Helpful Documents

The helpful documents page will help you develop fundraising skills and knowledge in a range of areas, such as applying for grants and tenders. It will also provide you with information and guidelines on a range of fundraising options to create a more stable organisation that no longer relies on one fundraising strategy, i.e. only applying for grants and contracts, but is able to identify and generate income from different sources. This is considered to be the foundation for a more sustainable organisation that can meet their key aims and objectives, and is able to continue, and even expand, their work. The resources under the following sections will help you to plan and deliver a sustainable fundraising strategy.

This page should be viewed along with other pages of the funding section. For a quick tour of the funding section, please see video.

1.    Fundraising: Strategies and tools

Introduction to fundraising and developing a sustainable fundraising strategy

Commissioning and procurement
Corporate fundraising and sponsorship
Social media tools
Event fundraising
Individual giving
Social enterprise
Strategies and tools: Other


2.    Fundraising: Additional skills and knowledge

Budgets and full cost recovery
Partnership skills
Writing skills
Role of volunteers and Board members
Additional skills and knowledge: Other


1. Fundraising: Strategies and tools

Introduction to fundraising and developing a sustainable fundraising strategy

Introductory pack on funding and finance: Guide to fundraising (2006)
Institute of Fundraising and NCVO
This introductory guide provides basic information on developing a variety of funding streams that will enable organisations to strategically plan their fundraising activities and develop their knowledge of various income sources.

Introduction to sustainable funding (2008)
Women’s Resource Centre
This is an introduction to the different funding options available and how to plan a fundraising strategy. Although the guide was developed for the women’s sector, the information and advice is applicable for charities working in other sectors.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: Bedfordshire’s sustainable funding guide (2010)
Bedfordshire Community and Voluntary Service with funding from NCVO
This guide provides a summary of sustainable funding options, in particular trading, grants, contracts, donations/individual giving.

Developing a fundraising strategy (2004)
South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau
This four-page information handout provides an outline of what a fundraising strategy entails, concise definitions of different forms of planning, and some advice that can be used to support any additional reading on this topic.

Fundraising strategy template (2010)
The Campaign for Learning
This template can be used to develop an organisation's fundraising strategy. It includes useful questions and tips that guide the user to develop a strategy that is appropriate and relevant for their organisation. 

What is a charitable trust or foundation?
Directory of Social Change
This short guide is designed to help users search and apply for grants from charitable trusts and foundations, and includes criteria that organisations can use to identify suitable grants. It is a useful resource to read before searching for grants on the NFLN searchable database.

Picture this: a guide to scenario planning for voluntary organisations (2006)
Guide for strategic planning that uses scenario planning to prepare for changes in the external environment. It will help organisation improve their performance and be ready for change.  

Introduction to sustainable fundraising: How to find new income streams (2011)
National Family Learning Network
This short video will help you explore different income streams, trading opportunities i.e. selling services and goods, and demystify business terms and concepts. It is accompanied by a worksheet that will support strategic planning activities, and presentation notes if you prefer to read the presentation rather than see the video.

The sustainable funding guide (2011)
Voluntary Norfolk
This guide provides concise definitions and examples of some tools and approaches for creating a sustainable fundraising strategy.


Commissioning and procurement

Finding your way with commissioning training pack (2010)
The Campaign for Learning with funding from Communities and Local Government, Working Neighbourhood Fund, and administered by Wigan Borough Partnership.
This commissioning guide explains the commissioning process along with additional materials, such as good practice self-assessment, that will enable organisations to plan their commissioning strategy.

A beginners' guide to commissioning (2011)
This is a guide for organisations that are starting to look at commissioning of local public services.

Pathway through the maze: a guide to procurement law (2009)
This is a comprehensive guide to procurement regulations and processes. It is designed for voluntary and community sector organisations that are involved in the delivery of public services.

The complete dictionary of commissioning and procurement (2009)
This factsheet defines a list of key words used in the commissioning and procurement processes.

How to be successful: An introduction to procurement (2009)
This factsheet provides a summary of key issues and terms used in the commissioning and procurement process, and can be read alongside another materials on this topic.

Winning the contract (2010)
Learn Direct
This is a free e-course designed to help small and medium sized enterprises develop their understanding of the procurement process. It includes six bite-size modules, case studies, glossary and website links. Once users have registered, they have six months to complete the course.

