A community event, there are balloons tied to chairs, and people are looking at something off camera. People are smiling and looking really happy.

The first port of call for funding for a community project should always be your members, supporters and wider local community through fundraising and more recently, crowdfunding.

Donations

Raising donations, even small amounts, from your users demonstrates how much support you have and that people are willing to back you with their money. There are plenty of different ways to raise funds, from ‘buy a brick’ campaigns, to social events and sponsorship.

Charities benefit from some extra benefits when fundraising by being able to reclaim ‘gift aid’ from the Government on all donations from UK taxpayers, which is worth an additional 25% on every donation.

A few general points can be applied to all types of fundraising:

  • Have a clear & exciting vision
  • Make it fun
  • Don’t guilt-trip people
  • Make it possible to give as little or as much as people are able
  • Keep it legal – follow the laws and codes on charity fundraising and lotteries
  • Ensure you don’t spend more in running your fundraising than you raise
  • Think about how companies can support you – perhaps with in-kind support
  • Thank all your donors and remember to keep them informed about the project.

As of July 2016, the Code of Fundraising Practice is set by the Fundraising Regulator. It outlines the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK.

Crowdfunding

In recent years crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way of funding projects.

Typically achieved via online platforms, crowdfunding involves the collective efforts of people networking and pooling resources to support projects, ventures or initiatives of others. A profile or website is set up, and then using networks such as social media, friends, family and colleagues, money is raised to a set target.

There are four different types of crowdfunding:

  • Reward-based: A business or entrepreneur pre-sells a product or a service to launch a business concept without incurring any debt or sacrificing any shares or equity. Projects that are launched for contributions would compensate their investors with some like a t-shirt, experience, or product of what they are creating as a thank you.
  • Equity-based: where the monetary exchange is for company equity or ownership, not goods and services.
  • Credit-based: also known as ‘peer-to-peer lending’ and is used on more of a personal level. It is essentially a loan at a reasonable rate funded by multiple investors.
  • Debt-based: the lending of money to an individual from an investor in exchange for interest.
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