Category Archives: community grants

Sport England’s approach to Small Grants has changed

Sport England has relaxing a few rules about what they can’t fund, and are trying to make it as simple as possible to apply to their Small Grants programme.

The focus of your application should be what difference your project will make, not what you purchase to make it happen.

They also want to know how many new participants will be involved.

One of the main differences made to this fund, is that it will no longer matter if your project takes more than 12 months to deliver and you can spread your funding over three years, if required. They are also happy to contribute funding to bigger projects.

You can request grants up to £10K for revenue related expenditure and new / additional movable equipment. Sport England may make slightly larger awards in exception circumstance only.

Sport England will also be doing more to support organisations which are able to support inactive people become active

Get Ready for the New Data Protection Laws

Help your sports club get ready for the new General Data Protection Regulations with this handy toolkit produced by Sport England.

A free toolkit to help sports clubs and organisations become compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) has been made available to downloadOpen in a new window.

The documents, produced by the Sports and Recreation Alliance and funded through an £85,000 grant from us, explain the new laws regarding the collection and processing of personal information.

GDPR, which replaces the Data Protection Act 1998, comes into effect on 25 May and all sports organisations will need to be compliant – irrespective of their size.

The Sports and Recreation Alliance toolkit, which will be released in three stages before the deadline, is a series of templates specifically tailored for grassroots clubs to help them achieve compliance.

There is also a series of handy guidance notes and advice summaries to help clubs use them correctly and adapt them to their own situation.

The GDPR toolkit includes:

  • Data privacy notices
  • A consent form for direct marketing
  • A GDPR compliance questionnaire to help clubs create a checklist of things to consider.

To access the documents in the toolkit, click here

Sport England ‘Community Asset Fund’

You may already be aware that Sport England ‘Inspired Facilities’ fund, which ended last year has been replaced by Sport England ‘Community Asset Fund’, which will be taking applications from the end of this month.

If you have a project that fits the eligibility criteria, we are here to help you. Project sizes vary from £5,000-£150,000 but will receive lots of interest, and clubs will need to recognise that only water tight applications will have a chance of being successful

We support clubs with successful applications to various funding bodies.

Read more on the link below, and we look forward to hearing from you –

Key Tips to Writing a Comprehensive Funding Bid

Key Tips to Writing a Comprehensive Funding Bid

This can be very time consuming and confusing, 4Grants can do the work for you.  If you do decide to apply by yourself we have listed a few tips below:

  • Clearly demonstrate you meet all of the criteria – only apply if you are eligible
  • Clearly detail the outcomes of your project
  • Demonstrate that the project is additional to a statutory service
  • Ensure you thoroughly evidence the need for the project
  • Ensure your business plan is thorough and covers all aspects of the project, demonstrating that it’s a well planned and managed project
  • In current times, even if you meet the criteria there will be too many bids for the amount of money that a funder can distribute, if a funder has priorities make sure you detail how you meet these in your bid
  • Demonstrate your belief and enthusiasm for the project
  • Make sure that the group writes the bid so that they have ownership of it
  • Have the application form signed by the correct people
  • Ensure that those group members that you put down as contact people are fully knowledable about the bid
  • Ensure the application is sent before the deadline
  • Include all the documents that are required
  • Apply for the amount of funding as detailed in the bid
  • Make sure your accounts are not filed late and are up to date
  • Make sure that you fully complete the form, if the funder asks for the finance information to be written in the bid, don’t ask them to see your attached budget sheet
  • Clearly demonstrate how the money will be spent within the given time constraints of the funder
  • Spend time producing an accurate budget sheet that clearly details all financial aspect of the bid
  • If your projects overall cost is more than the amount being applied for, detail where this money is coming from
  • Make sure you are not applying for anything retrospectively

Phew your done!  Once you have done all of the above your application could still be unsuccessful, we are here to help and assist you along the way.

4Grants provides a no win, no fee service that is used by organisations across the UK, you only pay us if we are successful in obtaining the grant.  Recently one of our clients said “if someone came to you and offered you £10,000 if you gave them £1,000 would you do it?”  It’s a no brainer for most organisations……

Contact us today at

Grants for Sports Clubs

Ambitious sport clubs across the country are looking to upgrade their facilities and equipment.  Yet funding the improvements is often the biggest challenge. This need not be the case as, increasingly, there are funds available that all organisations can access.

