Using Funding Central to manage your fundraising priorities
As part of Volunteers Week, I thought I'd share this case study from volunteer-led charity Good4you. It's a great example of how to use Funding Central's free service to help organise your funding application schedule in the absence of a paid grants fundraiser role.
Since 62% of Funding Central's users are from smaller organisations with less than £100k turnover (and 26% have less than £10k), I suspect many of the funding finder's users are in the position.
Who are Good4you?
Good4you is a small London-based charity operating in a unique niche in the disability and homelessness sector. When somebody is both disabled and homeless they can end up falling between two stools and not getting the bespoke help they need. Good4you resolves this problem by providing disability services to homeless people at day centres, and giving support in three key areas:
- Advising on and supporting Freedom Pass applications
- Connecting individuals with disability advisors at Job Centre Plus and the "Work Choice" Programme
- Providing legal and medical assistance for disability living allowance (DLA) applications
With an annual turnover of £30,000, Good4you is an entirely volunteer run organisation, with 5-10 regular or core volunteers, and around 50 more who help with one-off tasks such as running fundraisers or providing legal support.
Funding Central: The virtual staff member
All of the grants the charity has received so far have been found on Funding Central, which Good4you founder Francois Greeff says acts as a “virtual staff member” for the volunteer-led team. The charity’s fundraisers rely on Funding Central to prioritise their work and alert them to upcoming and urgent deadlines.
As is the case in many small charities, volunteer staff at Good4you don’t often get the time to plan well ahead and can end up doing a lot of fire fighting. This means that fundraising can sometimes get de-prioritised because there are so many other immediate things to be getting on with, such as service delivery, or simply keeping up with administration.
“Funding Central not only gives us appropriate grants to apply for, but particularly grants that have a closing date within the next week or two. This means we gain a deadline that upgrades the task of applying for funds from important to urgent.”
Training the next generation of fundraisers
Because they are not necessarily professional fundraisers, many of the volunteers at Good4you need support and training to help them understand how to successfully apply for opportunities.
Francois uses the guidance on Funding Central to train new volunteers, in conjunction with Institute of Fundraising courses. The guidance is especially helpful in teaching how to apply for grant opportunities that are matched to the charity. He believes that this helps volunteers move into paid fundraising work later on.
Once they have a history of success they will be able to prove their value to a potential charity employer. In this way, Funding Central works to support both the work of small charities, and the wider sector, by helping to train up and support the next generation of charity fundraisers.
- Find out more about attracting and managing volunteer fundraisers.
- If you're not already using Funding Central, you can register for free here.
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Advice by the NCVO Funding team. Posts by Lee Robinson, Rosaline Jenkins, Julie Ward and special guests.