Notes on Fundraising A- Z
A to Z of Heritage Fundraising – Notes AK
A – Aims: Know what you want to do, the difference between an aim, objective and an outcome. Know your funders’ aims. Evidence need. Know national aims, e.g. skills sector councils. Know local strategic aims and demographics.
B – Biscuits: You need to engage people with your project so they have a sense of ownership. Don’t stint on the biscuits, it shows people their time is valued. You will need to provide biscuits at several key points including but not limited to– consultation with stakeholders, to your steering group and to your volunteers (importance of all!)
C – Children: Education, education, education! Learning and education is a key part of most heritage projects.
D – Double check: read the application form, any supporting notes, check deadlines and read over the entire application form before you fill it in. Don’t waste time filling in application forms for grants you are not suitable for and check what format the final form needs to be in and when it needs to be in.
E – Exit strategy: what will you do when the project is finished, e.g. long term maintenance of physical or online sites and resources. Decide this before you put a bid in! What is sustainable?
F– Free stuff: aka support in kind. Do you know someone who can give you a free meeting room, use of technical equipment, design skills or leaflet printing? Support in kind is invaluable to projects, don’t just focus on the cold hard cash.
G – Google: Do your research. Look at other projects around the country doing similar things to you. They may be happy to talk through what they did, and the example resources on their websites might be handy for inspiration. Also apply to Google Grants for free ad-words.
H– Hello! Introduce yourself to people, talk to funders about your projects, fill in pre-application forms to open discussions and get advice.
I– Images: such as photos – with your application, of your events, in reports. Make sure they are of people, not just the backs of heads or empty buildings.
J – Jam Making – Make sure that there are lots of ways that people can help you by selling cakes, doing raffles, sponsored events etc.
K-Kudos – Be proud of your achievements; and when you meet targets make sure you say thanks to those who have helped you all along the way.
L– Lottery Distributers: Big Lottery Awards for All and Heritage Lottery Fund. Check them out, who funds what.
M– Match funding: you will need this for most projects, and it can be from 5% to 60% match required. Maybe you have saved this from your Gift Aid, you will raise it from supporters or other funds. What is your fundraising strategy for this?
N – No: Not every bid you write will be successful, everyone has rejections. Learn from what went wrong and get feedback if possible. And sometimes be prepared to say ‘No’ yourselves if people in your organisation are trying to load things on the project that might make it unviable.
O – Opinions. Get these! What do people think about your project, get as much feedback as you can both before in consultation and during and after through evaluation.
P– Permissions: Once you have got the permission from your board of trustees to start work you will also potentially need others, including: Planning Permission, Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent, Listed Building Consent – is your site designated? Check with your Conservation Officer and EH.
Q– Quangos: English Heritage, Arts Council – roles and responsibilities, sources of funding, find out who they are and what they do in your sector.
R– Rubbish: The Landfill Tax Funders – WREN, Sita, Biffa (only for next 18 months).
S– Supporters: get them to show their support by taking part in consultations, being advocates for the project and writing letters of support. Not just ‘I like this site’ but specific, e.g. ‘If this site gets an education centre I will bring students in my class six times a year’ or whatever is relevant
T– Twitter: and other forms of media. Get out there! Press Releases, get on the radio and TV, get tweeting and set up a Facebook page for your project. Get to know local press and get them onside!
U-Underwear – aka briefs (that got your attention!), as advised by the HLF amongst other funders, you will get the best out of your contractors and consultants by having a well‑written brief.
V– VAT: don’t forget this in your budgets if you cannot claim it back. Check with your accountant.
W – Work Together: Your heritage project may involve a partnership
of different organisations, some of which might not be heritage groups, eg schools and colleges, local authorities. Make sure you are clear from the start what the role of each is in fundraising and in the project itself.
X– Xerox – keep a copy of your bid so you know what you said you would do!
Y– Yes: Once you have got the nod the hard work really starts as you have to do the project! Make sure you know the rules about how you can promote your successful funding, and what logos etc you will need to include.
Z – Zzzz: Make sure you get some rest, that project will keep you pretty busy!
Presentation as Powerpoint.