Funding is often a source of anxiety for people working with community food initiatives. We have no magic wand to wave to support projects to achieve secure funding sources, but the following information and advice may help.
This page will endeavour to point you in the direction of some basic advice on how to go about raising funds for your project. This is not a comprehensive listing.
Every project should be thinking about how it will continue to survive financially. Having a strategy will help your project plan clarify what you need the money for and how to go about getting it.
Here are some links to some useful guides:
This site list sources of funding income in England, and also has wealth of tools and guides supporting the development of a sustainable income strategy.
NCVO How To Non-Profit
Contains a section on funding and income, as well as other sources of information for non-profit organisations.
Where to find out about sources of funding
Whatever you are fundraising for, you will need to apply to the appropriate funding bodies. These resources provide lists of funding providers.
Free online search engine where you can look for funding for your charity, community group or social enterprise. Developed by SCVO.
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) website
Has pages of funding advice, detailing the different types of funding you can apply for, where to find it, how to raise money by trading and sources of general advice and information.
Third Sector Funding information
There are lots of other sites on the web that will direct you to sources of funding. You will need to pay to use most of these sites, although some offer free trials for up to two weeks.
There are also a number of directories of funding sources. You can sometimes find copies of these in your local (or central) library. Many councils for voluntary organisations also have copies you can ask to use.
Filling in the forms
Many funding applications fail, often this is because funding pots are oversubscribed. You need to make your application stand out from the rest. Here are some links for advice to help.
Dundee City Council website ‘Funding Factfile’
Has good advice, and also contains a list of funding sources in the ‘categories’ section.
Raising your own funds
With everyone talking about applying to the Big Lottery and various Trust funds it is sometime easy to forget there are other ways of raising funds. From jumble sales to payroll giving, to corporate sponsorship or even selling your services, the big advantage of raising your own funds by these kinds of activity is that no one else can tell you how to spend it – these are called unrestricted funds.
Members’ subscriptions can contribute significantly to the financial health of your organisation. It is probably worth considering carefully if the people you work with can afford a membership fee and if so, how much. Will a fee mean that some people don’t take part? Alternatively a fee may help people feel that they belong and have a sense of ownership of the organisation. If you do start a membership scheme, make it clear why you are starting it and remember to tell people what they get by becoming a member. Running a membership scheme can be a lot of work, think about how much your organisation wants to put into it and if the work will more than pay for itself.
Many local companies or individuals will be interested in sponsoring local organisations in exchange for a bit of local publicity. They might offer goods and services rather than money, but this will be helpful if you can use what they are offering.
Employers can help their employees give regularly to charities by setting up a payroll giving system. If someone who works in for an employer with payroll giving they can decide to donate to your charity. You can encourage people to decide to donate to your charity. This service will not cost your charity any money. Until March 07 the Home Office are giving grants to small and medium employers to help them set up payroll giving systems.
Raising money through your activities
If you are thinking of raising funds through trading activities, read our guide to business and social enterprise, Minding Their Own Business (3079kb PDF).
There are lots of organisations that will support a community food initiative to become more enterprising. See the social enterprise section on the organisation and community development links pages for a listing.