April 2015

Glorious Hearts

What a month we had in March! The Championship trophy ribbons are now officially maroon and white! Thanks to the outstanding work of Robbie, Craig, the players and everyone associated with the Club we are now back where we belong. From the brink of liquidation to plotting our Premiership come back in the space of 12 months; what a journey we have been on together. You joined the revival. You made everything possible.

We hope our pledgers shared the pride we felt watching the scenes of celebration at a packed Tynecastle on Saturday against Queen of the South: pride in the team which has performed so fantastically throughout the season; pride in the Board that has worked tirelessly to put us back on a sound footing; and, above all, pride in the knowledge that we, as members of the Foundation, played a part in making it all happen.

In between the title celebrations, the Foundation has been hard at work on your behalf in March. In this month’s blog we give an update on finances, up and coming plot ceremonies and feedback on the Foundation’s new working groups.

Keeping up the momentum

March was another positive month for the Foundation with contributions holding steady against last month’s record high. This was despite a number of one off contributions in February which were replaced in March by more members signing up to monthly pledges. The match day inquiry desk has seen a number of fans sign up to become Foundation members in the last month. We hope to see many more coming through the door over the rest of the season and beyond.

Your continued support means we continue to be on track on our agreement with BIDCO. The funds we have provided to date have directly supported the fantastic progress we have seen at Tynecastle both on and off the field. The Foundation cannot rest on its laurels, however. We have achieved so much through the financial backing of 8,000 members and can achieve so much more in the future if we grow from this base. This is the message we want you as members to help spread to those supporters who have not yet joined our movement. We need to carry our momentum into the Premier League and beyond. Now is the time to Pledge for the Premiership.

Win Win Win

Continuing the good news story, the Club announced last Wednesday that Save the Children will be the name on our shirt next season. This ground breaking partnership is the first of its kind in the UK and will see the charity and the Club working together over the next three years. The move underlines the values of responsibility and community now central to our Club’s philosophy. I am sure we speak for all members and supporters when we say that we are immensely proud of this announcement and can’t wait to pull on next season’s strip.

Plot Ceremonies

Arrangements are now in place for the first Fan Reward plot ceremony which is due to take place at Tynecastle on Sunday 19th April. The souvenir plot scheme gives members who have achieved over 1,000 Maroon Points ownership of a virtual plot on the hallowed Tynecastle pitch. We can’t wait for the opportunity to shake hands with members who have hit this level of points and thank them for the massive contribution they have made to the Foundation. Plot certificates will be presented by a club legend and it promises to be a special day for everyone involved.

Invitations have now been sent to the first 50 members to have reached the required level of points and will continue in groups of 50 thereafter. If you have achieved this level of points and have not been contacted yet, watch this space.

A model for the future

In last month’s blog we reported that we were in the process of establishing a series of working groups to assist the Board in driving forward specific Foundation objectives. The working groups are now established, with members of the Foundation Board participating in each. The groups are:

  • The Governance working group – set up with the objective of working closely with Ann Budge and the Club to ensure the many different models for fan ownership are fully researched and understood such that the chosen Hearts model can be implemented smoothly, seamlessly and successfully when ownership of the club is transitioned to the fans.
  • The Marketing and Members group – set up with the aim of growing the Foundation’s membership as well as engaging with and involving members in the Foundation’s activities; and
  • The Audit and Risk group – put in place with the remit of ensuring the Foundation maintains the highest possible standards of financial control and fully adheres to the agreement with BIDCO.

These groups will ensure that matters central to the future success of the Foundation are given due attention and will report to the Foundation Board on a monthly basis.

Look out for updates on the progress of our working groups in future blogs. In next month’s blog we will feature more on the Governance working group. If any member has any matter they wish to bring to the attention of a working group please contact us at info@foundationofhearts.org.

 

Match day information desk

Thanks to those of you that have popped into the match day information desk over the last month. We have signed up a number of new members at the desk but it has been just as encouraging to hear the positivity and commitment among our existing members.

We be available at Tynecastle reception from 1.30 at the Raith Rovers and Rangers home games before the end of the season. Look out for the FOH pop ups which will be displayed at the reception door (weather permitting after we almost lost them both on Saturday!).

Your Blog

The blog received over 2,000 visits last month. The comments and messages of support you left were nothing short of inspirational. Reading of what the Club’s survival and stability mean to so many of you underlined the importance of our cause.

This is your blog and we hope you continue to find these update useful and informative. Please feel free to use the comments section below for feedback and to let us know of anything you would like to hear about in future blogs.

March 2015 Blog

From strength to strength

After an astonishing February which saw a 10-0 victory at Tynecastle, a three minute hat trick, and a record contribution month for the Foundation, we thought it would be the perfect time to launch the official Foundation of Hearts blog!

The aim of this blog will be to keep members up to date with the goings-on at the Foundation as we continue our journey towards fan ownership.

In this month’s post we share news on February’s financial results, Fan Rewards, how to find us on match days and our plans for March and beyond.

Record contributions

Following the successful launch of Fan Rewards in collaboration with the club, we were absolutely delighted to see contributions reach record levels of over £130,000 for the month of February. This was due to an increase in membership as well as an increase in average member contributions. This fantastic response from our members means we remain well on track with our contributions to HMFC.

Ann Budge has continually stressed the importance of these contributions to the continued financial stability of Hearts and we are delighted to see our members pulling together behind the cause. Thank you for your continued support.

Fan Rewards update

We launched Fan Rewards in collaboration with the club in January and we have been really pleased with the response this initiative has received from members to date.

The fans tribute kit has certainly captured people’s imagination and the deadline for reaching enough Maroon Points to get your name on the strip passed on 28 February. All members who achieved the required 180 points by that date will automatically be included on the 3rd kit next season. The list of member names will be provided to the kit manufacturer this month and the name used will be your name per our member database.

Premium Benefit and Premium Benefit Plus cards provided by the club are also now available for collection from the club shop so make sure you get down there to take advantage of some fantastic discounts on meals, hotel stays, spa treatments and much more.

Foundation website

Our shiny new website was launched mid-January to coincide with the launch of Fan Rewards and we are really pleased with the final product. The site has been in development for a number of months and since its launch has received over 24,000 visits.

We hope members are as proud of it as we are and use it to continue to stay in touch with the Foundation over the crucial weeks and months ahead. If you do have any comments or feedback on the new website, please let us know using the comments section below or the “contact us” section of the website. Most recently, we added some Foundation FAQs to the site to provide help and support for issues such as logging on, changing your password and increasing your pledge.

Reception on match days

The club has kindly given us an area in reception for use on match days and you may have seen our pop up stands (or massive “pledge now” arrow!) in and around the main stand before kick-off. Our aim is to be available for all home games going forward to give members the opportunity to ask questions and keep in touch throughout the season. We were delighted to see a number of fans popping into the reception before the Livingston and Cowdenbeath games in February to pledge to the Foundation and play their part in creating history. It is heartwarming and humbling at times to hear how much the club and its history mean to so many.

Whether you want to increase your pledge, catch up on Foundation activities or even just steal a bit of Hearts rhubarb rock, our door is always open.

Looking forward

This blog is just the start of our plan for increasing interaction and engagement between the Foundation board and members. We are in the process of establishing a series of working groups and a support network of volunteers to assist the board in driving forward specific Foundation objectives. There will be scope for members to get involved in this new structure and we will keep you updated on our progress.

Feel free to use the comments box below to leave feedback and questions on this month’s blog. If there is anything specific you would like to hear about in future posts, let us know.

With a bit of luck by the time we issue the next blog the Championship title will be in the bag….