How to get funding for your sports club
Is there funding available for your sports club? If so, how can you get it? All the information you need can be found in our guide.
This article will tell you what fundraising sources there are and how you can go about getting funding for your club no matter what you need: a new football kit, new equipment, more coaching or facility upgrades.
Fundraising is just like a tactical plan, which should be familiar to you as a sports club official!
Are there different types of fundraising?
Many different types of fundraising ideas are available, and you can often combine them even if you have secured separate sponsorship for your sports team.
The different types of fundraising are as follows:
It can be mutually beneficial to get a local business to sponsor you if both sides benefit from the relationship. Try to identify potential sponsors who have a product or service which could be used by your members i.e. a local insurance company or restaurant.
You can read more about sponsorship in our guide to getting sponsorship and we have created a free sponsorship proposal you can use to attract new sponsors.
The key points:
- Be clear what your club’s objectives are.
- Clearly define what the cost of the sponsorship is and what it will be spent on.
- Use your background research on each sponsor to demonstrate how they will benefit from the sponsorship in your application.
2. Community Project Funding
Funding for community projects is a great way to accomplish a specific goal, i.e. the refurbishment of your changing rooms or a new equipment shed.
The funding organisation will review your application against the criteria used to access grants applications.
The government or a council can award grants, but also wealthy individuals, estates, or corporations can do so through corporate giving or corporate social responsibility budgets.
A public sector grant will usually specify which projects their fund can support, such as improving sports facilities in deprived areas. An overview of the fund’s overall objectives will quickly tell you whether it’s a good match for your club and therefore worth applying for.
There will be a list of types of projects that trusts will consider, such as research, fitness, and mental health. You can now quickly and easily decide whether or not to shortlist a trust.
Whatever option you decide to pursue to secure club funding, you need to be certain what you plan to do with the money and what the benefits and outcomes will be.
Crowdfunding involves advertising your funding request on the internet and receiving donations from individuals and businesses.
A crowdfunding campaign can be an effective way to raise money for sports clubs as it may be easier to convince several hundred people to contribute a small amount than securing a grant for thousands.
It is possible to crowdfund club and community projects on sites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo in the same way as commercial projects. You can also choose from a variety of options. For example:
The level of contribution can be set differently to attract varying benefits or rewards. Donors at the top might get an invitation to an event or club dinner, smaller donors may get some club memorabilia or tickets.
It is important to remember that receiving a donation is just the beginning. No matter how you fund the project, you’ll need to keep people informed of the progress and outcomes.
You should consider the platform’s service fees or card fees when setting up a crowd funder, as these are usually deducted from the total.
It is worth reading the guidance for online fundraising provided by the Fundraising Regulator for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as their Code of Fundraising Practice.
The Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel oversees fundraising in Scotland.
4. Match funding / matched giving
The concept of match funding is when you raise money for a local charity or community group, and your employer matches what you raise. Check with your club members, friends, and family to see if their employers offer a similar scheme or may be interested in matching how much your raise.
5. Hardship Grants
There are special schemes that can help prevent your club from folding if it is experiencing financial hardship. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, many clubs have had to cut their membership subscriptions or income to cover fixed, ongoing costs.
As a result, government and sports organisations established some emergency funding schemes, some of which are still open for applications.
6. Local donors and organisations
Over £1 billion in grants have been distributed by the UK Community Foundations, which helps match projects with local donors.
7. Local authority
- You can find your local authority’s website on the Gov.UK page Applying For Funding For Community Projects in England and Wales.
- Check your local council website as well as the Scottish Government’s Community Empowerment Programme.
- Websites for Northern Ireland’s local councils can be found here.
How To Write Your Application
We have written a guide on how to apply for grants here
Don’t give up!
Most, if not all, of your applications will be rejected. Most of the funding will have a significant number of competing applications, which is to be expected. Try not to dwell on your disappointment and don’t feel like your efforts have been wasted, as you can take what you learned from each application forward into your next one.
Since you can re-use most of the information you supplied in your first application, applying for subsequent funding will be much simpler.