The Society has received two substantial legacies by the wills of recently deceased members Hilda Schiff and Paul Iles, each of £10,000. The Finance Sub-Committee makes the following recommendations on how they should be used.
Hilda’s bequest had no specific request or instructions attached as to how it should be used, but the amount involved is of a level whereby, according to the Charities Commission’s guidelines, it should be regarded as capital. This means it cannot simply be put into the General Fund and spent on day to day running expenses. In the absence of any indications as to what Hilda’s own interests were, the Sub-Committee recommends that it be held in a Designated Fund as a reserve against some future major expenditure – in the way that the Theatre Notebook cumulative index and The Theatric Tourist were funded in the recent past.
Paul’s bequest specifies that it be used “specifically for research awards in the area of Australian theatre”. As, however, Australian theatre per se is not strictly speaking within our remit, the Society could be regarded as a channel for the disbursement of this sum rather than as having a responsibility to maintain it as its own capital. The Sub-Committee recommends, therefore, that it be held in a Restricted Fund of its own, from the interest on which appropriate grants may be made as and when the Research Awards Sub-Committee recommends (cf the Craig Fund). They should not, however, feel obliged to make awards every year but should be prepared to let the interest roll-up until a research project of the right sort, and which might merit a larger than normal sum, comes along and on which it might also be appropriate to expend part or even all of the “capital”. The availability of this fund will need to be promoted in much the same way as the Ramsden fund.