Fundraising is an essential part of the work of most Millennium Green volunteer teams. A few Millennium Greens have most or all of their expenses paid, but even they may have to fundraise occasionally. The original Trust Deed allows Millennium Greens to raise funds by a wide range of methods:
126.96.36.199 "Personal or written appeals...donations, annual subscriptions...
188.8.131.52 "...solicit the award of any grant, donation...
...Provided that in raising funds the Trustees shall not undertake any substantial permenant trading activity...
The normal methods of raising funds include the following:
Events on the Greens Edit
These commonly include Easter Events, Summer fairs etc. Events on the Greens have the advantage of promoting the use of the Green and enhancing the community use of the land. However, they only work well for actually raising funds if sufficient people can be encouraged to come to the Green for such event, otherwise they become operations where the volunteers are mostly raising money from amongst themselves- buying and selling etc from each other.
A number of Greens have Fireworks, including Sproughton near Ipswich, who get thousands of visitors.
Fundraising sales elsewhere Edit
Opportunities to raise funds off the Green should not be ignored. Other places may have many more people and much more money to be made with less effort- a stall at some other major event may not need any publicity from the Green itself and may not need as much preparation. New Southgate, for example fundraise at the nearest horticultural college, about 5 miles away, with plant stalls that sell to hundreds of visitors.
Door to Door & Street Collections etc. Edit
Both of these require licences from Local Authorities, but can be effective methods in the right circumstances.
No licence is required to collect on private land, such as supermarket hallways- only the owners permission. It may be neccesary to get onto lists and apply in writing (Homebase), but sometimes managers will take an on-the-spot decision to accept you if you turn up with proof of who you are. Something that shows you are all volunteers may help as people often do not want to give money to fundraising professionals.
Sponsored Events Edit
Generally, the public is rather tired of sponsored events and may not support them well unless they have more purpose than just giving money for people to walk round in circles. However, more original sponsored events may attract media support and capture people's imagination.
Business Support Edit
While most Greens don't have much time or knowledge for big corporate sponsorship operations, some attempt should be made to involve local businesses- at least asking for small donations or a charity discount from shops. Most businesses have budgets for local charities- all Homebases, for example, have small budgets which their managers can choose to use to give you a donated tree for National Tree Week to get you to go away.
Awards & Grants Edit
Some Greens regularly get funding this way, others never get round to it. There are thousands of pounds out there; experience with grants and funding is very useful on people's CV and it gets easier as one gets experience. Talk to Councillors and other Local Authorities; look in libraries, check out the websites of such charities as the the Woodland Trust, who usually have something to help you plant trees for example.
Fundraising Targets and Purposes Edit
It is generally easier to raise funds for a specific purpose or a visible object than just money in the bank. If the public can see a specific object purchased that they can associate with their support, it helps to motivate them. It would be easier, for example to motivate people to support the purchase of a sit-on mower, than money to pay for the annual insurance bill. This means that it is best not to spend general funds on capitol projects if possible- keep that money for the boring things like Insurance.
Making the money go furtherEdit
The following tips have made HUNDREDS of pounds difference at New Southgate :
- shop around for all your insurance.
- get your tax back - Most gifts to the Green can have their tax given to the Green. If a taxpayer buys something for you and you can get the receipt, then you can get the income tax back on it. Thus if someone can be bothered to get together those odd receipts for lawmower fuel it can be worth quite a bit.
- Bargain for the price of things- many shops will give you a discount for a charity if you ask for it- in fact they sometimes just give it to you- yes really!