A. Current financial position
i) Land purchase, DA and associated costs: The land was purchased at a cost of about $4 million. Expenses related to the purchase of this land, exploring other land options, selling and DA efforts on the previous land, completion of DA on this land, expert and specialist reports, professional and technical advice, fundraising and promotional activities totalled approximately $1 million.
ii) Current value of our land: The current value of this 10-acre parcel of land has reportedly increased from $10 million to $14 million due to several factors, including land zoning changes, large-scale housing developments in nearby areas, and construction of a brand new metro railway in the area.
iii) Net investment: The school has invested $3.6 million into this project from its own resources. Most of these funds have been raised through community donations.
iv) Current bank balance: The school currently has a bank balance of about $600,000 available for use.
v) Current finance facility: The school is grateful to the Commonwealth Bank for lending approximately $2 million for the purchase of this land. This facility is currently fully drawn.
B. Funding requirements for the next two years
We intend to complete the first school building and have a fully operational school within the next two years. The funding requirements are outlined below:
i) $2.2 million will cover the costs of construction of the first building.
ii) $500,000 will equip the classrooms, including furniture and fully interactive audio-visual screens, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, library, computer lab, staff resources and administrative infrastructure.
iii) $500,000 will ensure the safe use of the 10-acre land for the community, including fences, pathways, security systems, play areas and equipment, and other related expenditures to make the school operational.
iv) $300,000 is required as working capital to support school operations for the first two years. We expect annual per capita government education funding to also arrive later, which in addition to student fees will assist with the running of school affairs.
v) $100,000 is budgeted for marketing and promotional purposes to attract students and their parents to the school, and to motivate the community to attract donations to bring this esteemed institution to fruition.
vi) In total, we need $3.6 million for this stage of the project (the sum of the above figures).
C. Total budget for the next three years
i) As explained in 18 A and 18 B above, the school has successfully raised an amount of $3.6 million so far from its own sources in the last six to seven years, mostly through donations. Thus, we have the capacity to raise an average of about $500,000 each year over the next three years. Since the dream of this school is now so close to fruition, there is every possibility we will surpass this annual amount.
ii) We will soon announce the commencement of construction of the new building. A gala ground-breaking ceremony function is being organised for this purpose within the next three months, where prominent Sikh personalities, local, state and national politicians will be invited. Sikh and Indian communities are expected to attend in great numbers. This is a fantastic opportunity to conduct a large-scale fundraising campaign.
iii) The school will focus on securing donations from multiple sources, including organisations that believe in social investment. Families and businesses will be especially approached for this cause.
iv) We are preparing a special ‘Executive Sponsorship Pack’ to present to wealthy Sikh and Indian businesses, to secure their help in bringing this dream for our community to reality.
v) The school’s Gurdwara Sahib is expected to begin operations well before the school becomes operational – this will be a focal and congregation point for the community. This facility will act as a hub for our fundraising activities, especially in the initial phase. There are currently five other Gurdwaras in Sydney and their average yearly collections range between $0.5 million to $2 million in donations. Total annual donations of $250,000-$350,000 are expected after the opening of our facility; that is approximately 20% of the income of other Gurdwara in the Sydney metropolitan area. This amount is expected to increase in the following years.
vi) Our expectation is that we will be able to collect a grand total of approximately $1.5 million in donations during the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 financial years respectively.
vii) The school will additionally seek further financial assistance of $2.5 million to finance the successful implementation of the first stage of the school project.
D. Generation of income
1. The Australian Commonwealth or State Governments do not provide any funding to start non-government schools. These governments do provide yearly funding to run non-government schools once they are established. Therefore, our community is expected to raise enough funds to purchase land and build initial buildings for our school.
2. School fees will remain as low as possible to encourage enrolments and provide members of the community with an opportunity to access quality education. We will maintain a good balance of fair fee costs, while retaining our ability to engage high quality educators and professionals to maintain high educational standards.
3. The NSW State Government reimburses some costs incurred by schools on a per student basis each year. The Sikh Grammar School will try to receive this funding.
4. The Commonwealth Government provides lump sum grants to private schools on a project-by-project basis. All efforts will be made to secure these funds for this project.
5. Donations will be sought from the community, businesses and local, national and international charitable organisations, businesses and families.
6. School facilities will be made available for hire to generate funds.
7. The on-site Gurdwara will assist with attracting donations. Every dollar raised here will be invested for the betterment of our future generations with this school.