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Finding enough cash to start or maintain disability groups and voluntary organisations is an uphill struggle in today's cash strapped society.
Having served my fundraising apprenticeship with Scout, playgroup and PTA committee's I enjoyed the seasonal round of Christmas bazaars and summer fairs with their tombola's, craft and plant stalls........where enthusiasm and commitment were enough to ensure success.
Today, organisers and leaders of large AND small organisations have to be more creative in their money making ideas.
And they must look to raise funds from a variety of sources so they are not too dependent on one income.
Large organisations now employ professional fundraisers to generate income through fundraising events, targeting donors and making grant applications to Government, business and voluntary bodies.
Smaller groups reliant on volunteers can also use some of the fundraising techniques employed by the larger organisations by having a fundraising strategy and planning their future financial needs.
Whether this is done by a few volunteers or a fundraising committee the hard work involved should never be underestimated!
I've lost count how often I've been told.......It's only a few meetings a year!
So, how do you raise funds for your community group?
Traditional fundraising still has a role for voluntary groups as it provides an opportunity for everyone, including the local community to be involved and contribute towards your cause.
But, increasingly groups are looking towards grants for both core (administration/salaries) and capital funding (building/equipment,/vehicles) for their very existence or for one off projects.
There are thousands of funding bodies in the UK who help voluntary and not for profit organisations. These include:
Making funding applications takes time as you have to ensure that you meet the funding criteria and that you answer all the questions fully.
Importantly, when making any funding bid do not to assume that the person reading your application form knows your group or has knowledge of your past success.
So, remember........sell your skills and experience.
Do a draft copy of the funding bid and make sure someone else checks it to ensure it reads well and meets the funding criteria.
There are organisations that can help you complete your application forms and short training courses in completing funding applications.
And if you know that funding is offered on a yearly basis do collect all the evidence you need for your application in advance so that when the funding opens you are ready to complete the forms.
Never be fooled by the funding closing date.
Get your applications in early as if they're over whelmed decisions may be made on a first come first served basis.
Once the money is allocated funding will close and you will have to wait for another opportunity to apply.
Get all Your Ducks in a Row.....BE FUNDING READY
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Charities and Trust that support community and disability groups are listed alphabetically: