As of June 2013 1.2% of the charities in the UK earned 68.9% of the total income, almost 42 billion pounds, whereas the lowest 70% take a share of only 3%. Clearly there is a need to level the playing field and give smaller organisations, who spend more of their grant funding on providing front line services and less in admin costs, a greater share of the money available and utilise the skills, expertise and enthusiasm of the population looking to make a difference in their communities.
We offer a range of services to small and medium charities priced in accordance with your ability to pay! Our aim is to help you grow and become sustainable not to make a profit (indeed we work with a number of organisations each year)
Charity Support services we offer:
Our matching service pairs local charities and SMEs across the UK to create lasting and mutually profitable relationships. Proving a ‘sponsored charity’ for a business allows each entrepreneur to share their experience and expertise. Opportunities for mutually beneficial publicity, employee volunteering or fundraising activities which which increases awareness of both the business and charity while also promoting greater employee satisfaction, productivity and raising awareness of the company and its ideals.
Providing search of potential funding bodies for your project. Unlike similar ‘search and scope’ services we will provide a detailed background on each award giving body, suggestions for prioritisation.
Many mission driven charities do not have full time, experienced and dedicated bid writing staff. Instead of the expense and inherit risk of hiring and training an individual member of staff we can produce grant applications for you. We offer flexible rates of payment (hourly, daily or by outcome). As a point of principle we do not normally work on a commission-only basis. Many organisations offer a commission-only service but the rates charged are often excessive to cover the uncertainty of success; at the expense of the charity’s free reserves. We will only consider applications on this basis if all other sources of fundraising payment have been exhausted and approval for the bid is agreed at Trustee level (in keeping with the best practice standards set out by the Institute of Fundraising ).
Many projects require partnerships, and increasingly this is a pre-requisite demanded by funding bodies to ensure value for money and shared expertise and risk. Finding partner organisations often requires long distance travel for speculative communication (for EU funds often in other languages) with a variety of potential partnerships before finding the right organisation, matching aims and ethos, to deliver the project idea. Our database of organisations that is our client base and contacts list, coupled with our experience in negotiating (and troubleshooting) partnership agreements means Green Shoots provides an invaluable service to cash/time-strapped small organisations.
Many organisations in the Third Sector enter award competitions to achieve the recognition and win publicity. These can often be time consuming to write and maintaining a database of awards, eligibility criteria, and the rolling deadlines can be time consuming if not part of the core business activity. Green Shoots can undertake these applications on our clients’ behalf.
Many organisations are unaware that large organisations and public bodies tender for services, or do not have the in-house capacity to monitor these tendering platforms. Green Shoots can do this and alert you to tendering opportunities in the geographic area and service which matches their activities and experience profile.
Detailed funding strategies require an in-depth knowledge of the funding landscape and the different means of income generation. Often, particularly in early stages of an organisations life, a funding strategy is neglected as the time and energy required develop and implement such as strategy can be seen as a distraction or a low priority when the organisation is struggling from month to month. However developing a strategy early on improves chances of success and ensures no grant writing efforts go wasted.
providing low cost consultation service looking at the organisation’s business plan and operations then outlining opportunities to diversify their income potential whether through trading, commissioning or fundraising.
Many small and medium sized organisations are funding-led or funding dependent and many have not considered opportunities, sometimes very natural opportunities, to use trade as a means of increasing their income and improving their cash flow. We can provide guidance and support whether it is selling t-shirts, opening a café or monetizing existing services for the use of the wider community.
Going beyond shaking a tin on the high street there are some new and exciting means of raising funds to support a charity and help it become more sustainable. These range from legacy giving, gift-aid donations and online platforms such as JustGiving which supports community fundraising activities and crowd funding initiatives. Many of these platforms have associated costs, and different types of subscriber and we can help you chose the right one for your organisation and write an elevator pitch for your project.
Often overlooked by smaller charities due to large overheads and investment amounts required Green Shoots believes this has the potential to unlock a possible revenue stream for the charity or social enterprise, utilise and grow their networks and to this end we have negotiated a deal with a local SME to supply Print on Demand (POD) merchandising available online, to order, at no upfront cost to the charity. A small percentage of the sales, generated through the charity and through our own web store front, feeds back into the organisation to support our pro bono activities.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Upon successfully achieving funding many organisations must spend circa 5% of the total budget on reporting and evaluation ensuring the funding body’s money is being well spent and sharing best practice. The research and evaluation skills required to undertake this stipulation of funding bodies are highly specialised and Green Shoots can offer those services to small charities and organisations without the in-house capacity. Many funding bodies, particularly for large grants, insist on independent evaluation services and we offer competitive rates based and will beat any genuine quote.
Grant Bid Review
For organisations wishing to save money by writing the majority of the bid themselves we can offer a review service where we undertake to critique the bid and suggest improvements, either written by ourselves or by the organisation themselves.
Unsuccessful Bid Evaluation
It is an unfortunately the case that many bids for tenders or grant applications fail. Sometimes this is through no fault of the organisation but simply that funding stream is oversubscribed or the organisational priorities has led to one application being funded at the expense of a stronger application in an area the grant awarding body has little interest or experience. However very rarely will a funding body give feedback on an application and without this feedback it is nearly impossible for organisations to improve in the future. Green Shoots can review failed applications and point out areas which could be strengthened and suggest alternative funding bodies for resubmission.
What about the cost?
As well as providing a number of charities with support pro bono each year Green Shoots is committed to providing its services at an affordable level based on your ability to pay. No organisation should be priced out of the market and our fees are scaled to allow equitable access to funding opportunities. We want to see a world where money is given to charities who have the best track record, innovative ideas or who are mission-driven instead of those who have the most money!
For more information and a free one-hour consultation contact us today.