Fundraising in Sport for Development: Exploring the sector's reliance on grant funding

At the beginning of the year, we released the second Fundraising in Sport for Development: State of the Sector Report in partnership with Laureus, Streetfootballworld, The International Platform on Sport and Development and TAFISA. The report evaluates fundraising performance in sport for development globally, analyses how organisations’ fundraising approaches have changed over the course of the pandemic and sets out to inform the future of fundraising in the sector.

Following an overwhelming response from sport for development organisations across the globe, we are delighted to confirm a second series of Fundraising in Sport for Development webinars. The first of these will be taking place on the 31st March at 14:00 BST! You can register here.

The theme for this event will be grant funding: do we need to/how do we reduce the sector’s overreliance on grants from trusts and foundations?

The latest report points to a tendency among sport for development organisations to rely on grants from trusts, foundations and institutions as their primary source of income, with 56% of respondents’ dependent on grant funding for a significant proportion of their income last year. This was particularly prominent among European organisations, with 68% of respondents in Europe reporting that they relied on grant funding in 2021. This dependency could mean the sector is vulnerable to any disruption that may impact the ability of trusts, foundations, and institutions to provide grant funding.

Furthermore, a significant number of respondents relied heavily upon their largest single donor for a substantial proportion of their income, with 17% reporting that their largest donor/grant/corporate partner made up over 50% of their total income last year. These findings suggest that there is a pressing need for sport for development organisations to consider income diversification moving forward. But for many, it may be difficult to know how to begin this process.

Luke Southall, Managing Director at Oaks Consultancy, will be hosting a panel discussion with some of the leading voices in the sector to discuss this phenomenon, and how sport for development organisations looking to diversify their income streams this year might make a start.

We are thrilled to be joined by a fantastic line-up of guest speakers, including:

· David Given-Sjolander from the Swedish Postcode Lottery Foundation. David has worked for and supported a wide range of organisations, from local non-profits and social entrepreneurs to National Sport Federations and the UN. As Project Manager and Strategic Lead: Sport for Social Change at the Swedish Postcode Lottery Foundation, he has partnered with over 100 organisations and developed the Foundation’s strategy on the use of sport for sustainable development.

· Keri Mcdonald from TAFISA. Keri has 15 years of experience in sport for development as a coach, volunteer, programme and event coordinator and project manager - and now works as the Business Development and Fundraising Manager for TAFISA. Keri has worked within the public, not for profit and educational sectors in the UK and Australia to increase sport and physical activity opportunities for all citizens, with an emphasis on marginalised and vulnerable groups.

In preparation for the event, we had a conversation with Keri, who expressed the view that this session was a great opportunity for reflection and broke down some of the key questions she looked forward to discussing on the subject. These included how the reliance on a single income source impacted the sector financially during the pandemic, whether diversification represented the key to the sport for development sector’s future financial success, and how organisations who currently rely on grant funding could begin to explore their wider fundraising options.

To submit your questions for the panel ahead of the event or to discover how we could support you and your organisation, please get in touch with us via email at – we’d love to have a conversation.

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