About the Campaign
First, the fun stuff!
All donors (if they stay on the mailing list) will get access to:
- The recorded livestream of Matsukaze, our 2022 summer show
- The recorded livestream of our collaboration with ProEnglish Theatre in Ukraine on September 29th, 2022.
- The upcoming livestream of our speaking event Nerd Nite Tokyo on November 18 and December 16, 2022
- More to come!
Now, the gory details…
Let’s be straight: debt is no fun. It’s not fun to have, and it’s not fun to donate for. But, at the end of the day, you need to pay it off.
Since the pandemic started, YTG’s revenue has dropped significantly. Expenses have dropped as well, but not to the same degree, meaning that we have posted losses on our balance sheet each year since the 2019/2020 season.
Q. What kind of debt does YTG owe?
Our debt is interest-free, but consists mostly of good-will deferments of payments to members of the community. Examples of these debts would be urgent camera or video equipment purchases being pre-paid by a board member, or our venue deferring our rent during a lean year (or three).
A smaller amount is government payments: there is a sizeable annual fee that companies need to pay both the city and prefectural governments and because of the pandemic, we are behind on those payments… although we are working on getting those waived from this year on.
Q. How did YTG accumulate this debt?
YTG started its life as an NPO with about 600,000 yen worth of debt on its books. The tale is complicated, but there was a period of about eighteen months when YTG didn’t have access to its own bank account and the company borrowed money from members to cover costs. When access to the bank account was restored, just after we formally incorporated in 2012, we were rather shocked to find a balance of zero. We’ve carried the legacy of this debt for the last ten years.
Because there was no money in the YTG coffers, operating costs and shows had to be pre-financed by members of the community. The debt has grown and shrunk over the years, depending on overhead costs and whether or not shows broke even. The amount of liabilities topped out at over 1.7 million yen in the 2021/2022 season and have remained at that level since.
Q. If the current debt is paid off, will you be able to keep the company out of debt in the future?
We were well on our way to paying it down when the pandemic struck in 2020. That being said, a non-profit theatre company creating original works is always going to be at risk of posting deficits at the end of each financial year. Those debts, however, should be short-term liabilities, recouped and paid out over the following 12 – 24 months at the longest. They should not be decades-spanning liabilities. We will continue fundraising to meet our operating expense requirements (that’s Phase 3).