Planning your fundraising

Plan, plan, plan! Give some thought to each aspect of your fundraising to reach your target

Before you start fundraising it is important to have a clear plan in place

It doesn't always need to be very detailed - if you are raising a couple of hundred pounds to help your unit you don’t need a big planning document, but if you are applying to a trust or foundation they will be looking for much more detail.

Be clear on the benefits of your project

Think carefully about what you are raising funds for and the benefits it will have for your unit. For example, if you are fundraising to cover the cost of taking your unit away on a trip you are not just fundraising for a trip, you are raising funds to give the girls in your group an experience away from home which will help them develop confidence, independence and skills.

Think about how you would describe the benefits that young women gain from Girlguiding, and in a similar way think about what impact this project will have on them and what they will take away from being involved. Thinking about it in this way will help when talking to others about why your project is important and why they should support it.

How much do you need?

What is the total cost of your project? For all fundraising, you need to think about the total amount needed to complete your project. Don’t forget to include small things as well, they all add up. For example, if you are going on a camping trip include your teabags and milk in your food costs, and include VAT.

Some funders, particularly trusts and foundations will want to see a detailed budget so it is useful to look at this early on when you are in the planning stage.

Most projects involve some costs, and most funders understand this, so think about including your overheads in the budget. This can include items like rent, heating, lighting and staff time.

Choosing the right mix of fundraising

You don't have to stick with just one form of fundraising, you can combine them - a range of activities means there are more opportunities to get your girls involved, and different opportunities will suit different aspects of your project.

Consider how your project would appeal to the different funders. For example, if you're raising money to improve your meeting place, this might appeal to trusts and foundations, and funding a trip away for your girls could interest local businesses.

It can also be useful to think about how your project could fit into a range of categories. As a part of Girlguiding, you should apply for funding streams specifically for young people, but there will be other opportunities worth applying to, that suit your specific project.

When you have chosen your approach, make sure you set a realistic target amount for each strand of fundraising you are using.

How long will it take?

Fundraising can be time-consuming, so if you need the money by a specific date make sure you give yourself enough time.

Some funding organisations will only meet to make decisions at set times in the year. Before applying, make sure you check their guidance information for when you might hear back and adjust your project timings around this.

It can be really helpful and motivational to set monthly targets and keep your group up to date with your progress over time.

Be flexible

Think creatively and adapt how you talk about your project to suit the funder's priorities. Find out what they want to achieve and how your project can fit within that.

For example, if you are planning to buy arts materials for your unit then you could try describing this to funders as an arts project rather than youth work.

Make it bite-sized

If you're planning something big, instead of asking a funder to pay for the entire project, break it into 'bite-size' pieces and find several funders who can make smaller donations.

Make a ‘shopping list’ and ask different organisations what they'd like to pay for. Say that the money 'could' pay for these items so that you're not tied to putting their donation towards the cost.

Put a range from small items to larger donations - £10 could pay for a nights camping and £500 could pay for everyone's travel to the campsite. Donations of all sizes will help you reach your goal.

Top tips for your fundraising

Tried and tested simple ideas to help you raise money for your unit.