Introduction to raising funds
At some point, nearly every community organisation will need to raise money to be able to continue its work in the community or to carry out a special project. Raising funds, like most activities, is easier if you have a clear idea of what you need to do and how you'll do it.
Step 1: Gather information about your organisation
Step 2: Gather information about the project or activity
Step 3: Find out about funding sources and possible activities
Step 4: Create a fundraising plan
Step 5: Implement your fundraising plan, send out applications and complete fundraising activities
Step 6: Account for funding received and evaluate how your plan worked
Raising Funds resources in the Community Resource Kit
Things to remember
- Fundraising is all about relationships and communication. It's beneficial to thank and recognise funders as many of them may fund again. If an application is declined, find out why.
- Government agencies, corporations, foundations and trusts may prefer to fund finite projects, ending when their aims have been achieved, rather than covering ongoing costs such as salaries and rents. A strategy for dealing with this is to build salary and overhead components into the cost of projects.
- There are usually special terms and conditions attached to project funding e.g. many funders require you to have raised a proportion (commonly one-third) of the money you need for your project before you apply to them.
- Some funders will fund only those organisations that are in partnership with an umbrella group or who have their own legal form e.g. registered as an incorporated society or charitable trust. For more information about becoming a legal entity refer to Section 3 Organisational Structures. Other funders may put limits on the size of any grants they make to groups operating without a legal form e.g. they may fund up to $5000. Some funders specify that they will fund only those organisations registered with Charities Services.
- There are many courses on funding and fundraising for not-for-profit and community groups.