When it comes to improving your club, funding is always an important aspect that can help your club develop and improve. This could be anything from gaining funding to run a project to increase your membership, buy needed equipment or improve your club facilities.
Potential funders will need to see what impact their funds will have, this could include how the funding will have an impact on increasing the number of participants taking part in your sport, how the funding will improve the quality of provisions in your local area or how a specific project is going to engage and reach a target audience.
When looking for funding it is important that your club can demonstrate the impact that additional funds will have on your club by creating a business case for the funding. Potential funders will also want you to demonstrate the sustainability of what you are proposing to fund. Secondly, think about whether you really need funding, is it funding you need, or can the needs be met through commercial investment/sponsorship or fundraising. Sport receives funding from a range of sources which include:
1. Membership fees – these are the basic income for most sport clubs
2. Monies raised by membership – there is a range of ways that clubs supplement their income. Many clubs charge team members ‘match fees’ whenever they play a game. Team dinners, dances, raffles all make a profit for clubs.
3. Earned income – this may come from several sources. For example, money from bar and catering operations, especially with larger clubs.
4. Grants – are a large part of the income for amateur clubs. Local authorities provide grants to help pay for running costs of clubs or often provide facilities at reduced rates. The Sports Council can also provide grants to help clubs update or extend their facilities.
5. Sponsorship – Sponsorship may range from a local business/supplier donating a set of strips to paying for the costs of matches in a specific league all season. These businesses usually get free advertising on shirts, in match programmes or around the ground in return. Generally successful clubs find it easier to get sponsorship than those less successful.
Professional clubs tend to get funding from the same sources as amateur clubs although grants from the Sports Council or National Lottery are only available under exceptional circumstances e.g. setting up a coaching programme for youngsters. Professional clubs also get added income from spectators, media interest and prize money.
How to write a funding application
The Club Matters website has a great video on how to write a funding application it includes information on what funders will be looking for. Including why there is a need for the project, how you will deliver the project, what the impact of the project is and how you are going to make your project sustainable.
A– Z Fundraising Ideas
The Club Matters website has a resource giving several different methods that you can use to raise funds for your club.
How to apply for small grants funding
The Sport England website has a comprehensive guide on how to apply for small grant funding including eligibility and the types of projects that they will fund.
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Links to funding finders
Non-traditional funding for sport
Funding for facility development
Funding for disability projects and individuals
National Governing Body (NGB) Support
Each sport will have its own NGB which will provide support to clubs in different ways; many of which include funding opportunities. Email the club development officer for support in contacting your NGB or finding sports specific funding opportunities.
If your not sure who your NGB is, sport England have a list of all the NGBs that they recognise here.