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Help with fundraising

Other funders

Please read our Other Funders page for funders that support community and campaigns groups working for social and environmental justice.

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Local support/ funding

National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) – a network of 350 Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS) which help local community groups in setting up, running and funding their work. Most of them have funding advisors that provide training, one-to-one advice on how to raise money and a funding alert service. Find your local office on the NAVCA website. Some local councils have funding advisors too. www.navca.org.uk

Community Foundation Network – community foundations give funding to local grassroots organisations. The work usually has to be charitable but the group does not always have to be registered as a charity. www.communityfoundations.org.uk

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Help with legal structures

Get Legal – provides expert advice on legal structures and issues such as governance for charities, social enterprises and co-ops.
http://www.getlegal.org.uk

Charity Commission – offer templates on charitable constitutions
http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/setting-up-a-charity-model-governing-documents

Co-operatives UK – offer templates on co-operative constitutions
http://www.uk.coop/resources/model-governing-documents

One Click Orgs – simple platform to create an unincorporated association (the simplest structure for a community group)
http://www.oneclickorgs.com

Also contact your local NAVCA branch (as above)

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Funder databases

Funding Central – free access to over 4,000 funding opportunities. www.fundingcentral.org.uk

GrantFinder – over 7,000 funding opportunities. It is a subscription service but some funding advisors (see NAVCA above) can give you access. www.grantfinder.co.uk

Trust Funding – subscription service to access grants database. www.trustfunding.org.uk

Funds for NGOs – free database of international funding opportunities. www.fundsforngos.org

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Training and resources

Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (US)  – multiracial organisation that promotes the connection between fundraising, social justice and movement-building. www.grassrootsfundraising.org

Black Fundraisers’ Network Working to ensure that every black fundraiser has the skills, expertise and support to become a leader within the fundraising sector and helping to enable black fundraisers’ to access appropriate and professional support. www.bfn.org.uk

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – guidance and training on fundraising, particularly developing a sustainable fundraising strategy. www.ncvo-vol.org.uk

Foundation for Social Improvement – free training for small charities to help them fundraise. This includes training courses on a range of fundraising topics. They also offer travel bursaries. www.thefsi.org

Small Charities Coalition – help small charities access 
the skills, tools & information 
they need to get going and 
do what they do best. http://www.smallcharities.org.uk

Institute of Fundraising – fundraising training, best advice guides and other materials. They have a special programme helping small charities raise money and offer training sessions for just £20. The project also works with groups supporting marginalised, vulnerable and socially excluded individuals to support them develop their fundraising career. www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk / www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/events-and-training/help-for-small-charities

UK Fundraising – Online resource and community for professional charity fundraisers. Also offers training and consultancy and in 2013 are running a series of Fundraising Camps where delegates choose the topics for the day and then share ideas, skills and experiences with each other. www.ukfundraising.co.uk

Directory for Social Change – training and resources. www.dsc.org.uk

Seeds for Change – supporting grassroots campaign groups. Factsheets and links to fundraising info. www.seedsforchange.org.uk

Campaign Central – hub for campaigners, with info on funding your campaign. www.campaigncentral.org.uk

nfpSynergy – research consultancy dedicated to the not-for-profit sector. Provides free reports to support non-profit sector, including on fundraising. http://nfpsynergy.net

Transition Network’s Funding Primer – the Transition Network is a network of local community-led environmental projects. Their new Funding Primer offers tips, suggestions and advice for getting your Transition group’s projects funded, but would also be relevant to other small community groups. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/rob-hopkins/2014-02/unveiling-transition-networks-new-funding-primer

Charity MOT – team available to help at low cost (£8 per hour) with Administration, Technology or Marketing and fundraising, but can also offer general advice. www.charity-mot.com

Resource Alliance – support and resources for fundraising internationally. www.resource-alliance.org

Charity How To – lots of training materials on fundraising, including free webinars. www.charityhowto.com

Know How NonProfit – lots more training materials on fundraising. www.knowhownonprofit.org

Company Solutions – training courses on fundraising. www.companysolutions.biz pale blue line

Crowdfunding sites

Crowdfunding sites allow you to set up a page to appeal for money for a project and to collect donations online. The idea is that lots of people all contribute a small amount – so it’s funded by a crowd of people rather than a foundation or wealthy individual. There are many different sites and the main differences between them are:

  • How much they take as a fee (often the site takes around 5% but also the payment processor  – such as PayPal – take about another 3%);
  • With some sites it’s all or nothing – if you don’t reach your target, the donations are not collected from your backers;
  • Some sites are particularly focused on arts projects (films etc), others on social enterprises etc;
  • Some of the sites recommend that you offer rewards to donors, for example, you get a t-shirt if you donate more than £25. Some sites allow donors the option of not accepting the reward;
  • Some sites will require donors to sign up to the site, while others will allow people to make a donation without signing up.

Often the most successful crowdfunding appeals are those that result in something tangible at the end that people can benefit from, such as films and books. But most importantly you have to put together a long list of people and organisations who you can ask to support you and put an enormous amount of effort into getting the word out far and wide. Here are some of the more popular sites in the UK (also see this guide from CrowdfundUK):

Start Some Good http://www.startsomegood.com

Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com

Indiegogo http://www.indiegogo.co.uk

Sponsume http://www.sponsume.com

Crowdfunder http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk

People Fund It http://www.peoplefund.it

Buzzbnk http://www.buzzbnk.org

GoFundMe (good option for fundraising for individuals) http://www.gofundme.com

GoGetFunding (similar to GoFundMe) http://gogetfunding.com

Yimby (part of JustGiving but don’t need to be a charity and can raise funds for individuals) http://www.justgiving.com/yimby   pale blue line

Other useful resources

If you’re a small grassroots group wanting no-strings-attached funding, it is well worth learning from larger charities who often raise huge amounts of money through grassroots community fundraising. Many of them provide resources on their website to support their supporters who help raise funds for them. Here are a few:

The article Profits for Justice talks about activists’ dependence on grant funding and how we might generate funds ourselves. It ends “The secret to being as radical as we want to be – and as radical we need to be – is to finance the revolution ourselves”. The Revolution Will Not be Funded: beyond the non-profit industrial complex is a great book that talks about the dangers of relying on grant funding and how organisations raise the funds they need without them. Fundraising for Social Change, Kim Klein. A guide to how to build, maintain and expand an individual donor program, this book is often called “the Bible of grassroots fundraising.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    January 8, 2013 2:47 pm

    Thanks for the resources- very useful and helpful!!

  2. Rana miah permalink
    April 26, 2013 9:57 am

    Excellent Resource!

  3. Anonymous permalink
    January 12, 2016 11:36 am

    Extremely useful. Thank you!

  4. JosephJeevanand Kommuguri permalink
    May 15, 2016 6:24 pm

    Please let me know how a non-UK charity — from India can raise donations with the help of a fiscal sponsorship in UK or any other UK specific rules Thanks

  5. May 15, 2016 6:28 pm

    Very useful information — How does a non-UK charity from India can raise donations from UK donors on its own through fiscal sponsorship or any UK specific charity commission rules Thanks

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