4Grants work with organisations and clubs across the UK, we have the knowledge and experience of funding available for your club.   Our service is unique in that we offer a no win no fee solution, you only pay us if we are successful in getting your club grant funding.  The majority of the clubs we work with use their own funds (From fundraising) to pay our fees and we get this back (often 10 times the amount) in grant funding.  We advise all our clients never to use any of the grants obtained to pay our fees.


We focus our efforts on community and grassroots clubs, not only with the improvement of facilities, but with the purchase of the right equipment to enable the club to grow and develop. 4Grants works across the sporting sector, we are aware of many funds that are not specifically aimed at sport, which your club could be missing out on.

Traditionally, clubs have used a range of methods to raise funds. These have included fundraisers such as:  Dinners, tournaments, parties, social evenings, 6 a sides and sponsorship.

Change and development is never easy, most clubs are run by volunteers that simply don’t have the time, capacity and knowledge to apply for funding.  There is help out there to make sure your club doesn’t get left behind.

If you are looking to upgrade or enhance your club’s facilities and are unsure of the funding streams or opportunities available, contact a member of 4Grants who are always there to help.

Environmental Trust Grants – 3rd Party Questions Answered

Third Party Funding Requirements
As part of the monies voluntarily passed by FCC Environment, the Government only allows FCC Environment a 90% credit against this amount.

In order to mitigate the losses incurred by participating in the Scheme FCC Environment (as a condition of providing Landfill funders with the funding)requires project applicants to secure the help of eligible ‘Third Parties’ who will reimburse them with an amount equal to 10% of the cost of the funding committed. In addition to the level of the grant this also takes into account the automatic levy charged by the Funds’s regulator ENTRUST together with a proportion of the costs associated with administering the grant.

Who can be a Third Party Funder?
The key consideration regarding Third Party Funding is the term ‘Unique Benefit’. Simply, a contributing third party cannot gain any unique benefit from the project put forward for funding. Examples of organisations which can be contributing third parties are:

  • Private Companies
  • Public sector organisations- Local Authorities, County Councils
  • Charities
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Private Donors
  • A person who shares the benefits with others. For example, a member of club or a person who uses with others a clubs facilities.

As part of a Landfill Bid funders will want you to demonstrate the impact on the environment your new facility or refurbishment will have on the environment.

Funding Sources

The aim of this blog is to give an overview of the sources of funding available to voluntary and community groups. It is also about targeting appropriate funders for your group  and project.

1: Researching and Targeting Funders
Firstly, think about going back to any past or existing funders. Did you spend the grant properly? Was the money used well? Did you get positive feedback from the funder about your achievements? If so, they may be happy to fund you again.

Next, use contacts. Ask management committee members, staff, volunteers or members if
they have had any contact with funders, or know of similar groups or projects that have been funded.

When you get direct information on a funder, or through a generated list from a funding
search of potential funders,

Always carefully read all the information you have about each funder, to see that you are
eligible, and meet the funding criteria. Some funders target very specific causes, others give
more generally, to all kinds of groups that deal with community or disadvantage. Target those
whose criteria you most closely meet first. List potential funders in order of priority. Think
about how much time and effort you can put into applications, and limit your list to the number
of funders you can deal with.

A golden rule: Quality not Quantity. It is better to work hard on a small number of bids, to find
the right funders and to show each funder how well you meet their aims.

2: Types of funders
Subject to your organisation’s constitution, and what you want the money for, the main types
of funding available to voluntary organisations are:
• Charitable Trusts
• Lottery Funding
• Company Giving
• Statutory Grants

Charitable Trusts
Trusts (sometimes called Foundations) are set up by companies or individuals as a way of
giving money to certain causes.  Many more are national, giving around the country.

Amounts can range from a couple of hundred pounds to tens of thousands, or more if you match their aims closely and can show a big impact. Applications to Trusts are often as simple as a two
page letter or basic application form. More details might be requested for larger requests.

Lottery Funding
The Lottery has various streams of funding, each of which has its own pot of money and
application criteria and process. For more information please visit the website on

For further information, help and sport contact 4Grants.

Is Grant Funding a vital part of your organisation?

