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General FAQ
General FAQ

Why is FEAST based in Singapore?

  • We are not 'based' in Singapore. Two of our founding Directors are Singaporean and the country enjoys an excellent reputation for legal oversight. Being a Singapore-registered company, we were able to secure a grant from the National Arts Council to fund both our inaugural Conference (2018) and the publication of our first anthology. Without that funding, FEAST would not have taken off. There is also a strong storytelling community whose support has been most welcome.
  • However, FEAST was officially launched in Chennai (Aug 2018), the home of our third founding Director, on the fringe of the Under the Alamaraam Storytelling Festival. Our second Conference was held in Bangalore and organised with the Bangalore Storytelling Society. Our third conference will convene in Jakarta. Our 3rd and 4th anthologies were designed, illustrated and published in Indonesia.


What is the FULCRUM?

  • Set up in January 2022, it's a group of about 12 members who have volunteered to take responsibility for a specific aspect of FEAST as an organisation and/or its activities - eg membership matters, story swaps, the store, Young Tellers and Institutional Members. The Directors are aware that some aspects of FEAST have been nurtured and grown but other aspects (particularly with membership initiatives and the Store) have been neglected. Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the Fulcrum, we now have more hands and eyes to enable to sustain FEAST's remarkable growth and development.
  • Becoming part of the the Fulcrum is not a lifetime appointment and we expect its membership to ebb and flow. If you think you can contribute and would like to be involved please go to the Support Us page where we highlight our current and on-going volunteering needs.


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Membership FAQ
Membership FAQ

How do I decide whether to be a Professional or Community member?

Professional membership is intended for those who provide stories as a service - it implies both a mindset as well as a desire to monetise their storytelling skillset. Professional members have a preferential rate when applying for Mentorships.

Community membership is for those who

  1. tell stories in a home or volunteer capacity,
  2. or who tell stories in connection with their work (eg as librarian, teacher) but who do not 'identify' as a Storyteller (with a capital 'S'?!)
  3. or who are working towards being a professional but do not feel they have enough skills/repertoire yet.

Community members can apply for a mentorship, but the fee is weighted to match your overall contribution to that of a Professional member.


How do I join a Special Interest Group (SIG)?

Email the SIG Liaison and express your interest and ask to join the group. Some SIGs - such as the Podcast - may only admit new members at a particular time, due to the nature of their activity


How do I start an SIG?

Search the Member's Directory (interests) to identify possible like-minded members. If your interest is not there, email membership liaison and ask them to add a note to the next monthly update saying you would like to start an SIG for (whatever) and asking members to contact you. There is a template in the SIG folder in the Document Library which any member can download which takes you through what you need to consider before presenting your idea to the directors for their approval. if you can get 6-8 people interested, then odds are you'll be convening your first session very soon!


How do I pay for my membership?

You will be asked to select your payment method: Paypal or Credit Card (Club Express uses Stripe to process card payments.)

  • Members residing in Singapore are also able to use PAY NOW to facilitate free transfer of funds (saving FEAST the 3.9% service fee that Paypal/Stripe charge!) In your Pay Now app, select the UEN option - FEAST's UEN is 2018 186 97Z  Please note that this payment is made outside the Club Express system so when you make the payment it would be helpful if you note what this is for (eg Professional Membership to June 2023). You can also mail feaststory@gmail.com advising us of your payment as we will need to go into the website and update your payment record manually (and reflect that the bill has been paid by direct payment to the bank.) We will send you a screenshot to confirm this has been done.
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Performance FAQ
Performance FAQ

How do I get to tell a story at a Swap?

