Gavin Delf, Relationship Manager, London Sport on 5 key funding tips
5 Tips for finding funding
1. Be clear what you would like funding for
It is important to have a clear idea about the project you would like to deliver and how it aligns with your organisation’s mission. Whilst it is tempting to chase funding, particularly at a time when there is less money available, this is not always the best strategy.
It is worth considering that funding is more widely available for projects that deliver certain key wider societal outcomes such as community cohesion or employability. Funding for more generic items such as new equipment is sometimes more challenging to source.
When thinking about applying for funding it is also worth finding out what other similar projects exist in your locality to find out if your project is needed.
2. Use the London Sport Search Tool
The London Sport funding tool has been built to provide community organisations with all the latest funding information. It allows you to filter all the current funding by geographical location, funding area and the amount of funding you are looking for. It is free to use and is updated regularly https://funding.londonsport.org/
For larger funding streams it is also worth regularly looking at the Sport England’s funding pages as well https://www.sportengland.org/
For smaller pots of funding it is worth checking more local sources like local authority funds, national governing body funds or The London Community Foundation http://www.londoncf.org.uk/grants/available-grants/kingston-upon-thames.aspx
Once you have found a fund that you would like to apply for it is always worth checking what they have previously funded. You can then workout if they normally fund organisations like yours or projects like the one you are proposing and how much money on average they typically grant. Sometimes it can also give you a steer as to whether the funder deems your geographical area as a priority.
4. Consider the different types of funding available
Consider all the different types of funding that are available. This includes sponsorship and crowdfunding. When fundraising for specific pieces of equipment or for a specific trip or event crowdfunding can be a good option. London Sport ran a pilot with Crowdfunder UK http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ recently which raised valuable funds for community groups.
You should also consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding as many large companies now have their own foundations or charitable arms. Many of these companies fund projects in areas located close to their offices. So, it is worth identifying FTSE 100 companies in your locality.
5. Build relationships with funders
Building relationships with existing and potential funders is really key to finding and securing funding. Basic things like signing up to funders newsletters is a way of finding out about up and coming funding streams. If you are funded by a funder it is worth sending through things like impact reports even if this is not requested as part of the monitoring and evaluation process. This helps to keep your organisation in their mind and shows you are a competent and capable grantee.
Before you apply for funding it can also be worth calling the funder and talking through your project. You can then get their initial thoughts before you apply. They will also be looking out for your application then as well.
If you would like any further information on the funding tool or anything else to do with funding in the sport and physical activity sector you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .