Creative Approaches to Fundraising

NCF provide advice on Creative Approaches to Fundraising

Recently, we have become aware of some amazing examples of how engaging and creative fundraising can complement grant funding to support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. While grants provide crucial financial support, fundraisers offer a unique opportunity to engage communities, raise awareness, and mobilize support on a broader scale. Charities need to create and maintain diverse income streams, not only for financial security but also to keep individual donors, businesses and statutory bodies engaged with our work.

One example highlights the profound impact that individual fundraisers can have on charitable endeavours. James Bracey and his team’s epic 300,000-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean wasn’t just about conquering physical challenges; it was a testament to the power of fundraising to drive meaningful change. James, along with his dedicated teammates, embarked on the World’s Toughest Row, a monumental fundraising effort to support causes close to their hearts. Collectively, they raised over £100,000 by engaging with their friends, local businesses and their community.

What VCSE groups could be doing

As a grant funder, we like to see local VCSEs engaging with fundraisers and fundraising. Fundraisers show trusts and foundations that the community is behind your project, plus has the additional benefit of offering unrestricted funding to your organisation which can also be used to apply for match funding, making your efforts go further.

Another recent example underlines the collective power of communities to make real change. The Shoebox CIC, a social enterprise which runs a bustling Community Hub in central Norwich, launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign in February to raise funds to buy the building they operate from. By early April they had reached their “stretch target” of £50,000, donated by supporters and match-funded by Aviva Community Fund and the Cost of Living Resilience Fund.

This campaign is focused on a specific goal: buying the building in order to “retain it as a community asset for the long term”. The funds will allow them to ensure the longevity of their organisation, whose trading arm depends heavily on access to the unique 15th century “hidden street” located under the building. Moving beyond short-term survival into long-term planning is a challenge for many smaller or newly-established VCSEs , and the Shoebox’s example shows that with the support of a community and effective campaigning it is possible to make this shift.

Tom Gaskin, CEO at the Shoebox Enterprises, said “the support we’ve received for The Shoebox Enterprises CIC has been nothing short of amazing.”

Going forward

There are currently many challenges facing our sector, but if we can harness the enthusiasm of our local communities we have a powerful tool for driving positive change and generating valuable revenue. These are just two examples of creative thinking when it comes to fundraising, but both serve as a reminder of what can be achieved when passion, purpose, and community come together. As James Bracey says, “If you put your mind to these things and you’ve got some great people around you, you can do it.”

If you want to know more about James’s voyage, click here. If you want to keep updated on The Shoebox’s campaign, check out their crowdfunding page here.

Back to News