Well it's a bit of a lottery as we usually only have 5 - 7 tellers and there are often more offers than places. However, you can improve your chances of success by:

a) choosing a story that related to the Swap theme and highlighting why you want to tell this story;

b) stories between 8 - 10 minutes hit the sweet spot - anything longer and the odds against start rising! (And please be accurate in your timing. Try telling to your webcam and get a good sense of how long it takes! if you over-run it puts pressure on those who come after you- remember that 9pm in Singapore is 11pm or midnight for our Australian listeners!) 4-7 minutes stories are also very attractive when we make our selection. A short story well told often has great impact too!

c) When you register your interest to tell, do say if you're doing more than 'just telling' (eg singing, using puppets, telling bi-lingually . . ) Variety is appealing.

Don't be upset if you don't get asked to tell first or second time around. The Swaps are great fun for audience members too - just come and enjoy. Be patient!

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Mentorship FAQ
Mentorship FAQ

Why is there an additional fee for joining a Mentorship programme?

This is an optional programme. FEAST subsidises 50% of the cost of the Mentor's honorarium, but the balance is provided by the mentees. In our experience, people usually value something more when they have paid for it!


Why doesn't FEAST issue a Certificate?

For a Certificate to be meaningful it requires evaluation and an agreed set of criteria, both in terms of content and the performance of the mentee. FEAST has neither the manpower nor the budget to facilitate that. And the cost of taking a mentorship with a Certificate would be considerably higher! (see question 1!)

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New Member FAQ
New Member FAQ

Why is my membership identified by a month (eg April Professional)?

  • Your first membership is pro-rated according to when you join - a March Professional (16 months) costs more than an April Professional (15 months). Please see next question!


Why am I being charged for more than 12 months subscription?

  • Our annual membership runs from 1 July to 30 June and your joining fee is pro-rated from July (12 months) through to December (7 months). Pro-rated fees for most memberships of less than six months would be very low and incur relatively high paypal transaction fees.  Therefore for members who join between January - June, we pro-rate your first membership to June of the following year (ie between 13 – 18 months.) This also avoids you having to pay a second membership fee shortly after paying your first. From your second year onwards, you will only pay for 12 months at a time. 


How do I pay for my membership?

You will be asked to select your payment method: Paypal or Credit Card (Club Express uses Stripe to process card payments.)

  • Members residing in Singapore are also able to use PAY NOW to facilitate free transfer of funds (saving FEAST the 3.9% service fee that Paypal/Stripe charge!) In your Pay Now app, select the UEN option - FEAST's UEN is 2018 186 97Z  Please note that this payment is made outside the Club Express system so when you make the payment it would be helpful if you note what this is for (eg Professional Membership to June 2023). You can also mail feaststory@gmail.com advising us of your payment as we will need to go into the website and update your payment record manually (and reflect that the bill has been paid by direct payment to the bank.) We will send you a screenshot to confirm this has been done.


How do I update my profile page in the members directory?


I want to tell stories but I don't know how. Where should I begin?

  • A Beginner's SIG is due to launch in June or July 2022, It will probably combine a series of introductory workshops during the year, as well as host an informal Story Circle - a session similar to a Story Swap, but with the emphasis on providing a safe place for participants to tell and to receive constructive feedback.
  • Attending our Story Swaps is also highly recommended. You'll see tellers in action and observe how they bring their telling to life; you'll hear stories that you like and which you may consider trying to tell in the future, and you'll start to feel like you're a part of the FEAST family.
  • You could also browse our Webinar Archive in the store and watch some recordings on topics which you feel are most useful/interesting for you ($5 per webinar)



FEAST $$$ FINANCIALS



How much does it cost to run FEAST every year?

Long story short: SGD$5,000+ a year - and that's just to keep the company legally running.



a)   Club Express (CE) charges us SGD $6.75 for each member – that’s about 20% of a Community member’s fee! The CE programme integrates members details with our event registration and provides the website design software.

b)   As a registered Company Limited By Guarantee (the legal structure for non-profit organisations in Singapore) FEAST is required to have a Company Secretary (SGD $500/year) to ensure we comply with statutory regulations for businesses (but the ‘secretary’ does no FEAST day-to-day admin work!) We are also required to have an annual audit ($1,400) and file a report for tax computation purposes ($300/year).

c)   We have a part-time book-keeper ($1,200/year) to keep fiscal entries and the supporting paperwork in order – as a non-profit, our audit is particularly thorough.

d)   Operational expenses include our feast-story.org domain name, website hosting etc.


