(Above: One of our AFFG Team Members raises a glass to our coming successes in 2019.
Fourteen of our core Team Members gathered in a Glasgow city centre venue on Saturday 26 January for AFFG's 3rd Annual General Meeting.
Alistair McConnachie, one of our Directors, welcomed everyone. He mentioned that November had seen our "Union Social" attended by 35 people, where we had covered most of our necessary Reports, and so this would be a shorter affair.
Our 3 Directors agreed to continue for another year, the Minutes of the 2nd AGM were passed as a true report and the updated document detailing our Accounts for the Tax Year 17/18 was circulated. These were consequently submitted to Companies House and HMRC. In summary:
In our Tax Year 1 May 2017- 30 April 2018:
Income = 11,038
Expenditure = 12,873
Deficit (prior to funds carried over from 16/17) = (–1,835)
Surplus (after funds carried over from 16/17) = 1,940.
Alistair pointed out that we are full-time and committed but we don't have any office rental costs, or debt. That means we are bringing our productions, and our value, to the country for the minimum cost possible!
However, we do of course, have costs. For those who always ask, these include:
- Retaining 1 person to coordinate and run the entire operation, including daily Social Media work on Facebook and Twitter.
- Retaining 1 person on a small monthly payment, to assist with our Facebook platform every day.
- Retaining 1 person on a small monthly payment to help with Political Outreach.
- Paying Graphic Designer costs (hundreds of pounds).
- Paying Video Editor costs (hundreds of pounds).
- Admin costs which include computer equipment, paper, ink, Mobile phone costs, internet hosting and domain costs (combined, this is hundreds of pounds each year).
- Facebook advertising costs (Facebook restricts outreach unless we pay for advertising).
- Activism costs – these are our biggest single expense and include flags, poles, posters, banners, PA system costs, camera costs, security-related costs, diesel costs, rail costs, accommodation costs (amounting to several thousand pounds a year).
- Miscellaneous costs – venue hire, legal and compliance, depreciation.
In all, we spent over £12,800 in the Tax Year 17/18 on the above, and we'll need to spend at least that again and likely much more, this year – which is going to be our busiest yet! That's over £1,000 a month we need just to maintain our organisation.
He explained that we are funded mainly by people signing up to our monthly 'Union Supporters' programme, where people can donate from £5 a month (£1.25 a week). We held a successful Crowdfunder recently (see below) which was necessary to help fill a funding gap in the first few months of this year.
REPORT OF RECENT WORK
Alistair reported on the activism that day in Helensburgh. He stated that we would do 4 Street Stalls in February, March and April in different parts of the Central Belt.
He mentioned he would be Speaking at a Conference in Glasgow on Saturday 9th February on the subject "10 Ways to Strengthen the Union and Stop Scottish Separation".
A discussion was had about the best events to create, or attend.
Alistair said that our aim at many of these events was not only to "Keep the British End Up", but to also create colourful Red, White and Blue imagery to be used by the Mainstream Media and on Social Media, which would help remind people that Unionists exist in the first place!
Increasing the visibility of British symbolism in Scotland, in order to remind people that Scotland is British, is an important goal in itself!
ACTIVITIES AND GOALS FOR 2019
As per our highly successful "Counter Presence" events last year, we would maintain our "Thin Red Line" at the 8 AUOB Marches again. Furthermore, there were likely to be an additional 2 ScotNat Marches where we would stand strong for the Union. It was going to be a busy summer, said Alistair.
Counting the Numbers and Getting the Media to Take Notice!
It was noted from the floor that while we had done a good job in counting the true figures at these Marches in 2018, the Mainstream Media had ignored our figures entirely!
It was agreed that we would continue to count the numbers – which was of huge value to the Unionist cause. Furthermore, we must ensure that this would be the year "when AUOB would not get away with their lies".
It was agreed that 2019 has to be the year when their absurd figures start to be properly challenged by the Mainstream Media! Various suggestions and decisions were made to ensure this would happen!
Union Supporters Programme
This is essential to maintaining our day-to-day operation, and Alistair reported that it has been progressing slowly and in the right direction. We have 51 Union Supporters (monthly donors) as of this date. At our 2nd AGM in January 2018 we had 14!
Our long-term aim is to find 200 people who will commit. We are aiming for 100 at the end of this year.
As a consequence of our successful recent 28-day Crowdfunder (which raised £2,015), we will institute a 1-month Crowdfunder every December.
It was agreed that this was the first Crowdfunder that any of us had ever heard the pro-UK movement doing; and that it was an essential way to start getting Unionists into the habit