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Q&A with Swim England head of fundraising Michael Mogan

With the hurdles that 2020 threw at the nation, clubs from all aquatic disciplines had to look at alternative ways to raise funds.

Michael Mogan, head of fundraising at Swim England, explains that the opportunities available can be ‘overwhelming’ to those who have never looked into them before.

He has been a fundraiser for more than 25 years, securing funds from The National Lottery, trusts, businesses, individuals, Crowdfunding and events.

In 2020 he hosted numerous free webinars to help clubs raise money. Here, he answers questions on his recent work and some of the best places to look to help boost funds…

What advice has been covered in your webinars?

“The webinars look at so many aspects of fundraising. Some key learnings include:

  • Crowdfunder – attend their own training sessions, vary your rewards, try to get the whole team involved – be it on social media, offering rewards or appearing in the video
  • Corporates and trusts – research their giving, try to highlight the things you are doing (or can offer) that relate to their goals. Try to unearth links to the funder through your networks
  • Funding Central – a great free website that sends alerts based on your profile, flagging up new Sport England pots and lottery and community funds grants.

“We have also considered the need to share out the load and to prioritise as there’s a world of opportunity and clubs only have so much capacity. This is again something I can advise on.”

How have your recent webinars been?

“Fundraising is such a big area and the opportunities can overwhelm those who are have never raised funds before.

“I have really enjoyed staging webinars with scores of clubs and considering all of the funding opportunities available to them.

“Sport England and Crowdfunder have been incredibly supportive and I have been joined by members of their teams and our own clubs that have succeeded with their campaigns.

“Feedback has been really positive and I have also held a large number of one-to-one calls after the webinars, supporting clubs in all aspects of fundraising and, in particular, their Crowdfunding campaigns.”

How important has fundraising been for clubs due to the pandemic?

“For many of our clubs, the funds secured have been of great importance and will help safeguard their futures and enable them to continue undertaking great work within the community.

“Furthermore, some clubs have created partnerships which will stand long into the future and used the opportunity to get closer to their communities and to celebrate their heritage.

“There’s not a one-size fits-all mentality, so I try to help clubs based on their own back-story.”

Why would you urge clubs to take part in any future webinars?

“As well as hearing thoughts on fundraising pots, participants hear from others who have succeeded and get a chance to ask questions.

“Feedback has been really good and we are keen to reach out and help more clubs.

“I’d like to keep clubs up to speed with other pots as we spot them. It also helps me, as clubs can bring their own thoughts to the table and these can really help others and educate me!”

Fundraising webinars will continue in 2021, with dates released in due course.

Clubs can email [email protected] or contact Michael directly via [email protected].