A More Complete Picture of ONE Spark Financials

October 14, 2014 43 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Joe Sampson the executive director of One Spark, recently shared with us a slightly more detailed accounting of the costs of ONE Spark, the Festival. It bears remembering that the financials of One Spark are not at issue in the ongoing story revolving around the Shad Khan financed KYN group. They are separate groups (as detailed in the letter) with separate finances. The information was presented to us simply in the spirit of full disclosure.

Hi Stephen - as Executive Director, responsibility for all things One Spark in Jacksonville (a completely separate entity from KYN) has started and stopped with me for the last 18 months. Generally, I don’t want to set a precedent here, but having this brought to my attention, felt a responsibility to my team to share with you directly today.

First, we greatly appreciate all of the support we receive from the community in the form of in-kind services and volunteer hours, but in the tax year in question, we did not receive any funding via taxpayer dollars. As a privately funded entity, we have no legal obligation to share detail concerning our finances beyond what is required by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit corporation- and our filed/accepted reports are already public record. The 990 in question represents the financial activities through our first fiscal year (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013) as a non-profit entity and our inaugural event- One Spark 2013. Here is a more detailed breakdown of our budget that was rolled up at a higher level in the available fields within the 990.

Cash-In ($1,198,105.04)

Operating Activities (Creator/Venue Fees, Merchandise, Beer Sales, Speaker Series, VIP Passes, Etc.): $96,510.97

Donations (Kickstarter Campaign, Donors): $128,094.07

Sponsors (Corporate Sponsor Sales): $83,500

Investors/Contributors: $890,000

Expenditures ($1,399,817.04)

Business Development (Pitch Materials, Software, Meals/Entertainment, Travel): $4,911.71

Customer Service (Kickstarter Fulfillment, Software): $7,756.79

Digital Marketing (Social, Google, Banners, Systems): $34,867.04

Event Production (Audio-Visual, Set/Strike Labor, Venue Rentals, Technical Labor, Catering, Equipment Rental/Purchase, Speaker Fees, Speaker Travel, Beer, Security, JSO, Barricades, Staging, WiFi, Etc.): $298,944.99

Insurance (Event, Liability, Worker’s Comp, D&O): $20,670.44

HQ (Rent, Utilities, Internet, Phones, Furnishings, Software, Accounting, Etc.): $53,175.71

Full-Time Staff: $256,977.36

Contractors (Design, Content, Accounting Audit, Finance, Seasonal Admin.): $54,041.00

IT Systems (Web Development, UX/UI, Front End Design, Software Contracts): $119,715.24

Other G&A (Bank/CC Processing Fees, Parking, Sundries, Legal, Shipping/Delivery, Storage, Etc.) $27,522.56

Marketing (Print Advertising, Radio Advertising, Billboard Advertising, Marketing Materials, Promotional Items, Festival Signage, Festival Collateral, Video Production, Agency Fees, Etc.): $216,024.96

Outreach & Volunteer Services (Town Hall Series Rentals/Production, Outreach Travel, Administrative, Volunteer Materials, Volunteer Meals, Volunteer Shirts, Volunteer Kits, Etc.): $51,910.87

Creator Funds Disbursement: $253,298.37

Did you know that the second One Spark (2014) in Jacksonville became one of the top events, by attendance (260K+ over 5 days), in the United States? Joining One Spark on that list is SXSW, which hosts approximately 313K over 9 days in Austin, Texas. That event has grown over 30 years to require 120 year-round, full-time employees and well into an eight-figure budget. One Spark 2014 in Jacksonville had a team 6 very full-time people, along with a few seasonal contractors, hundreds of volunteers, and dozens of local vendors - with a <$2M, privately-funded budget.

To clear a few other things up:

One Spark and KYN are two separate entities, and they do not share investors, financials, or financial supporters. Shad Khan has never directly supported One Spark financially, via investment or contribution. I am not affiliated with KYN in any way, nor is the One Spark team, with the exception of Elton, who only very recently began serving as CEO for One Spark as we work to scale the platform.

Peter Rummel, as One Spark’s primary financial supporter, reviews financial statements prepared by a CPA and has stated publicly that he is quite happy with the future of his investment, and progress to date.

To date, Elton or Dennis have not been on One Spark’s payroll. The amounts listed as paid to Elton and Dennis from their employers at the time were only estimates (which is what the form indicates). This information needed to be listed since they are officers of the company along with me and at the time, Vince.

As for the 40 hours listed as worked by Vince and I, and the 15 hours listed as worked by Elton and Dennis, I’ll share that our average number of hours worked is significantly higher (50-75%). We don’t track time for our staff - 40 is simply a standard for full-time employees.

We look forward to continue building not only the event in Jacksonville, but One Spark as a global platform for creators from all walks of life to connect, and take their ideas to action. I hope we can count on your support as we - along with many partners and friends - continue working to move Jacksonville forward.

Your Friend,

Joe Sampson
Executive Director and COO
One Spark