Funding Advice

Voluntary Action Swindon can help your charity or community group secure funding. In the last year, we helped more than 85 local organisations to raise more than £350,000.

Funding Surgeries

Are you a charity or community group looking for funding? We can help. From community events to charitable trusts, we can guide you through the fundraising process, improving your chances of securing the funding you need. We can support you with one-to-one advice and guidance, to discuss where you might get income from, work with you on a fundraising plan, and review your funding applications.

Just send an email to russell@vas-swindon.org, briefly outlining who you are (e.g. a registered charity or informal community group), where you are regarding fundraising, and where you would like to be. Alternatively, call us on 01793 538398 for a chat.

Fundraising Fact Sheets

Perhaps you’d like to take a look at our Fundraising Fact Sheets – they might answer some of your questions, or could provide a starting point for a discussion with us:

  • Project Planning

    Before you start fundraising, you need to be really clear what it is you’re raising money for. Having a clear plan will help funders to see that you are serious about your goals – making them more likely to give you a grant or donation.

  • Planning Your Budget

    You’ll need to know how much money is needed to run your project or service before you start asking for funding. Having a budget in place will help to avoid overspend and help you to set fundraising targets, as well as being realistic about what can be achieved.

  • Who Gives Money?

    The next thing to do is to decide who you’re going to approach for funding. Charities and community groups can secure funding from a range of sources, including charitable trusts, the Big Lottery Fund, companies, and even the European Union.

  • Writing Applications

    The language you use when writing grant applications is important. You’re much more likely to get the funding if you’re clear, specific, and positive about the difference you can make.

  • Making an Application Checklist

    Not every application process is the same, and different funders will ask for different things. Nevertheless, this list can help to ensure you don’t miss anything.

  • Evidence of Need

    It’s really important that you can show evidence that your project or service is needed. It’s not enough that you know how crucial it is – you need to be able to prove it to funders who might have no idea about your cause.

  • Understanding Monitoring & Evaluation

    Almost as important as Evidence of Need is Monitoring & Evaluation. Funders will want to know that their grant or donation has made a difference – so you need to think about how you will show that it has, before you apply for funding.

  • Fundraising Events Action Plan

    There’s a lot to consider when running an event, from raising awareness to health and safety. Here’s a draft action plan you can use to ensure you’ve covered everything when preparing for your event.

  • Holding a Raffle or Lottery

    There are rules around running lotteries and raffles, even when the proceeds are going to a good cause. Depending on how much money is involved, you may need to register with the council or Gambling Commission.

  • Street Collections

    Street collections are a good way to collect donations from the public, but there are rules around who, how, when and where you may collect.

  • Gift Aid

    Gift Aid is a way for people to donate to your charity without it costing them anything. You do need to be registered to claim Gift Aid, however – here’s how to do it.

  • Creative Fundraising

    Finally, here are some hints and tips covering best practice in all areas of fundraising.

Funding Sources

Here are some sources of funding for you to explore. We can help with your funding applications.

For more funding sources, sign up to these free funding databases:

Wiltshire & Swindon Funding Database

The Wiltshire & Swindon Funding Database is maintained and supported by the Wiltshire Community Foundation. If you are a local charity or community group you can register for free to search for relevant grants and funders in the Swindon and Wiltshire area.

Funding Central

Funding Central lists thousands of funding and finance opportunities for voluntary organisations and social enterprises registered in England. There’s also a wealth of tools and guides supporting you to develop a sustainable income strategy.