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Fundraising strategy for branches: Frequently asked questions

In what ways are we expected to fundraise?

We know that all Branches are different and they all have different resources and needs. Fundraising can be very easy and fun and you don’t need to start big. You can choose whichever option(s) you think is/are best for your Branch and even propose new methods! You can decide to apply to trusts/foundations and corporates, join our designated online shopping scheme, take part in a sport challenge, recycle your old cartridges, sell raffle tickets, collect donations or charge a free donation for entry/consumption of food or drinks during your events. You will not need to change the format of your traditional events, if this is not something you feel comfortable doing. Please always make sure that you inform your Regional Officer of any fundraising activity that you will undertake or donations that you receive, and always fill in the new fundraising section of our revised quarterly report.

Will Head Office still be providing grants?

Yes. There will still be two rounds of strategic grants per year (£2000 will be available in total, £250 per each grant) and NSEW grants (£400 each) will remain untouched. Branches undertaking fundraising activity will also be eligible to apply for capped matched funding (up to £250) throughout the year and a total pot of £1500 will be made available. Branches that received a strategic grant in the previous 12 months can still apply for matched funding but not for the same project.  

We run cost-free events and don’t need to fundraise, are we still expected to do this?

NO. Branches are NOT required to fundraise althought this would help them become more financially sustainable and it would generate a number of additional benefits. We will in fact encourage all Branches to actively seek external funding and undertake fundraising activity - but fundrasing will NOT be a branch requirement. 

Increased fundrasing activity would allow Branches to build some reserves for the future, plan their activity in the long term, recruit more volunteers, raise their profile, create links with other organisations, and possibly enlarge the range of activities that they normally undertake. Your Branch can fundraise by simply collecting donations during events or by encouraging members and supporters to sign up to easyfundraising. By performing fundraising activity, your Branch will be eligible to apply for capped matched funding and will profit from the numerous non-financial benefits deriving from increased fundraising activity including team building, acquiring new skills, networking and publicity.

We are all volunteers and we don’t have anyone with any fundraising experience, what should we do? What type of support will we receive from Regional Officers?

We are here to help, you are not on your own! In addition to the fundraising guide and training received from Head Office, Regional Officers will always be there to help you and assist you each step of the way and mini-training sessions will be provided in your area if needed. Regional Officers will be happy to answer any questions, provide you with material and information, or simply have a chat and suggest new ideas, so please feel free to send them an email or give them a call. Some types of fundraising activities are more time-consuming and more resources-demanding than others, whereas other types can be as easy as just collecting donations during events or adding a donation to the final price of the ticket (if you charge an entrance fee or serve drinks and food). There is a wide range of activities that you can choose from and you will always be able to choose the one that best matches your Branch’s resources/characteristics and financial and non-financial goals.

How do we recruit a fundraising coordinator?

Recruiting a volunteer fundraising coordinator will NOT be a Branch requirement although this would greatly help your Branch and it would assist you plan, lead and deliver fundraising activity. A specific role description is available from Head Office so please get in touch with your Regional Officer if you think your Branch might benefit from recruiting a Volunteer Fundrasing Coordiantor. You can circulate the job descrition among your supporters and even advertise it on the local media and volunteer centres or mention it on your FB, Twitter or during your events.

Are there any legally binding rules that we need to know?

Yes, when you perform any type of fundraising activity, you will need to ensure that this complies with current regulations. You will find information in the fundraising booklet that will be distributed to all Branches and this topic will also be covered during the training session. Furthermore, you can always refer to your Regional Officer or directly to the Regional Fundrasing and Support Officer at giulia.dematteis@britishscienceassociation.org  

Can more than one Branch member attend the fundraising training?

This will depend on budget, but we aim to have at least two members of each Branch attending the training. Ideally those who attend will train fellow volunteers in the future.

Who will keep the proceeds of fundraising: the Branch, Head Office or will we split?

The new fundraising strategy was designed to encourage Branches to become more independent from central funds and extend their reach by organising diversified activity. Branches will only be fundraising for themselves and none of the funds raised will be kept by the Association. Here is an example: as part of our agreement with easyfundraising and in light of their referral scheme, HQ receives a 20% donation based on funds raised by Branches. We would be entitled to keep the funds centrally but we want to reward our Branches for making an effort to fundraise. Therefore, we have decided that the additional donation will be redistributed to all participating Branches based on their performance.