It involves getting the resources – money,  equipment, premises etc. – that your organisation needs to carry out its work.
Fundraising should be an organised, planned activity. There are a number of steps to  successful grant funding:

Step 1: Appoint a fundraiser or fundraising group
Step 2: Make sure you’re ready to be funded
Step 3: Decide what you need funds for
Step 4: Make a budget
Step 5: Locate funders
Step 6: Make applications
Step 7: Follow up

The time between when you decide you need funds, to when you actually receive them is
likely to be about six months. It is important, therefore, that you start your fundraising well in
advance .

Stage 1: Appoint a fundraiser or fundraising group
It is essential that a person, or group of people, see fundraising as their responsibility.
Fundraising requires time and effort to be successful, so a person or team should commit
themselves to it. The most successful funding application will have involved a range of people
from within the organisation. This is because a successful fundraising application involves
communicating the vision of your organisation to a funder. That vision is, or should be, a
collective vision. This person or group should oversee all the following steps.

Stage 2: Make sure you’re ready to be funded
All funders require, as a minimum, that:
• You are a non-profit organisation with charitable or benevolent aims;
• You have a set of rules or constitution, stating your aims and how you operate;
• You have a bank account and keep financial records.

This is one of the ways of ensuring that their money will be properly managed and spent.
Certain things you might want to fund – a worker, a building, or a vehicle for example – give
you legal obligations. A funder will require evidence that you understand these obligations,
and that you have taken steps to comply with them.

Stage 3: Research and plan your project
Decide whether you want to cover your organisation’s general running costs, or have a
particular project, with costs of its own. Make a list of ALL the items that you could need to
pay for, for your organisation or project.

Divide the list into two categories – capital and revenue. Capital means items of equipment
that you usually pay a fixed one-off amount for –buildings, computers, vehicles, for example.
Revenue is on-going costs like wages, expenses, bills, core funding, etc..

Decide when you need the money for, and how long it has to last. For a project, there will
usually be a start and finish date, or at least an idea of how long it will last. If you are looking
for general running costs, you should include all your expenditure for one year, or two or three
years. It is up to you how far ahead you can accurately plan, but one year is a usual

Stage 4: Make a budget
Budgeting is simply putting amounts to all the things you’ll need to spend money on. Budgets
should not be guesswork – get as near as you can to the actual amounts you will have to pay.
For example, get quotes for building work, get exact prices for equipment, ask how much rent
people pay for similar offices to yours, find out how much people get paid for the kind of posts
you want to fund. Don’t forget to include in your budget realistic amounts for contingencies
and reserves.

Funders will know if your budget is not accurate – your figures will be too rounded, or
unrealistic. A properly worked out budget is one of the most important elements of
successful fundraising.

Stage 5: Locate funders
Once you have made a budget you can start to look for funders.

Stage 6: Make applications
After finding appropriate funders, the next stage is to make a good application.

Stage 7: Follow up
You should think of fundraising as a long-term, ongoing process, not a one-off. How you treat
your funders is therefore important. You might want to go back to funders in future, or may
need to show new funders that you have a good track record of managing funds.

So once you have succeeded in getting your funds, there are 2 important steps to take:
• Say thank you! Many beneficiaries simply accept the money without acknowledging it.
Funders are human beings too, and will respond well to gratitude for the help they
have given. A phone call may suffice, a letter will be much appreciated, or you could
invite them to come along and see the project they have funded in progress.
• Make sure that you do all that the funder requests in terms of monitoring your work,
reporting and accounting. You may need to fill in a form or forms to show how you
have spent the money, or how the project or organisation is progressing.

If there is no particular information to provide, it is a good idea to send a report to your
funders. This could be not just facts and figures but also photographs of your work, to show
how the money is being used, and to bring your work to life. This will build a stronger
relationship with funders, which could lead to more support in future.

Gillette celebrates the announcement of ‘Great Start’ coaching programme for 2013


Gillette has announced its ‘Great Start’ programme which celebrates the role of coaching and supports coaching excellence by offering coaching grants awarded through the scheme. The announcement marks the second year of Gillette’s partnership with sports coach UK sports coach UK is a beneficiary organisation of Gillette’s ‘Great Start’ programme and is not affiliated to the IOC or London 2012, re-affirming the brand’s promise to help support coaching development and invest in sporting legacy beyond London 2012.


