It is important that new and existing clubs raise funds to run the club. Initially funds will more than likely come from membership subscriptions. It is advisable to set out a list of costs to run the club throughout the year which will help you create a budget of income and expenditure to inform membership costs.
Opening a Bank Account
All clubs should open a Club Bank Account so that all financial transactions involving club money are recorded and transparent. Before deciding which bank to open an account with it is worthwhile considering a bank in a location convenient to the club, the bank charges (some banks offer free banking on Sports Club Accounts), and the requirements for opening an account.
The general requirements needed to open a Club Bank Account include:
- A letter from the club listing elected Club Committee Members (some banks will ask for this on Club Headed Paper)
- A copy of the Club Constitution
- Proof of ID and address for signatories on the account
Banks will vary slightly in their criteria so just phone beforehand to check what is required.
Once you have your bank account opened it is important that you deposit all money received, weekly subs, sponsorship etc on a regular basis. Statements should be obtained monthly and these should tally with the records kept by the Treasurer.
Raising money locally should be an important part of any club’s fundraising strategy. Apart from raising money, being in contact with the community also acts as publicity for your club and raises awareness of your club’s activities in the area.
An annual operating budget prediction should be developed by the committee. The club should be cautious when forecasting revenue for the budget. Expenses should be realistically estimated and include a 5–10% contingency in case of unexpected costs throughout the year.
- Hall Hire
- Team Kit
- Affiliation Fee
- Competition Entry Fees
- Coaching Fees
- Referees Fees
- Course Fees
- Club Admin Costs
- Membership Subscriptions
- Fundraising events and activities, including raffles, quiz night, family fun day and VLY supported events
- Local grants
When clubs want to promote an event, they should contact Volleyball Ireland and Local Sports Partnership for support. Both organisations will help promote the event but also can make sure it doesn’t clash with any other event in the Volleyball calendar or local community.
If a permit is required the club needs to arrange this sooner rather than later. To plan your event, start with setting the date. Look at planned events and see what else is on that might affect numbers participating. Elect a committee that will help with the organising of the event. Remember when organising an event, plan plenty of time in advance. Have a social media launch before the event to arouse interest. Try to source some sort of sponsorship if possible. Try to get as much publicity as possible for your event.
Writing a Fundraising Proposal
Before you begin, research all the potential organisations/people you intend to approach about funding. This could include:
- What kind of organisations and projects do they fund?
- What are they interested in?
- What are their requirements in terms of supporting documentation, accountability and evaluation?
Some organisations/people will have their own funding applications that list the details required. If this is the case you should still include a cover letter and supporting documentation. For those who are told to structure their own submissions, make sure to include the following details:
- Profile of the club
- The general needs that the club meets
- The specific needs that the funds will meet
- Exactly what the club plans
- How the proposal will be carried out
- How much money is required
- How its other funding requirements will be met
- The expected outcomes of the project
- Why they should be interested
Tips for a successful fundraising proposal
Start your application with a cover letter outlining who you are and why you are writing.
As a lot of organisations get quite a number of requests/applications for sponsorship/funding, your covering letter has to be well written, well-structured and to the point (especially the first paragraph, as this is what will grab their attention).
Always be positive, put down all the good qualities of your project without being modest.
Tie this in with what you know about the funding agency/sponsor and show that you have done your research. Draw in all of the benefits to the sponsor, the club and the potential participants in the events/projects. Always show that the funding that you are applying for is part of an overall sustainable scheme.
Keep the proposal clear and concise and easy to read.
Get someone unconnected with the application to read it over before sending it in to ensure the clarity of the proposal. Use tables and graphs where possible and don’t crowd the text onto the page. Make sure that the proposal is well presented – don’t just hand something in for the sake of it. Use colours for different sections and use a folder to keep all of the information together.
Don’t send off the same letter and information to all funding agencies and potential sponsors. Use the information that you have on each company to direct each proposal personally towards the recipient.
Be clear about the amount that you are asking for
You should also indicate a willingness to fundraise at least part of the total cost. Asking for partial funding is far preferable to simply asking for the whole amount. In budgeting for the proposal, the club must show that it has its finances under control. It is important that accounts are kept up-to-date and that they are easy to understand.
Sponsorship is an arrangement between a company and a voluntary or community organisation. The company funds either an event or project in return for the good publicity that it will receive.
Sponsorship is not the same as a donation where a gift of money or goods is received without any expectation of return. Sponsorship is a form of marketing for many companies and they will therefore expect a return such as the guarantee of publicity especially for the company name.
Most companies allocate sponsorship once a year so contact them before you send in a proposal to see whether they have used their annual budget or not. If it is already allocated enquire as to when is the optimal time to make a future application. Also, ask if they have any set procedures or sponsorship policy so that you are aware of how the company likes to deal with potential sponsorship partners.
If any club members work for or have links with any companies, these should be approached first as the connection gives a good introduction to any proposal. If you are looking for a large amount of sponsorship, it can help to break these down into smaller sections and apply to various organisations. Research the companies that you are applying to. You are more likely to find a sponsor on your own doorstep so always include the local perspective. This works especially well with companies that are new in an area given that they are trying to build a local profile. Always ring before sending in a proposal to establish the appropriate person to send the application to.
Always state that you will contact the company on a certain date to see if the application has been successful – give a reasonable amount of time 3 or 4 weeks – this means that a decision will usually be taken one way or the other so that you are not left sitting waiting for the company to contact you. Make sure that you always follow up on the date that you state.
Where you are applying for an event/project involving young people, ideally, they should not promote products or services aimed at a children’s market. Sponsorship by alcoholic drinks or tobacco companies should be avoided.
If you are unsuccessful in your application, don’t be afraid to contact the company to ask why – this can give you valuable information for your next application.