A sustainable fundraising strategy or plan can help you to work
out what your organisation needs money for, how much and for how
long. Once the strategy is agreed, the next step is to find likely
funders and other sources of income.
Remember your local county voluntary council
(CVC) or WCVA's Help Desk can
help you to find the best funders for your project.
Choosing the right fundraising activity
There is no single solution to fundraising. One fundraising
activity may prove successful for one organisation but not so for
another. When preparing a sustainable fundraising strategy or plan,
try to include a diverse range of fundraising activities, some,
which will deliver funds in the short-term, such as an event or
competition, and others that are more long-term, for instance a
Think carefully about available resources, including staff and
volunteers' time, skills and expenses. Remember that some
activities may take longer to plan than others. Fundraisers will
need to select the most appropriate method and sources of income.
The "Income Spectrum" devised by NCVO's
Sustainable funding project team, illustrates the main
income streams available to the Third sector and the differing
NCVO's Income Spectrum
The crucial factor in developing a sustainable funding approach
is to diversify (or spread) the sources of your income, so if a
single source is taken away, you have other sources that you can
rely on. Without doubt, some kinds of income are more stable and
longer-term than others. Having a diverse range of shorter and
longer-term income streams enables you to plan and make more
effective use of what you have.
Income diversification involves changing the number or type of
income streams. For instance, establishing a new trading activity
to supplement an income that comes mainly from grants. Equally, it
maybe possible to diversify options within one type of income.
Trading, for example, might currently involve hiring out office
space to partner organisations but opportunities may also exist for
setting up a new training consultancy or exploiting ICT skills
within the orgainsation.
The wide range of income options open to the Third sector is
illustrated in the Income Spectrum - ranging from donations
to trading. On the left, gift economy and grant funding are forms
of 'asking'. On the right, there is 'earning' through the
structured and open markets. As we move from left to right, the
level of expectation regarding what is received in return for the
These different income types are suitable for different
fundraising activity, are accessed and managed in different ways,
and involve different relationships with the donor, funder,
purchaser or customer.
- Income generated from giving and
- This income is usually unrestricted and can be used at an
organisation's discretion to further their aims.
- Income provided to deliver specific outputs and outcomes
(usually mutually agreed).
- This income is usually restricted to be spent on achieving
these outputs and outcomes.
- Grant funders usually want to monitor the way that this funding
is spent and have clear expectations on what should be
- Payment for goods or services delivered under the terms of
acontract or service level agreement between an organisation
and a third party purchaser.
- This party can be from the public, private or voluntary
- The majority of voluntary organisations however tend to deliver
contracts for the public sector.
- This is concerned with trading.
- The ranges of goods or services that are bought and sold daily
are endless. Many third sector organisations are now embarking upon
- Trading generates unrestricted income and there are different
types of trading.
- Some organisations trade to solely generate profit but others
to trade to procure a profit whilst furthering their aims and
The Income Spectrum, a tool
developed by NCVO's Sustainable funding project team,
has been reproduced with their kind permission.
It is worth spending some time identifying potential sources of
funding. These include:
- Statutory funding - Welsh Assembly Government, local
authorities, European funds, health funding, area based initiatives
e.g. Communities First
- Big Lottery Fund
- Charitable trusts and foundations
- Companies - sponsorship, payroll giving, employee
- Giving and public fundraising
- European funding
- Community and events
- Internet / website
- Trading - rental of space, training fees, charges for services,
charity shops, sale of goods
- Loan finance
- Asset-based development
- Membership subscriptions
- Donations and gifts
- Tax effective giving - gift aid, payroll giving
- WCVA grant schemes
WCVA information sheets
providing guidance and further sources of information on each of
these funding streams are available by visiting the Help section on the website.