Why you should consider other sources of funding

From cake sales to boot fairs and crowdfunding to social sector investment, there are many ways to raise funds locally

While many will often see all these methods as fundraising, some of them are better seen as raising finance.

The difference may seem like splitting hairs, but it's important when trying to work out what type of funding your organisation needs – and, importantly, how much.

Fundraising tends to refer to raising smaller amounts of money over a longer period of time. It's often for smaller projects or to supplement an annual income on a regular basis. It’s usually seen as raising regular funds to help contribute to the regular day-to-day costs of running the club or providing your activities.

Finance is often used to mean raising capital funding – significant sums of money on one-off projects that lead to a step change in the kinds of activities your club can undertake and the revenue (and impact) you can generate from them. There is potentially more time and effort involved in raising finance – but organisations can also secure more money for bigger projects.

Partnership funding

We are very much the funder of last resort, which means we don't expect to receive applications that are seeking a grant for the total project cost or that haven't explored other sources of funding first.

So, its important when considering making an application to us for a grant – big or small – it’s important to show that you have tried to secure some local funds or finance. We call this partnership funding as it involves getting local partners onside to support your project and making the case for investment stronger.

It's a good test of how well you and your project are known about in the community. If your community backs your project and has been prepared to put its hard-earned cash behind it – be it the corner shop, residents association or parish council – then your project will be in a much stronger shape and stand more chance of being funded by us. Contributions like these show us that people locally are backing you. 

We have developed advice that covers a range of potential funding sources.

Traditional sources

There are a range of well-known methods of raising funds and finances available to clubs and community organisations above and beyond the usual sources of support. These different sources of funding include:

  • Donations and fundraising
  • Crowdfunding
  • Gift Aid
  • Finance
  • Equity
  • Community shares
  • Investment tax reliefs
  • Grants

More information about these different sources can be found via Traditional sources.

Social sector sources

Funding from the social sector, both in the form of grants and investment, has become more prevalent in recent years.

One of the main differences between grants and investments from the social sector includes:

  • Grant funding from the social sector will be typically focused on organisations that are primarily set up to deliver social objectives. Your project will need to show how it will deliver this impact, and also how you will be sustainable after the grant has been spent.
  • Investment from the social sector uses repayable finance (loans or equity) to achieve social impact as well as delivering a financial return to the investor. Your project will again need to show how it will deliver impact, but how you will be able to repay the investment within a certain number of years.

More information on social sector finance and what it involves can be found via our Social sector sources page.