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Club Finances

Funding Guidance

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Funding Guidance

You have a great idea and you need some money to help make it happen. We know applying for funding can be daunting, especially if you have not done it before, but we hope this guidance will help you, not only with an application to Sport England but in other bids you may make.

Please note: This page contains a demo of the interactive Funding guidance we have developed, but you will need to log-in and follow the instructions below to view the full video.

Before you apply

Here are some things you should consider before you start applying for any funding:

Develop a plan

Before you start your search for funding, you should think about and plan what you want your club to achieve over the long term. Any projects should then be designed in line with this plan. A clear development plan puts your club in a strong position by showing that you have fully thought through what you are wanting to do and why. You can download a guide and template for creating a club development plan on our Planning pages.

Research the best funding for you

It is important to do research to find out what funding is available, who the funders are and what they are interested in supporting. The goal of your research is to find out those few funders whose interests are in line with your club and what you are wanting to do with the money. Sending the same requests to a wide group of funders who all want to fund different things is ineffective.

Funding streams are often changed or updated and some may be offered for the short-term only; it is important to check what funding bodies are offering at any particular time and plan accordingly.

Make sure you are eligible

You should also make sure you are eligible for their funding. Some funds are only open to clubs of a certain size or type, or will only fund very specific things. Your funding research principle should be: if you do not qualify, do not apply.

Financial planning

Think about how much money you will need and look for funds which are suitable based on the amount. Involve your treasurer, or someone who is comfortable with the numbers, in your financial planning. It’s important to be as accurate as you can be with your costings. Any funder wants your project to succeed and so are looking for a realistic budget that has been properly costed. Remember, something that is value for money is not always the same thing as the cheapest.

You will often have to provide a budget with your application. Our Club Finances pages can help you with this.

Get support and guidance

Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself. It is a very good idea to involve more than one person in planning your project and writing your funding application. Different members of your committee or volunteers will have different skills and experience that they can bring to the process. Ask them for support.

It is also worthwhile to get someone from outside your club who is willing to review your application. They are more likely to pick up if you have missed any obvious information and tell you if you need to provide more detail in any sections.

Applying - understanding the questions

You’ve done the research and know what funding you want to apply for. Now it’s time to write a winning application.

This interactive video explores some of the common questions you will be asked in funding applications. It will help you think about what funders are looking for and gives you some tips on what you should consider in your answers.

View a short demo below, or click the button beneath it to access the full version. The transcript to the full version is also available to download at the bottom of this page.

Click here for full version
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