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Dartmouth TIC looks for crowdfunding

DARTMOUTH Tourist Inform­ation Centre has chosen social media as a means to try to raise funds to keep the loss-making operation running – and even make possible changes and recruit new staff.
Francesca Johnson, a TIC board member, has launched an appeal for cash backers on the website Crowdfunder.
It was announced on the Dartmouth Every Time Facebook site just after midday on Saturday and will run until the end of August. The project aims to raise £5,000.
Ms Johnson said the TIC team had to work hard to cover its £120,000 a year overheads, despite producing 50,000 brochures which helped to generate some revenue.
‘Our biggest overhead is managing the centre itself as we get to see over 143,000 visitors a year,’ she said. ‘The TIC currently receives just £3,000 annual funding from Dartmouth Town Council so each year it remains hugely challenging to cover our carefully managed costs.
‘Without over 4,000 hours of special volunteer time provided by our local team, the centre would probably have closed down years ago and indeed earlier management teams had to cope with insolvency before the existing group took over.
‘We are feeling gently optimistic about a presentation that was recently delivered to our new town council and really hope that increased support might be possible from them next year but in the meantime we need to keep thinking ahead about how to cope with the ever-rising number of people wanting to know more about our beautiful town.
‘So we are hoping to redesign our very crowded centre to help make customer service more simple, and also provide an opportunity to recruit some extra staff. We estimate that around £30,000 is needed to make the required changes.
‘We have never explored crowdfunding before but we know that many people love Dartmouth from near and afar, so we thought we would list this project and see what response we get.’
Supporters who pledge £10 or more will receive a Dartmouth T-shirt; those who give £20 or more will get a free sweatshirt; and a donation of £30 or more will make you a Friend of Dartmouth, with a goodie bag.
Already one backer has pledged £60 or more and can look forward to a personal tour of Dartmouth’s secret places and a slap-up lunch.
As of Wednesday afternoon, three backers had offered a total of £100.

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