It’s so important to have many different income streams for your charity, so that you’re not relying on one source of income. That way, if one income stream is seriously affected, or even stops completely, you will still have money coming in to keep things going.
Here are 6 ways to diversify your income
Apply for grants
There are many Trusts and Foundations who give grants to charities to help them carry out their vital work. Many focus on specific areas, such as arts and education or children and young people and often have grants for very specific projects. Some, however, will also fund core costs, such as salaries and office costs.
There are over 4,000 grant funders in the UK and many charities applying for the same funding, so it can be quite competitive. When applying for a grant, make sure you meet the specific criteria set by the funder and that your application is really compelling. Should you be successful, you will also need to submit regular reports to show that you’re spending the money on what you said you would.
Take a look at Grants Online to see which grants are currently available.
You will no doubt have many supporters who want to raise money for you by doing challenge events, donating their birthday to you or asking wedding guests to make a donation instead of wedding gifts. There are lots of different platforms that will allow your fundraisers to set up a fundraising page to raise money for you, such as JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving, Go Fund Me and Facebook. They all have different platforms costs and/or processing fees so make sure you choose the platform that best suits your needs.
Secure corporate partnerships
Another way to diversify your income is through corporate partnerships. These partnerships can be in a variety of different ways – from being the Charity of the Year for a company (from big companies such as investment banks to smaller, local businesses) to a product donating a percentage of their sales to you.
There are many supermarkets who support both national and local charities. When you shop at M&S using your Sparks card, you can choose from 25 charities to receive a donation from M&S. Waitrose runs a Community Matters scheme where each month, each store donates a share of £1,000 to three charities. Customers are given a green token when they shop and they put the token in the slot of the charity they want to support. The more tokens a charity receives, the bigger the share of the £1,000 they will get. You can find out how to apply to your local Waitrose here.
Sign up to Pledjar
Pledjar is the app that turns spare change into real change. Using Open Banking technology, people can round up their purchases and donate their spare change to up to three charities of their choice. This is a great option for people who don’t want the regular commitment of a direct debit donation as they are in total control of how much they donate each week. So if money is tight one week, they can lower their donation or skip it altogether. There is also the ability to make one-off donations and donors can sign up to Gift Aid when they register, giving charities an extra 25%.
Run an annual fundraising event
Having a dedicated annual fundraising event can help you to budget for known income. Depending on the size of your charity and your resources, your annual event could be a simple cake sale or Golf Day or it could be something on a much larger scale, such as Christmas Jumper Day by Save the Children.
An annual event can not only help with income but also with raising awareness of your organisation as it can grow year on year. Think of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning by MacMillan – their coffee morning didn’t start as the biggest in the world when they first held one in 1990. It’s grown to be the biggest in the world over 30 years of growing the event each year, with more and more people taking part.
Raise money through online shopping
Many charities make a significant income through charity shops. Whilst it may not be possible to have a physical shop, there are plenty of ways to raise money through online shopping. You could sign up to eBay for Charities and either sell items yourself that have been donated to you or you can encourage your supporters who sell on eBay to donate a percentage of their sale price to you.
Another way to raise money through shopping is with Amazon Smile. Every time someone purchases something through Amazon Smile – and they’ve chosen to support your charity – you’ll get a percentage of the sale price.