If you’re looking to raise cash for a non-profit – your children’s football club or the local arts centre – there’s never been a better time, thanks to social media.
To realise your dream, you will need a great team behind you – don’t try to do it all yourself. You will need a variety of skills, and just as in an office environment, try to match skills to your needs, where possible.
You will need someone who is good at dealing with all the inevitable admin, and somebody else who is good with words to put together news releases for the media and provide copy for your website. For maximum appeal, it needs to be punchy and grab attention.
You will also need someone who is good at networking – ideally someone who has the right contacts for your appeal.
And you also need a social media expert – teenagers and young adults know as much as any industry expert on that front. Beyond your core team, try to involve other people you know. Even if their contribution is small, it all helps to spread the word.
A lot of people think National Lottery funding is only for big projects, but a substantial amount of what is now called the Big Lottery Fund goes to community groups. The critical thing here is the application process.
First you must prove there is a need for your project, and provide evidence to back that up. Then you must state your aims and projected outcomes, and why they are important – in other words, what benefits they will bring to the community, how many people will benefit, and in what way.
You will also need to show you have a strong management team, a detailed business plan showing how the money would be spent, and a clear internal audit system to track your expenditure.
Since lottery grants are based on match funding, you will also need to demonstrate that you have your own well-planned fundraising scheme in place.
If all this sounds a bit daunting, don’t give up – lottery staff will be happy to discuss your bid and guide you through the application process. For more information visit https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/funding/funding-guidance/applying-for-funding.
Sometimes people who’ve made a lot of money want to use it to help good causes. However, it’s not always easy to get in front of them to plead your case.
Networking is the way forward here – attend breakfast clubs and business lunches, meet and greet the great and the good, and make yourself – and your cause – known.
However, beware being too pushy – there is a line between friendly persuasion and the ‘hard sell’. Don’t cross it, or you will put people off.