The grants are available to both aspiring and amateur coaches who wish to further their qualifications. Applications for grants open from the 9 May 2013 via the brands Facebook page Gillette is also continuing to supporting the UK Coaching Awards hosted by sports coach UK which celebrate the role of coaching in encouraging participation, performance and excellence. As part of the Great Start programme Gillette is offering people the chance to nominate a coach who deserves recognition for their work for the UK Community Coach of the Year Award.


England Rugby League Head Coach Steve McNamara said: “The brilliant thing about the ‘Great Start’ programme is that it recognises the importance of supporting coaching in the UK and the integral role it plays in nurturing the future sporting talent of Great Britain.  Without great coaches there would be no great athletes and it is essential that we continue to invest in coaching to ensure our future champions get the right training and support.”


Gillette brand manager, Jared Regan, commented: “Gillette has a rich heritage in sport and we appreciate the crucial role that both amateur and professional coaches play in the success of sport in the UK. Coaching is the sporting embodiment of a great start and we’re absolutely delighted to be able to sponsor these grants for a second year and give more people the opportunity to feel at their best by giving back to their community through coaching.”


sports coach UK CEO Dr Tony Byrne said: “Gillette understands that without the tireless efforts of volunteer coaches and educators, the next generation would not be inspired to pursue careers in sport and new talent would remain undiscovered.  We also know that the cost of gaining a qualification is seen as a major barrier by many aspiring coaches, so we’re delighted that Gillette’s Great Start programme will enable more people to develop their skills”.

How a 6 stage marketing campaign can increase activity

At Make Sport Fun we recommend using the following 6 stage approach to running your marketing campaigns. It’s proven itself time after time to be an effective way of increasing participation.

We started using this model after researching dozens and dozens of activity marketing campaigns, we found that one of the common themes amongst the successful campaigns was that they all had six stages:

1.    Plan your campaign – who is your target audience, what activities appeal to them, how many people do you need to get more active? What marketing budget do you need?
2.    Set up your campaign set up your website, build a database of where to get active, set up ways for people to register with you.
3.    Recruit – Find people who want to get more active and encourage them to register their details. Think about using PR, advertising, Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click, Direct Mail. Social Media and referrals.
4.    Intervene – call the people that have registered, support them in becoming more active and find them somewhere local to do an activity.
5.    Active participation – People try the activity on their own, and hopefully have a good experience
6.    Review – Phone people back at 1, 3, 6, and 12; months address any barriers and issues and offer further motivation and support.

It works because it covers everything you need to do as part of your campaign and it is such a straightforward model to follow.  It takes everything back to basics and ensures that you don’t omit to include any important elements.

We’re currently running an activity marketing campaign in Greenwich – Greenwich Get Active – by following the 6 stage model.

Plan your campaign – We identified our target market which were living within the borough of Greenwich and worked with our partners at NHS Greenwich to understand how many people we were wanting get more active. We used the segmentation mapping tool ( to identify who to target. We used the communication plans from the promotingactivity site started to identify the messages and communication channels our audience would respond to. This enabled us to identify the marketing budget we would need to assign.

Set up your campaign – We created and set up a bespoke CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, an activity database and a website. This enabled us to help people to search for a local activity in the area to take part in. We made it as easy as possible for people to sign up by setting up a text number, email address, and phone number for registration.

Recruit– We worked with a local community trust, who ran a 9-week roadshow for the campaign, produced and displayed posters; placed adverts in newspapers, on the tube and at bus stops; ran Google Ads to target people searching for where to do activity. We researched the words people were searching for on the internet and optimised our website. Over 3,000 people registered and gave us their permission to communicate and market to them.

Intervene – We communicated to all the people that responded. Again – we worked with the local community trust who have called everyone and helped them find the ideal activity for them from our database.

Active Participation – People went off and tried the activity we’d help them find. This included over 1000 possible local activities from our database such as walking, cycling, gym, dance and sports clubs.

Review – We followed up with people by telephone to motivate them to continue their activities. We congratulated them on their successes and didn’t judge them if they were struggling. Instead we found ways to get them back on track; including other activities for them to try. This ensured that if anyone had dropped out they were more likely to start up again. We also used a newsletter, automated texts and emails to engage people and keep them interested in keeping active.

Over 3,000 people have registered to say that they want to get more active. And according to our research from previous campaigns over 50% of them will become more active.

For further information about running campaigns download our FREE guide to marketing from