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when do we need to start fund raising again

Posted on 3 December 2007 at 3:32 pm

This topic contains 8 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 11 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Anonymous
    3 December 2007 at 3:32 pm #3024

    We are a youth project in the North East and we are currently in the 14th month of a three year funding award, with no reserve fund to fall back on.

    Our business manager and myself cannot agree, when we need to start funding for the future of the project.

    Our annual expenditure is in excess of 140k and as a trustee of the organisation I am a bit worried about the future.

    In your opinion, when should be the right time to start thinking about the future, considering all three major funders will end more or less the same time.

    Any advice will be appreciated;

    Anonymous
    3 December 2007 at 3:47 pm #10093

    I’d say if your business manager doesn’t have a funding plan underway real soon he will need a job search plan in oh about 22 months.

    Anonymous
    3 December 2007 at 4:46 pm #10094

    We are a youth project in the North East and we are currently in the 14th month of a three year funding award, with no reserve fund to fall back on.

    Our business manager and myself cannot agree, when we need to start funding for the future of the project.

    Our annual expenditure is in excess of 140k and as a trustee of the organisation I am a bit worried about the future.

    In your opinion, when should be the right time to start thinking about the future, considering all three major funders will end more or less the same time.

    Any advice will be appreciated;

    How long did it take you to secure the funding to start the project? Do you know whether your current funders will support an application to continue the project at the current level of support when this grant ends? What level of knowledge do you have of alternative funders? What changes will you want to make to the project and will these increase its overall costs?

    Answering those questions will go some way to determining when you need to start seeking funding for 22 months from now.

    In an ideal world, I would at least want to know who you’d be likely to go to and a timetable of approaches, even if you’re not actually making asks right now. I’m guessing you’ll only have 7 or 8 trustees meetings between now and the end of the project, assuming you meet quarterly, so from your perspective you are right to be asking for things to be going forward.

    Anonymous
    3 December 2007 at 5:16 pm #10095

    My guess is that your project started up 14 months ago after you’d received a promise for 3 year funding. There are a lot of these about, the government and the Lottery are famous for them. They all have one common thread – they will fund new ‘start ups’ but not continuation. It’s always easier to make a bid for a new project – getting full funding to continue existing work, however valuable, is a whole new ball game.

    You should start fundraising now, but at first you should look for streams of unrestricted money that you will be able to use to tide yourself over, and in all likelihood to commit towards project costs in future years. The fact that you have no reserves is very worrying at the best of times, in this case it’s crucial. In terms of bidding for continued restricted funds I’d look to get bids to trusts 12 months – 9 months minimum before the funding ends. You’ll need to do a lot of research and ground-preparations before that.

    A lot of funders are very understanding – best of all get some to visit the project if possible or at least get a good idea of the impact of the work and why it should continue. Probably entice them a bit about how you will be re-designing and improving the delivery on the basis of what is learnt. Whatever it will be unlikely that a new funder will pick upp and fully fund a contiuing project – so you need to widen your approach and look for unrestricted.

    Apart from that look at getting some reserves anyway – how do your trustees sleep peacefully?

    Good luck

    John

    Anonymous
    3 December 2007 at 10:03 pm #10096

    We are a youth project in the North East and we are currently in the 14th month of a three year funding award, with no reserve fund to fall back on.

    Our business manager and myself cannot agree, when we need to start funding for the future of the project.

    Ideally, 14 months ago. It may be a while before you need to start explicitly asking for money, but the sooner you start on identifying prospects, cultivating them, the better a return you’re going to get on that time. If you’re fully funded for the next 22 months, then great, but is there nothing else your charity can do before then that’s worth fundraising for, and might lead into a regular source of income?

    Anonymous
    4 December 2007 at 9:58 am #10097

    Could be worth starting to build up a little reserve now, from various forms of fundraising.
    If funders are covering the entire cost of the project with restricted funding, you will have problems getting additional money for it from other trusts.
    But individual giving, community fundraising and researching places to go to later for funding can all be done now.

    Your reserves situation needs addressing now – all you need is delays getting continuation funding, or some funder not giving as much as asked for, or funders not wanting to take the big risk the organisation represents.
    And you close.

    But your clients needs don’t suddenly stop.

    Just be warned – even if money is promised for a length of time, doesn’t mean it will be paid on time or even carry on.
    Funders can have financial trouble (Camelot Foundation and Northern Rock to name just two), or an expected stream of funding (such as neighbourhood renewal fund) can simply end on a certain date.

    Work for the best result but plan for the worst that can happen and you won’t go too far wrong.

    Anonymous
    4 December 2007 at 2:55 pm #10098

    Could be worth starting to build up a little reserve now, from various forms of fundraising.
    If funders are covering the entire cost of the project with restricted funding, you will have problems getting additional money for it from other trusts.
    But individual giving, community fundraising and researching places to go to later for funding can all be done now.

    Your reserves situation needs addressing now – all you need is delays getting continuation funding, or some funder not giving as much as asked for, or funders not wanting to take the big risk the organisation represents.
    And you close.

    But your clients needs don’t suddenly stop.

    Just be warned – even if money is promised for a length of time, doesn’t mean it will be paid on time or even carry on.
    Funders can have financial trouble (Camelot Foundation and Northern Rock to name just two), or an expected stream of funding (such as neighbourhood renewal fund) can simply end on a certain date.

    Work for the best result but plan for the worst that can happen and you won’t go too far wrong.

    Anonymous
    4 December 2007 at 3:00 pm #10099

    Verry grateful with the above information and advice.

    You mention raising unrestrictred funds and increasing our reserves.

    What is the best way of increasing our reserves ;

    I will be taking your suggestions to our next management commitee.

    Anonymous
    4 December 2007 at 3:24 pm #10100

    This is a simplified description –
    you can get restricted reserves – that is you receive money in advance for committed activities in the future. The donor determines what these activities are, based on your initial proposal. These aren’t much use to you becase they are tied to specific expenditure.

    You can get unrestricted reserves – that is money that you will carry forward but which you have the discretion to use on anything that fits with your charitable purpose. This is basically gold dust. You can and definitely should comit some of these unrestricted funds to reserves – that is ‘set aside for future use’, in other words rainy day money when grants don’t arrive or other problems arise. Your trustees need to set a policy for reserves – usually at x working weeks of expenditure. Without reserves you risk trading insolvently and your trustees will be in deep doo-doo.

    You can find ways to raise unrestricted funds on this site – events, community etc. Some trusts will also give unrestricted, or core funding. From what you’ve said so far this should be your first action to take.

    The Charity Commission site has some useful information on this.

    john

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