School Grants – The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant-making trust that distributes grants to charities whose core work is in the areas of learning, the arts and health. As schools are increasingly accessing funding from Foyle, this article will explain what they fund, as well as giving practical advice on making a successful application.

The Foyle Foundation was formed to implement the terms of the will of the late Christina Foyle. She was the daughter of William Foyle who, with his brother, founded the family owned bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London in 1904. Christina joined the business at the age of 17 and continued to manage it until her death in 1999 at the age of 88.

The foundation came into existence in November 2001, since when it has disbursed 36.4M in grants (to the year ending June 2009). Most of these grants range between £10,000-£50,000 and all are UK based, as the foundation specifically does not fund international work.

Following a strategic review, the Foundation merged with its sister charity The Batty Charitable Trust in March 2009 and from July 2009 has revised its objectives. The Foundation now operates a Main Grants Scheme supporting charities whose core work covers Arts and Learning and a Small Grants Scheme covering small charities in all fields.

Application criteria

Applications will only be eligible for consideration if they are aimed at benefiting people within the UK.

Only organisations which have recognised charitable status can be considered. For schools this means either declaring their charitable status conferred through their affiliation to a church, or applying through a PTA or friends’ group which has gained charitable status. Gaining such status is a lot less complicated than most schools expect.

Read the rest of this entry

Finding New Supporters

Finding new people to replace Committee/Board members or Volunteers can sometimes be fraught with difficulty.  We all lead busy lives, and the time when we are able to give our time freely may not correspond to the time your favoured Charity needs your input!

The times when we have been most in need of the services of a Charity, such as a Charity focused around healthcare for example is the time when we are most open to doing some volunteering in the future, but this isn't always the best time to ask.

It's a dilema!

If this is you - and you are in need of a fresh supply of Volunteers or Committee Members look at it in two ways.  First, it's a marketing issue, second it's a recruitment issue. I'll explain more here.

Traditional marketing and Charities may seem a strange blend, as I have mentioned in a previous post, many people who run Charities feel that marketing is best left to the private sector - if that's your belief I expect you are having some difficulties right now recruiting anyone to your committee or board...am I right?

In the past, a marketing post would have talked about the 4 P's...

P P P P

Product (what is it you are really 'selling' or offering and what are the benefits?)

Place (where is the 'product' or service available and where can you get it?)

Promotion (How will people hear about it?)

Price (What does it cost?)

Read the rest of this entry

How Do Donors Choose Charities

Dr. Beth Breeze is a researcher within the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy which is partly based at the University of Kent, where she also co-founded the Centre for Philanthropy, Humanitarianism and Social Justice.

In Dr. Beth's blog she has given some really great tips for finding the perfect donor.  As those of you who have subscribed and received my free eBook "How To Find Your Fundraising Focus" will know, I stress the importance of understanding your donor's motivations for giving.  This way you will know how to "market" your fundraising case in a way that attracts the people who are able to give.

In her article Dr. Beth writes: "I found that  most people tend to support organisations that promote their own preferences, help people they feel some affinity with and support causes that relate to their own life experiences."

With 5 other key findings Dr. Beth's blog is a very useful source of information for all fundraising professionals.

Beth does bring up a really important point up at the end.  One of my "orange box" moments is about how the Voluntary Sector is supporting the country by providing essential care and services to people most in need...care and services that have at one point been provided by the Government, through the NHS and other departments.  With the Government cuts looming across the board, the pressure may rise on the Voluntary Sector more than it can actually cope with.

I have two thoughts about this...firstly I think to myself..."should the Government really be responsible for everything I think they should?" and secondly: "what will happen to those most in need when the service and care they rely on is at best in a state of flux or worse...wiped out"

Maybe I should get out more?  What do you think?

To read the rest of Dr. Beth's article please go HERE.

Creating a compelling ‘case for support’ is the key to successful fundraising for the whole of your organisation.  If at any point anyone involved with you is unclear about what you do and why you do it, it will reflect badly on the organisation as a whole.  In marketing terms the saying goes: ‘a confused buyer never buys’ and so it is when also looking at potential funders.  A funder who is confused about what and why you do what you do will rarely bother to dig deeper to find out and simply move on to the next charity who has clear goals and a compelling case for support.

There is a fundraising cycle and the very beginning of that cycle is the ‘Case Statement’  - the reason your organisation is needing funds.

You will need to answer these 7 questions:

  1. Who are you as an organisation
  2. Why do you exist
  3. What is distinctive/different about you
  4. What do you want to accomplish
  5. How do you plan to go about it
  6. What makes you competent to do it
  7. How will you be accountable for what you do

By answering these questions you will get a clear understanding of why you are asking for funding – and so will all potential funders!

Read the rest of this entry

Fundraising for Churches

Church Fundraising

Churches can often be seen as one of the most difficult organisations to fund.  Most have costly and ancient buildings to upkeep, which are empty most of the week, whilst also having a declining tithing congregation.

So there are two needs here, which are frequently at logger heads with each other.  It really is a delicate balancing act, fraught with sensitivities that need careful handling.

There is also the contentious issue in lots of churches about ‘acceptable’ sources of funding, for example many will not accept or apply for Lottery Funding on religious grounds.

Depending on what you are raising funds for will depend on which method of fundraising you choose.  We know that many churches do event fundraising and do it very well, and they obviously do “database” funding from the Sunday morning collection.

Read the rest of this entry