Local government may assist groups at club level, while state government grants and subsidies are available for state associations.
Local councils may provide land and/or facilities, leaving the club to develop them, or they may undertake the entire project and rent back to the club. If a good relationship with local council is established, contact them about the best course of action to follow.
Where state government assistance may be available, clubs may need the assistance of the league in framing applications for this funding.
The principles of grant applications
Although specific criteria may vary with each funding scheme, all grant applications require similar types of information:
- Contact information
- The program/project description
- A brief description of the club applying
- The program/project budget
- The amount of assistance being applied for
- All other sources of funding for the project
- How the applicantís club meets the grant criteria
- A guarantee that the program will proceed and monies received will be spent on the purpose the money was given
- Copies of the latest annual report and a copy of the audited accounts
For more information on grants contact your state football body. They often have guides on applying for specific funding or grant opportunities in your state.
Fundraising is the art of attracting funds via donations in return for goods and/or services for specific projects or club activities.
Many clubs would cease to exist without additional financial assistance gained through fundraising.
Reasons for fundraising are many and range from the need for additional uniforms for the junior teams to the building of a major facility.
Even the future of the club may also be dependent on its ability to find extra money from sources outside the club.
Fundraising must be carefully planned
A club must plan a fundraising strategy aimed at convincing funding sources such as the public, private companies (sponsorship) and the agencies that handle grant monies, that it is an efficient and worthy organisation which will use funds wisely. The club must be sold as if it were a product.
Part of that planning process is in establishing the linkages between the various components of the club plan and the fundraising strategies.
The committee responsible for fundraising and sponsorship should be aware of and involved in the development of the whole club plan so it can relate its own needs to their committee.
Establishing the funding needs
Have a specific goal or activity in mind. Before the first step toward raising funds is taken, the club must be sure what the money is going to be used for.
Make sure everyone knows what the money is being raised for. The club must be able to convince people that the cause is a worthy one.
Outlining precisely what the funds are needed for also helps a club establish what is important to them and to structure a fundraising plan around it.
Once a club can establish a fundraising budget, the scale of organisation required will flow logically.
Major projects require major corporate sponsors. Therefore, a detailed proposal is necessary. Alternatively, if the club simply wants to buy new uniforms for the Under 10 team it would be best approaching a local business or gathering the parents of the players together to hold a simple fundraiser.
Guidelines for fundraising
- Set goals - establishing aims will help you recruit a work force and make it easier to approach members of the public.
- Make long range plans - how are you going to achieve your goal? How can you help your club over a long period?
- Budget - how much money will you need?
- Assess the resources you have already - people, property, money, commitment.
- Develop a strategy - how will you raise the required funds?
Work out a series of steps over an appropriate period.
Ingredients of successful fundraising
A few simple steps which can help a fundraising campaign run smoothly and successfully are:
- Co-ordinate the campaign. Have a plan which allocates specific tasks. Know where potential contributors can be reached
- Spread the workload. Delegate, involve widely, and avoid placing all the burden on the usual few
- Ensure the people involved in the campaign understand the project and are committed to it. Have a team of trained volunteers
- Ensure the campaign is publicised effectively. Have a cause that encourages a 'giving' response and reiterate that aspect when attempting to persuade people to donate
- Select fundraising methods that relate to what is to be achieved. Don't waste time, money and effort on projects that are too grandiose, beyond the resources of the club, too risky for the likely returns, or too small to achieve the purpose
- Learn from other people's mistakes. No matter what mistake is made, someone will already have made it. Find out about other projects. Assess what worked against what didn't. Ask other clubs in the local area
- Budget for income, expenses, and profit. Ensure that all the costs of the project are included in the budget and then add about 10% for leeway. Be realistic in your expectations. Only about 10% of the community will donate to fundraising activities
- Make fundraising fun, it should be a challenge, not a chore
- Combine with other clubs or groups to maximise respective resources such as manpower, facilities and know-how
- Make the fundraising drive something which binds club members together, rather than focusing only on making money
- Be prepared for disasters. They can and do happen
- Work to a timetable
- Know your legal requirements for raffles, etc
Here are some other suggestions:
- Develop a list of people thought to be able to contribute. Decide on how they will be approached and who will approach them
- Use a variety of approach methods to cover as many potential contributors as possible. Work out the cheapest way of electronic or direct mail approaches and personal follow ups
- Start with as few names as possible to raise the required amount. Go to the well-off first. Major donors are the key to success. Make a list of these with another list covering secondary donors. Typically, one third of all donations come from the top few donors. Plan your work force accordingly
- Start person-to-person asking
- Put a time limit on fundraising and work intensively during that period. This is more effective than a low-key campaign which drags on
- It is very important to reward and thank donors
- Keep a record of people who donated and who did not donate. This information may be useful in coming years
- Evaluate how well the campaign went. Were there areas that could be improved? Discuss the campaign with all concerned. Make a note of conclusions and store them for future reference
Remember, hard work has its rewards.
The only limit to the number of ways a club can raise money is in the imagination of their officials. Be ready to try different and unique ways of raising funds.
A club which is successful will have a range of fundraising options and tailor them to their specific needs.
What to look out for:
- Poor planning
- Choosing the wrong people to take key roles
- Targeting the wrong donors
- Getting too tied up in promotion and forgetting to ensure the needs of the donors are fulfilled
- Starting a mass anonymous appeal where everyone is approached without paying attention to whether they have any interest in the project
- Letting a campaign drag on
Examples of fundraising ideas
- Holding a ball
- A dance
- A disco
- Sausage sizzle
- Fancy dress
- Meet-a-celebrity party
- Sportsmanís night
- Hire a movie theatre for an evening and sell tickets
- Car rally
- Harbour cruise
- Gala, fair
- Garage sale
- Washing cars
- Sponsored walks
- Bottle drives
- Touch football tournament
- Wine bottling
- Selling chocolate
- Easter eggs
- A fun run