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NEW! Response to fundraising survey and changes to our original fundraising strategy

We recently (March/April 2013) performed a survey among our Branch members which aimed to build on the consultations previously undertaken in 2010 and we want to thank all of our supporters who took part in the survey. We highly value your opinion and your survey feedback will help us to continue to improve and develop the new fundraising strategy, address any specific funding issues or concerns affecting your Branch, and adjust the strategy according to your real needs and resources.

We truly believe in the importance of our Regional Programme and we highly appreciate the invaluable contribution of our volunteers around the country… we could not do this without you! Our Branches are essential to advance our mission, inspire and engage local audiences, and organise public engagement events and activities in areas that we could not reach otherwise. We always strive to support Branches in the best possible way and our new CEO, Imran Khan, is keen to ensure that your opinion is always taken into account and that you always feel supported. The new fundraising strategy is part of a wider process that will allow us to continue to improve the way we support you. Your feedback is essential and we genuinely hope that you will continue to communicate with us and let us know your thoughts.

What Grants will be available to Branches from 2013 onwards?

One of the major things that came through from the survey is that you wanted more funds to be available through grants. Although we’ve got significant uncertainty over how much we’re getting from the Government, we’re pleased to say that we will be able to increase funds available in the form of strategic grants by £1000. This decision was made on the basis of your responses to our recent fundraising survey

  • NSEW grants will remain unchanged;
  • £1500 will be available in the form of matched funding (up to £250 per grant) throughout the year;
  • £2000 will be available in the form of strategic grants (£250 per grant for a total of eight Branches per year).  

Since this was only recently decided, unfortunately this year we will only be able to have one round of strategic grants in May and all eight strategic grants will be distributed during this round. Nevertheless, we still want to make sure that we continue to put your needs and wants first. Therefore, if you feel that having only one round of strategic grants this year could negatively affect your Branch or cause any disruption to your intended activity, please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Officer or the Regional Fundraising and Support Officer to find alternative ways to support your Branch. We are here to help…and don’t worry, the NSEW Branch grants will also be available to you in September! 

From next year onwards, the two rounds of strategic grants will be restored (£250 per grant/four Branches per round) and grants will be allocated in April and October. We trust that the new plan - encompassing two rounds of strategic grants and on-going matched funding - will allow you more flexibility and help you to plan Branch activity.

Introducing matched funding

In general, all Branches undertaking any type of fundraising activity (including, to a certain extent, seeking in kind donations) will be eligible to apply for matched funding, and the Association will match funds raised up to £250. A total pot of £1500 will be available throughout the year and applications will be dealt with on a monthly basis to ensure that we can address your funding needs in a timely manner. The deadline for applications will be the first Friday of each month. Branches that obtained a strategic grant in the previous 12 months will also be eligible to apply for matched funding but not for the same project. Matched funding will not replace strategic grants but will simply be an opportunity for your Branch to raise some extra funds. Matched funding criteria and details will be circulated shortly.

Will Branches have to fundraise?

Based on your feedback, we can now confirm that fundraising will not become a Branch requirement. We understand that not all Branches might need or have enough resources to fundraise and it is not our intention to put any extra pressure on our volunteers – we want volunteers to be doing what feel they do best. Each Branch will independently decide whether to undertake fundraising activity based on their financial needs and ability to cover activity costs. Most importantly, Branches will always be free to choose the fundraising options that best suit their individual situation, needs and resources, and we’ll try and support them as much as we can. All funds raised will be raised solely for the Branch and no portion of such funds will be retained centrally.

Why should Branches fundraise?

We want Branches to be vibrant and active, and this requires a certain degree of funding. But we are currently faced with increasing uncertainty about our own central funding as the Government is forced to reduce its budgets for activities that include our charity’s mission. For this reason we will encourage and help Branches to work towards becoming sustainable and we will ensure they have enough reserves built up so they can continue to deliver events and activities.  

Will fundraising have an impact on our traditional activity?

There will be plenty of fundraising activities for your Branch to choose from, and some of them are very innovative and do not require a high amount of resources. There will be no need for your Branch to change the format of your traditional events or start charging for your events if that is not something your Branch feels comfortable doing. Similarly (although this would be beneficial) recruiting a Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator is not a Branch requirement. However, if your Branch thinks it might benefit from recruiting a Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator - or just wants to know more about how it might work in practice -, please contact your Regional Officer for a full role description and for help with recruitment.

What help will we receive from the Association and Regional Officers?

In order to help our volunteers become more familiar with different fundraising schemes and techniques, we will provide professional fundraising training during the Branches Away Day in September 2013, and a fundraising toolkit will also be distributed to all branches.  If there is a need, Regional Officers will hold mini training sessions in their regions for volunteers who were not able to attend the Branches Away Day.

Based on the preferences you expressed in the survey, the training session will include information about different types of fundraising techniques (community, online, corporate, trust/foundation, event fundraising), new fundraising schemes (fundraising online shopping, sport challenges and recycling schemes), marketing/PR/social media tips, guidelines on how to write successful bids and organise fundraising events, fundraising best practice (legal/tax information), volunteer management during fundraising events, case studies and more.

 If your Branch needs to fundraise to support its activity, the Regional Officers will offer on-going general fundraising support and tips and help in the following ways: identify local potential donors and review fundraising bids; advertise fundraising initiatives: and offer advice/ideas for your fundraising events.

Your Regional Officers are also there to support Branches and ensure they have an active committee and undertake activities including help recruiting new volunteers, advertising your events and spreading the word about the Branch, facilitating links with other organisations, facilitating communication between your Branch and Head Office and much more!

Please feel free to get in touch with your Regional Officer any time, that’s what they are there for!

Any more questions or comments?

If you have any more questions or comments, or if you would like to make any further suggestions, please do not hesitate to email our Regional Fundraising and Support Officer, Giulia De Matteis.

Frequently Asked Questions