In the eternal pursuit for funding, it is tempting for community groups to fall back on tried and true methods, relying on just one or two fundraising ideas to bring in all or most of their funds. In doing so, however, such groups are ignoring one of the most important keys to sustainability – the need to diversify your funding base. Ensuring that you obtain funds from several sources means that you reduce the damage done if one of these sources falls through or dries up.

 

Below we’ve listed the top 5 methods you can go about raising funds. Think about these methods and how they fit in with your own group’s fundraising strategy. Are you doing all of these things? Could you be doing them better?

 

Tip 1 – Grants

 

The EasyGrants newsletter and grants education service is Australia’s only in-time grants information service which provides a monthly update on all the grants for your community group, school or local government. Grants are ideal if you have a project you wish to get funded. However, a common mistake is for groups to think along the lines of “I need a new [insert desired object here], I’ll just get a grant.” Grants are rarely given for objects – rather, they are usually given to groups who agree to perform a task or carry out a project. Remember this when you make your applications.

 

Tip 2 – The Raising Funds Newsletter and fundraising books

 

Raising Funds is Australia’s most practical and best value fundraising newsletter, bringing you an endless supply of fundraising ideas (including everything on this list), as well as interviews with grantmakers and successful grantseekers. How to Find Money Fast is a fun book that lists 50 ways that you can raise up to $5,000, and the Complete Community Fundraising Handbook will help show you how to put in place a sustainable, diverse fundraising program. You can read more about these books by www.ourcommunity.com.au/books.

 

Tip 3 – Rotary

 

Rotary clubs are an excellent source for a quick cash injection – provided you know a Rotarian. Rotary clubs will often have several thousand dollars that can be put to quick use for a worthy cause nominated by a member. There are thousands of Rotary members across Australia and most of them are heavily involved in community life so there’s a good chance one of them is a member of your community group – or knows someone who is. Lions groups often provide a similar service and so they may be worth approaching as well.

 

Tip 4 – Donations

 

You don’t necessarily have to have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to receive donations (although it is a handy incentive for donors). If you haven’t investigated your options why not have a look at Our Community’s free Online Donations Facility and see what options are available to you. Alternatively you can email to: [email protected] call them on (03) 9320 6800.

 

Tip 5 – Membership

 

Do you charge for membership to your community group? Should you? Membership is perhaps the best regular source of income your community group can obtain – in fact, for many groups membership fees ensure their very survival. Members also form a great group of people who you know support your organisation and can press for a donation or to attend your next event. You should be look looking to increase your membership base by around 33 per cent a year. If you think that’s too high then you’re probably not trying hard enough.

 

About the writer

Lisa Thomas is the principal consultant with Intended Future Consultancy Group. Lisa is a business development consultant and provides government grant and strategic business planning advice to SME’s, Corporates and not for profit organisations. Lisa has a broad range of experience working with health and community services organisations, agriculture, adult education and manufacturers.

The types of Grants that Lisa has been involved in are philanthropic trusts, Fashion TCF small business fund, Regional Development Victoria programs, EPA projects, Commercialisation Australia, Enterprise Connect and most recently Investing in Manufacturing Technology.

 

Ms Lisa Thomas

Inteneded Future Consultancy Froup

Phone (03) 95804464

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.intendedfuture.com