Then there are the expenses involved with our activities: payments to webinar facilitators, and honorariums for coaches, mentors and panelists plus subscriptions for zoom, canva, jot form etc.


What does FEAST get for free?

What is visible to many are the generous sharing of stories told by our talented members at fund-raising events such as FEAST FEST.


However, behind the scenes are hours and hours of admin work provided by the Directors and now the Fulcrum too – such as planning/promoting/administering events, designing promotional materials, contacting and liaising with facilitators/coaches/mentors, evaluating submissions, editing videos, creating podcasts, website design and maintenance, co-ordinating Special Interest Groups . . .

 

In 2018 and 2019 we had a surplus thanks to receiving a grant from the Singapore Arts Council (to stage our first Conference) and the success of the Bangalore Conference. However, in FY 2020 (year ending June 2021) we suffered a small loss – not having a conference was a significant hit for us. (Many storytelling organisations tell the same covid story!) Please do not take FEAST’s economic position for granted.


FEAST accepts payments via PAYPAL, CREDIT CARD (processed by STRIPE) and - for residents in Singapore only, by PAY NOW (UEN 201818697Z) More details are in the Membership FAQ answer above.

WHY HAVE WE SWITCHED TO CLUB EXPRESS?


On 1st April 2022, FEAST switched to using ClubExpress (CE)as its membership management programme to co-ordinate organising/ticketing events and integrating our members in our activities. The website is set up and managed within the CE platform. 


The push factor? Cost!


  • Our previous member management system charged us according to the number of our contacts (1378 when we decided to move) and announced a large price increase from 1/4/22 - an increase that would jump significantly when we reached 1501 contacts!
  • Club Express charges per member (about SGD $0.56 per member per month) which is about 50% of what we paid previously. While we have incurred one-time set-up fees, Club Express offers us considerable saving from 2023 onward.
  • As a non-profit organisation operating on the proverbial shoestring and many, many volunteer hours behind the scene, we are always mindful of making the most of our limited financial resources.

 

The pull factor?


Being a more modern software, we believe ClubExpress will offer our members a better experience.

  • The Members Directory offers more options for searchable information, as well as options to add photo albums recording the diversity of their storytelling activities.
  • Creating content on the website is more intuitive and we hope to enable more members (eg through the FULCRUM) take a more active part in initiating and promoting FEAST's activities.
  • We hope to make more use of listserv Forums to enhance communication between groups of members
  • The Document Library will become the go-to archive and store for all things related to FEAST - be they agreements, templates, PR materials, logos etc.


The old website was in dire need of a make-over. It was created in the heady first three months of FEAST's existence to meet our urgent need to get out information about the Conference and our membership packages. We had little idea then how we might evolve as an organisation and the old website reflected the ad hoc nature of its growth. Building a new site from scratch has allowed to draw on our awareness of what FEAST does in order to organise the site more coherently (as least we think so!) into three main areas - Events, Learning and Development and Membership. We hope newcomers/non-members will find it more informative and welcoming, and that existing members will find it more engaging and worthy of repeat visits.



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So how are we doing?

Any change to a new system is stressful as we take time to adjust and find our way around.  We would love to have our feedback om the website and have created this simple survey to gather information on your first impressions of the site, the content, and your feelings about your personal page in the Members' Directory.

Take our Website Survey now!

We will continue to explore the functions that Club Express offers and with your help, we will gradually create a more informative and engaging website for both members and interested visitors.

Thanks 

Your Willing Website Workforce.

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MEMBERSHIP enquiries:

membershipfeast@gmail.com


STORE related enquiries:

storefeast@gmail.com


Story Swap related enquiries: feaststoryswap@gmail.com


Webinar related enquiries: feastwebinars@gmail.com