This Sport England programme is a coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic recovery fund, helping sport and physical activity organisations to move forward with priority projects and running costs that they might still be struggling with.
It can help with projects that cannot be afforded right now due to the impact coronavirus continues to have on an organisation's normal income streams, as well as a broader spectrum of issues that most of us now face.
It is a fund about recovery, reinvention and building resilience.
To date, Sport England and Be Active have supported campaigns with a financial pledge towards their target fundraising amount, but in addition to this, we've been providing:
- free 1-2-1 coaching by experts
- advice and guidance on campaign improvements
- access to free online courses
- free 60 minute webinars
There's £7.5m of National Lottery funding available to continue supporting clubs and local organisations to set up and run their own crowdfunding campaign, with a potential financial pledge from us to help them towards their crowdfunding target.
Crowdfunding is a great alternative if you don't meet any of the priority groups of our other funding streams, or if you're seeking to raise funds because of a loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Why consider crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise essential funds during a critical time. The common misconception is that during times of crisis, donations and charitable giving has suffered, but this is not what we've seen with Active Together.
As of 1 January 2023, Sport England have invested £3.26m, with a further £7.07m raised from supporters within local communities.
There have been more than 83,000 supporters, pledging to more than 640 campaigns, with the average pledge being £85.
See below for some of the successful campaigns we've already supported.
Grant application vs. crowdfunding
Crowdfunding's not the same as traditional grant funding. It does require work to set up and successfully run a campaign, but the sense of achievement you get once a campaign is successfully delivered creates 'added value' beyond what's achieved from a competitive grant application.
There are also many additional benefits of running a campaign, as well as what you achieve financially.
Feedback so far from other campaigns has seen these benefits include an increased number of new members, sponsorships from local businesses, a greater sense of place within the community, as well as new skills and experiences like social media, marketing and communications.
What will you support?
This funding option is about supporting local clubs and organisations through times of crisis and helping them with recovery, reinvention and building resilience.
Sport England's match investment, of up to £10,000, aims to help organisations start to help themselves on the road to recovery.
It's specifically targeted at organisations that have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship, or the ceasing of operations due to a crisis.
So, your project for example could be for:
- facility refurbishments, maintenance or improvements*
- adapting your facility to ensure a safe return to play
- running new activity to meet demand, post-pandemic, helping your community to recover
- unforeseen events continuing to impact on your finances – fire, theft, vandalism or adverse weather
- the emerging energy crisis – changing your facility to lower your energy consumption.
*If you're simply looking to create, enhance or redevelop your sports facility for the benefit of the community, you may want to consider our other match-funding scheme, Places and Spaces, being delivered as part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy.
How long will it take?
Campaigns typically run for 28 days but take a few weeks to create – so about six weeks in total.
Applications to Active Together are done through the Crowdfunder site and will take minutes to complete and submit.
Once received, Sport England's decision on whether we support your campaign or not will be made within a couple of days, leaving you to focus on running your campaign.
Whilst we can't fund every campaign we see, those that make a good case, include a video and have engaging rewards that'll incentivise a crowd wider than just an existing membership, will usually succeed.
We'll support you throughout, to help you deliver the best possible campaign you can.
Ideally, we'd like to receive your application before you launch your campaign, so that we can help guide you more effectively.
Crowdfunding can be a great way to achieve a fundraise in a relatively short period of time, so why not give it a try?