It is vital that your organisation approaches fundraising in a strategic way, with proper planning, implementation and evaluation. It is a demanding task that should be seen as central to the organisation and not left to one individual. Identify which funding sources are appropriate for your organisation, depending on your stage of development and on the issues that you are dealing with.
Choose from the following, remembering the old adage ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket:
- Statutory sources: grants from local and central government, service level agreements, secondments of public sector staff, etc
- Foundations and trusts: grant schemes from Irish and international foundations
- Corporate sources: business and corporate donations, event or other type of sponsorship, discounts, donated or in-kind skills/equipment/services, formal award schemes run by multinationals, etc
- Annual or repeatable programmes: street collections, monthly standing orders, payroll giving, raffles, charity shops, direct mail, appeals and events (purchasing tickets and attending, bidding at auctions, organising an event and donating the proceeds, etc
- More one-off type programmes: legacies, major gift fundraising
- International sources: cross-border and European Union programmes, etc
- Other sources: membership fees, social finance, charging for services, consultancy, etc.
There are many organisations competing for funding from a limited pool. Communications is key in this area: you must make your particular case clearly and strongly and continue to refine and restate that case over time. Donors need to be persuaded that their money will make a difference and that you will use it wisely. You must also say exactly how much you need; make sure you think of all your running costs!
Aim to build long term relationships with your funders
Aim to build long term relationships with your funders. Also consider ethical fundraising issues and whether there are any situations in which you will refuse funding from anybody. Also consider the issue of whether or not to fundraise from the pool of volunteers that your organisation may have for operational purposes, or whether or not to fundraise from your organisation’s client-base.
If you receive money from the state, you may need to prove that your tax affairs are in order. To obtain a tax clearance certificate, complete Revenue Commissioners form TC1, either online or manually (if the latter, you should send it to your district revenue office).
Visit our Funding section for fundraising news and guidance articles, as well as for details on how you can access our database of funding schemes for the Irish community and voluntary sector.