The Wir lernen weiter association was 90% self-financing in 2022. This was achieved by means of contributions to expenses, which are paid by the partner organisations for each laptop levy. New investments will also be made in fundraising.
A new reality
"A tightrope act, which has to be planned over several months" - this is how Tobias Schär describes the financial planning of the association. The reasons for this are many, but also obvious. If laptops are not available or are no longer needed, the association's most important source of income is pulled out from under it.
The impact of our work is undisputed, but the financing, which is central to securing our operational activities, is currently very risky.Tobias Schär, Founder and Business Manager
The team now employs around five people, trains interns and supports the canton of Aargau in the area of work reintegration, where long-term unemployed people can regain day structures at the association.
This results in quite a few expenses. Schär reckons that (as of April 2023) around CHF 35,000 to 40,000 in expenses will be incurred. In addition to personnel costs, rent, social insurance and replacement material are major cost drivers. "I would never have thought that we would be in a position to bear such expenses so quickly," says Schär.
Lots to do!
At the beginning of 2023, the association moved into a second location in Merenschwand. A lot of new equipment had to be purchased and installed in order to make it operational.
left: Tobias Lehmann prepares the shelves of the new location for many laptops.
Reinvest club reserves
In the second year of the association (2021), an extremely positive financial result was achieved. The association closed its books with a surplus of almost CHF 250,000. This money enabled the team to grow rapidly in the following year and also provided security.
The money thus generated is to be used in accordance with our statutes. In our case, this means that we create new positions in order to be able to work even better in the future.Tobias Schär, Founder and Business Manager
In 2022, a slightly negative result was achieved. Thus, around CHF 20,000 was reduced. "This was not congruent with the budget that was decided in 2021. But at that time we could not really estimate the success of the young association," says Schär about these figures.
In the 2023 association year, the figures between budget and actual account will probably diverge once again. Additional staff will have to be brought on board in the near future for the work that needs to be done.
Furthermore, many laptops are distributed throughout Switzerland. There is no shortage of equipment at the moment, but Schär would like to develop a fundraising concept together with Romina Kalt this year. "Other sources of funding give us stability and thus guarantee that our work is not jeopardised," says Kalt in response to the question of why contributions to expenses alone represent a lump sum risk.
Donations can either be freely placed with the association or made directly as project support. The goal should be that people know exactly what they are donating for, because according to Schär, pure salary transparency does not go far enough. Why he thinks so is explained in the following video:
Make a donation now?
On the following page you can make a free donation or support a project. Every contribution helps to give people living in poverty in Switzerland access to the digital world: