77 (no fences/tickets)
1999: zero raised (the first year with fences and no entry without a ticket)
1996: immediately after the event The Pink Paper reported £77,000 and that the Village Charity was ‘hoping’ for a further £50,000 from donations included in ticket sales to the Sunday Freedom GALA. Total: £127,000 if it ended up as the VBA hoped.
THE CHARITY AMOUNT AS A PERCENTAGE OF INCOME
We won’t know Manchester Pride’s income for the financial year (ending 31 August) until next spring. It could have gone up or down. In 2010 Manchester Pride’s income was £1,036,274.
This year the charity amount is £105,000 and only £98,000 of that was raised during the ten day festival in August.
If we assume income is the same or more in 2011, we are now in a situation where less than 10% of the money from the ten-day festival goes to good causes.
As a percentage of the 2010 income (£1,036,274) the £105,000 raised this year is just over 10.15%.
As a percentage of the 2010 income the £98,000 that was actually raised during the ten-day festival this year is just over 9.45%.
A CHARITY EVENT?
How much lower can this percentage fall before everyone accepts that this event is almost entirely about making profits for businesses and enriching certain individuals through employment and contracts?
Manchester Pride itself pays various businesses, organisations and individuals some £900,000. While businesses across the city benefit from extra income to the tune of between £17.5m and £22m each year.