Overseas Teams Fund (OTF)
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Several NRA disciplines send teams on overseas tours to represent Great Britain or the NRA. Touring is expensive and the teams engage in a variety of fundraising eﬀorts. What cannot be raised is self-ﬁnanced by team members.
The NRA’s Overseas Teams Fund (“OTF”) was set up in the 1930s to provide a central place where donated funds can be gathered and grants made in support of touring teams. The OTF is a ‘restricted fund’ under charity law, which means any funds donated into it may be spent only in support of GB or NRA touring teams. Summaries of the OTF’s ﬁnancial activity are available in the NRA’s audited accounts each year.
Who manages the OTF
The NRA council is supported by two committees, which inform its management of the OTF. The Investment Committee advises on the selection of managers and policies for the invested funds, and the Team Finance Committee (“TFC”) co-ordinates fundraising and makes recommendations for grants to the touring teams.
The TFC is ably supported by the NRA’s ﬁnance department, especially
via management accounts, which make earmarking of funds straightforward. Donations into the OTF are categorised by which discipline has raised them and therefore should beneﬁt from them (currently Target Riﬂe, Match Riﬂe and Gallery Riﬂe). Donors can specify whether funds can be made available immediately or, alternatively, should contribute to capital and generate investment income. Donations to speciﬁc touring teams are possible. When a donation comes from a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid provides a 25 per cent increase.
The ﬁnance department also supports the accountability of each team captain in their application of charitable funds, by reviewing the team accounts which captains are required to present after their tour.
At the end of 2017, the OTF’s balance stood at around £170k. Fundraising during 2017 amounted to around £25k of cash income, £5k of which was generated by the OTF’s investments. Unrealised investment returns are additional to these ﬁgures.
Each discipline has its own pattern of touring and, therefore, of grants to be requested from the OTF. The busiest discipline in terms of funds raised and granted is Target Riﬂe (TR), with a typical year seeing around £19k generated. The
TFC’s policy for TR is to make grants aﬀordable on a rolling four-year basis (the frequency of the busy Palma Match years).
The observant reader will notice that there is no mention so far of external funding. The Sports Council provided much-appreciated support up until 2003, but hasn’t since then. While the TFC’s previous aspiration had been to cover each team’s basic travel and shooting costs from OTF and Sports Council grants, that has been impossible from the OTF alone. The TFC recently reviewed the cost of touring to diﬀerent destinations and estimates that the grant policy for TR explained above would cover an average of 13 per cent of core tour costs.
How to help
Every touring team faces a significant funding challenge and seeks to meet this by fundraising both for the direct benefit of the team and also to make a contribution to the OTF, which in turn supports them. Readers may be familiar with initiatives such as hospitality days, team brochures, auctions of promises, “spot the shot”, the OTF 100 Club and “swindle” entries at the Imperial Meeting – please participate in these!
The ability of touring teams to raise their own funds varies considerably, especially across economic cycles, which tend to govern the contribution from corporate
hospitality days and brochure adverts. The remaining funding comes from each
individual team member. Captains are keen to ensure that no applicant is put off
by the potential affordability of a tour for, especially, young shooters and new caps.
The thanks of all touring shooters who benefit from the fund go out to our many
supporters, both within the shooting world and beyond. TFC is particularly keen to
encourage support from those who have toured with GB/NRA in the past and, as a
result, benefited from the OTF.