Help with fundraising

Please read our Other Funders page for funders that support community and campaigns groups working for social and environmental justice.

  • GrantFinder – over 7,000 funding opportunities. It is a subscription service but some funding advisors (see NAVCA above) can give you access.

    Trust Funding – subscription service to access grants database.

    Funds for NGOs – free database of international funding opportunities.

  • Crowdfunding sites allow you to set up a page to appeal for money for a project and to collect donations online. The idea is that lots of people all contribute a small amount, so it’s funded by a crowd of people rather than a foundation or wealthy individual. There are many different sites and the main differences between them are:

    • How much they take as a fee (often the site takes around 5% but also the payment processor – such as PayPal – take about another 3%)
    • With some sites it’s all or nothing – if you don’t reach your target, the donations are not collected from your backers
    • Some sites are particularly focused on arts projects (films etc.), others on social enterprises etc
    • Some of the sites recommend that you offer rewards to donors, for example, you get a T-shirt if you donate more than £25. Some sites allow donors the option of not accepting the reward
    • Some sites will require donors to sign up to the site, while others will allow people to make a donation without signing up.

    Often the most successful crowdfunding appeals are those that result in something tangible at the end that people can benefit from, such as films and books. But most importantly you have to put together a long list of people and organisations who you can ask to support you and put an enormous amount of effort into getting the word out far and wide. Here are some of the more popular sites in the UK (also see this guide from CrowdfundUK):

  • Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (US)  – multiracial organisation that promotes the connection between fundraising, social justice and movement-building. 

    Black Fundraisers’ UK - part of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, working to ensure that every black fundraiser has the skills, expertise and support to become a leader within the fundraising sector and helping to enable black fundraisers’ to access appropriate and professional support. 

    Chartered Institute of Fundraising – fundraising training, best advice guides and other materials. They have a special programme helping small charities raise money and offer training sessions for just £20. The project also works with groups supporting marginalised, vulnerable and socially excluded individuals to support them develop their fundraising career. 

    National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – guidance and training on fundraising, particularly developing a sustainable fundraising strategy. 

    Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) – free training for small charities to help them fundraise. This includes training courses on a range of fundraising topics. They also offer travel bursaries.

    Small Charities Coalition – help small charities access the skills, tools & information they need to get going and do what they do best.

    UK FundraisingOnline resource and community for professional charity fundraisers. Also offers training and consultancy and in 2013 are running a series of Fundraising Camps where delegates choose the topics for the day and then share ideas, skills and experiences with each other.

    Directory for Social Change – training and resources.

    Seeds for Change – supporting grassroots campaign groups. 

    Navigate — facilitate meetings, run workshops and mediate conflicts

    Campaign Central – hub for campaigners, with info on funding your campaign.

    nfpSynergy – research consultancy dedicated to the not-for-profit sector. Provides free reports to support non-profit sector, including on fundraising. 

    Transition Network’s Funding Primerthe Transition Network is a network of local community-led environmental projects. Their 2014 Funding Primer offers tips, suggestions and advice for getting your Transition group’s projects funded, but would also be relevant to other small community groups. 

    Charity MOT – team available to help at low cost with administration, technology or marketing and fundraising, but can also offer general advice. 

    Resource Alliance – support and resources for fundraising internationally. 

    Charity How To – lots of training materials on fundraising, including free webinars. 

    Know How NonProfit – lots more training materials on fundraising. 

    Company Solutions – training courses on fundraising.

  • If you’re a small grassroots group wanting no-strings-attached funding, it is well worth learning from larger charities who often raise huge amounts of money through grassroots community fundraising. Many of them provide resources on their website to support their supporters who help raise funds for them. Here are two:

    The article Profits for Justice talks about activists’ dependence on grant funding and how we might generate funds ourselves. It ends “The secret to being as radical as we want to be – and as radical we need to be – is to finance the revolution ourselves”.

    The Revolution Will Not be Funded: beyond the non-profit industrial complex is a great book that talks about the dangers of relying on grant funding and how organisations raise the funds they need without them. 

    Fundraising for Social Change, by Kim Klein. A guide to how to build, maintain and expand an individual donor program, this book is often called “the Bible of grassroots fundraising.”

  • Get Legal – provides expert advice on legal structures and issues such as governance for charities, social enterprises and co-ops.

    Charity Commission – offer templates on charitable constitutions

    Co-operatives UK – offer templates on co-operative constitutions