It has been a clear prerequisite for Copenhagen 2021 that we were financially responsible from start to finish. It hasn’t just been a benchmark in individual budget decisions – this has guided the whole project in all decision-making. Therefore, we made ongoing budget adjustments, and we worked continuously to intensify our fundraising.
In 2020, a new focused funding strategy was developed which proved to bring on solid partnerships, in particular by prioritising large strategic partnerships in a structured partnership strategy. This is despite the impact on sponsor activations caused by the pandemic and the inevitable uncertainty among potential partners.
In order to ensure strong financial management, accounting and budget follow-up, a new structure was developed during 2020, dividing finance into three areas:
- pursuing commercial funds
- financial management
Accounting was outsourced to an external partner to have sufficient resources for the other tasks, so that the project’s funding goals could be achieved. With this focused effort in 2020, clear concepts that provided strong partnerships and good dialogue with several sponsors were developed, as well as a large collective effort aimed at foundations, which also resulted in essential funding.
It has been a parallel goal of the overall strategy for Copenhagen 2021 to ensure sufficient liquidity during the project’s process, from its first phase, where the requirement was to be able to pay monthly payments tied to the operation of the Secretariat, to a substantial increase in liquidity needs in 2021 during the event’s execution, and finally all payments of event related expenditure, as well as closing down the organisation.
The overall life of the project has been characterised by the high level of uncertainty in the raising of funds, including state and municipal grants. This has been particularly challenging from the very beginning of the project until the end of 2018, as well as after the event until the end of 2021.
Changing governments and thereby political priorities has contributed to the change in previous indications and political promises of public grants. For project organisations, grants should therefore always be granted as a total amount at the start of the project, which would allow for budgeting and planning according to actual expectations.
It has been characteristic that funds have been disbursed after actual liquidity needs, so that in some cases it has been necessary to establish an overdraft to ensure monthly payment capacity. This has been the case regarding grants, but equally with funds from foundations where, as a general rule, disbursements have been made after final project accounts have been submitted.
Public, regional and municipal funding has been instrumental in solving the project’s liquidity needs, but at the same time not to such an extent that it has been adequate, and it has therefore been necessary to secure commercial funds on an ongoing basis during the project period. It is therefore a crucial critical point that grant providers, including foundations, consider how to contribute to sound liquidity in project organisations in the future.
At the time of writing [December 2021], the annual report for 2021 is being finalised and the final audited financial statements will be available from 17 January 2022, on this page. Annual reports from 2015 to 2020 can be downloaded here:
- Year ending 31 December 2015
- Year ending 31 December 2016
- Year ending 31 December 2017
- Year ending 31 December 2018
- Year ending 31 December 2019
- Year ending 31 December 2020
Overall, the finances in the event year, 2021, has been healthy. We managed to obtain a government grant of 12 million in June 2021, which was to be used for logistics, security, technical equipment, settlement of voluntary program, rent on venues, digital formats, etc.
In addition to the grant of 12 million, state funding has been provided in the Finance Act in previous years, and our revenues for the entire project period (2015-2021) have been distributed as follows:
- City of Copenhagen approx. DKK 24.7 million
- Government funding approx. DKK 18 million
- Capital Region approx. DKK 9.2 million
- City of Malmö approx. DKK 5.4 million
- Foundations approx. 4.9 million DKK
- Partnerships and sponsors approx. DKK 11.1 million
- Other income approx. DKK 3.7 million
During the project period, 2015 to 2021, we have thus had a total budget of approx. DKK 77 million and through targeted and intensive financial management and budgeting we have managed to stay within budget, with less than 1.5% of the money left. The remaining funds will be allocated in accordance to grant agreements.