In today’s economic climate some clubs may require financial assistance in order to continue to carry out their activities whilst doing so to best of their ability. Identifying funding can often be a difficult, so the below information aims to provide a guide to assisting with this:

Sources of funding

For a list of National Sources of Funding for Clubs CLICK HEREWhere can you find funding for aquatics and what are the best sources of funding?

Sport has a number of key partners who can provide information about funding and access to funding pots. Below you can find links to the funding information pages of a number of these organisations or click on the link to the left.

Sport England
Sport England are one of the largest funders of sport in the country. Their funding grants, such as the “Sport England Small Grants Scheme” has provided sport with innumerable resource over the years. Sport England also have a number of "themed rounds" of funding, which provide opportunities for clubs to bid for funding based on delivery of different objectives that change on a regular basis.

More information about Sport England funding pots can be found here

County Sports Partnerships
County Sports Partnerships (CSPs) are networks of local agencies committed to working together to increase participation in sport and physical activity. CSPs manage and deliver on a number of different funding schemes for large organisations such as Sport England and Local Authorities and also can provide lots of useful information about funding pots that are currently accessible in your area.

CSP websites will often house a funding page that lists many of these. You can find your local CSP and a link to their website and contact details here

Regional & County ASA
Regional and County ASA sometimes have funds, grants and bursaries that can be accessed by individuals, clubs or even club networks. You can find a link to your local county or Regional ASA here

Local Funding Advice Bureaus
Local Funding Advice Bureaus are locally or regionally based organisations who can provide you with support in finding information about local or national funding pots. Often these organisations provide access to a database or search facility of funding streams and will often offer one to one support with identifying your clubs needs and matching you with resources available.

Funding Central
Funding Central is a free resource for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises who list thousands of funding and finance opportunities in a helpful search facility, plus a wealth of tools and information supporting you to develop a sustainable income strategy. Their email newsletter can also update you when a funding stream appears that may be of relevance to your club. More information can be found here

Lottery Funding Finder
The lottery funding finder is a usual tool for searching lottery funding backed streams that your club are eligible for. Click here to visit the site.

sportscoachUK provide a funding guide for coach funding that is available (both nationally and locally). This is updated periodically throughout the year and can be found here

Are there any examples of popular funding schemes for sport?

Sport England Small Grants
Small Grants uses Lottery funding to make awards of between £300 and £10,000 to not-for-profit organisations to help more people play sport. Projects should meet one or more of Sport England’s objectives of getting more people playing sport once a week; increasing the number of 14-25s playing sport once a week; reducing the drop off at ages 16, 18, 21 & 24 or growing the number of disabled people playing sport. More information can be found here

Awarded through County Sports Partnerships, Sportivate can provide clubs with money to gives 14-25 year-olds, who are not particularly sporty, access to six-to-eight weeks' of free or subsidised coaching. This money can help you engage new participants and cover your delivery costs for the programme, which may include the costs of training/CPD (and in some cases) some equipment. More information can be found through your local CSP or here

Satellite Clubs
Satellite clubs are extensions or outposts of community sports clubs which are established in a new venue, usually a secondary school or college and specifically target the 11-25 age group. This is a great way of engaging new or re-engaging lapsed participants, with a view to growing the membership of your main club. Again, resource can be accessed through County Sports Partnerships, to setup and deliver these sessions. More information can be found here

Identifying Funding Pots

What’s the easiest way to identify other funding pots that you can apply for?

The easiest way to access funding information at the drop of a hat, is to create a hub of funding information for the club. Try setting up an email account specifically to receive funding information for your organisation as most funders or organisations that provide funding information, will have a an email newsletter that you can sign up to. That way they will send you regular updates about funding schemes or newsletters that will contain information or links to funding pots. Then when the time comes that you require information on resources currently available, you should already have a plethora of information to hand.

Tips for Writing Bids

Here are some tips for writing good funding bids. Identifying a funding stream for your club is one thing; however it is important to then be able to write a successful application.

Researching the Bid
It is important that you spend some time researching the fund/scheme that you are looking to make a bid into:

  • Ensure you meet the funders’ objectives.
  • Read  the eligibility criteria/funding objectives very carefully.
  • Be absolutely clear about why you are seeking funding as you will you must make sure that it meets the objectives of the funder.
  • Contact the funder to discuss if you are still unsure (in fact, some funders prefer this approach).
  • This can save you time and effort in ensuring you meet criteria.

Writing the Bid
When writing an application, try to see it from the funder’s perspective:

  • Answer every question, concisely and as accurately as possible.
  • Do not make assumptions about what the funding body may or may not know about your project or organisation.
  • Paint a simple and understandable picture of your project.
  • Try to keep it free from technical terms / jargon (define terms where necessary).

Writing Successful Bids
There is no right or wrong way to make a funding application, but it is possible to increase your chances of success by taking the following five ideas into account:

1. Demonstrate a need for your project.
Funders will often require you to demonstrate a need for your project, be persuaded that your idea will solve a particular problem or is something that people want. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What needs do your target group have?
  • How do you know that they have such needs?
  • Why is it important that these needs are met?
  • How will your proposed project fulfil those needs?

Below are some useful statistical resources that can be of assistance to prove your case:

Office for National Statistics

Sport England Market Segmentation Tool

2. Show that your project is well planned.
Funders will always want to see evidence that your project is well planned. To do this, you must specify the main aspects that will help to achieve your aims and make your project possible. You must tell them:

  • what it is you are going to do;
  • what difference your project will make in terms of benefits to your target group;
  • when and where your project is going to happen;
  • how you are going to carry out your project and what you need to do it (ie equipment, premises, staff);
  • who will be responsible for conducting the project; and
  • how you are going to measure whether your project has achieved its aims and made a difference.

3. Accurately cost your project.
Whatever you require funding for, when drawing up a budget, you should:

  • Include all aspects of your project and break these down into costs for individuals items.
  • Don’t guess, under estimate or over estimate costs – get quotes!
  • If asked indicate Match Funding or Value-in-Kind.

Remember you are telling the funder how much you need, what the funding will be used for and over what period of time the project is likely to run.

4. Provide evidence of good management.
Funding bodies will always want to see evidence of good management and that your organisation is capable of delivering the project. It is extremely important that you have:

  • Efficient procedures for the handling of finances within your organisation (ie a good bookkeeping system and properly prepared accounts).
  • Efficient management procedures/structure.

In addition, funders may also look at the policies that an organisation has in place, such as child protection and usual opportunities.

5. Illustrate how the project will make a difference.
Often funders will wish to know the long terms benefits of their investments:

  • How it will benefit the club – operation, membership, opportunities.
  • How it will benefit the sport in general or the wider surrounding community.

If further information is required down the line – keep good records!

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