Successful commissioning toolkit: How to secure value for money through better financial relationships with third sector organisations (2010)
National Audit Office
This guide is primarily targeted at commissioners, procurement officers and grant officers. However, it is a useful tool for voluntary and community organisations as it provides an overview of the commissioning process and what to expect from financial relationships with the public sector. The NAO website includes videos that explains terminology, such as commissioning, and explores relevant issues.

Commissioning for changing times: Training pack (2010)
The Campaign for Learning as part of the MLA Strategic Commissioning CPD programme
The training pack defines and explains the commissioning process for those who have limited knowledge of this area. It includes practical information about how to get involved in the commissioning process and tools for strategic planning. The training pack is accompanied by a snapshot guide which includes a summary of the ten most significant points about strategic commissioning.

Central governments’ procurement process (February 2011)
Cabinet Office
The Cabinet Office has produced guidance on central government departments’ procurement and contracting requirements, which will give readers information about the procurement process at the national level. This can be found on the website and in the documents section.

Corporate fundraising and sponsorship

Corporate fundraising
KnowHow NonProfit
This website includes four simple rules to follow when undertaking corporate fundraising. These are useful tips that can be used alongside additional reading on this topic.

How to write a corporate sponsorship proposal

This website includes basic tips on writing proposals for corporate sponsors. The website also includes step-by-step tips on related issues such as how to find sponsors and how to write letters to them.

Finding sponsors for your event
Resource Alliance
Short guide with nine key steps on how to win and keep event sponsors.

A guide to external sponsorship for your club or society (2012)
Student Union University of Greenwich
Although this guide was designed for university students to raise funds for their clubs, it provides basic information for other users about how to seek corporate sponsorship including developing a relationship with the sponsor and making the 'ask'.

Templates and examples for sponsorship letters and proposals
Corporate sponsorship is a good way to finance a project or event. Writing a letter and proposal to a potential sponsor is often the first and most crucial step to building a relationship with them and making the 'ask'. Below are a few examples of templates for letters:
- Template of a sponsorship letter for an event - Soroptimist: Best for Women.
- Example of a sponsorship letter for an event (Notice that the second paragraph of the letter provides concise information about the organisation's work and potential outcome of the event) - Gsmyc.
- Template of a sponsorship proposal - UNA Canada.

Helping companies helping charities: working together in and out of recession (2009)
Charities Aid Foundation
This report presents the findings from research that surveyed 161 charities to find out what they wanted from companies. It includes some practical guidance for companies on how to increase the effectiveness of their charitable giving programme during the recession and beyond.

Social media tools

How to use social media tools
The following sources provide users with basic information about a range of social media tools and online tutorials on how to use them:

Common Craft provides introduction about different social media tools e.g. twitter and wikis, in text and video formats.

Community How To includes examples of digital tools and how they can be used for various activities such as fundraising, organising events, measuring outcomes and impact, and managing projects. 

Grow your charity online is Google's online learning hub for charities that includes tools and advice on how to use the Internet to promote charitable causes and raise donations.

Youtube includes a diverse range of video tutorials, and it is where you can search for videos such as learning twitter one minute at a time or how to use facebook.

Wonder How To includes a range of videos that can be found using a searchable database.

Message in a box includes guides and tips on how to use a range of tools such as creating an audio piece and videos.

Big ideas for a small communications budget
Charity Comms
The list includes a range of digital tools and how it can be used to meet different purposes e.g. to create social network, blog tools and publishing tools.

How to use social media for fundraisin

Vimeo includes videos with advice and suggestions of how to use social media tools, e.g. micro-financing and social media. Users can also upload a video, e.g. about their organisation or event, and then signpost others to view it.

Youtube: Setting up your non-profit channel includes instructions to upload videos about the organisation which can help to raise its profile.

Black Baud website includes podcasts about how to use social media tools to develop fundraising strategies.

Mad Mini. Regular newsletters to stakeholders including current funders is a good way to raise the organisation's profile and keep stakeholders up to date with current work and successes. Mad Mini is a good tool for users to set up their email marketing and it is free for a small mailing list.

Social Brite: Tutorials on social media is targeted at non-profit organisations and includes advice and tips on how to achieve the most impact from social media tools. Topics include tips for writing a blog post, online networking, and how to make giving on your site more social.

Social Brite: 24 tools for fundraising includes 24 tools for online fundraising.

Social media planning guide for voluntary sector organisations
NAVCA and ICT Champions
This is a short and practical guide designed for voluntary sector organisations which will help them develop a social media strategy. It is targeted at users with limited knowledge of how to use social media as a tool to plan and deliver services.

Social Media and Marketing podcast (2011)
The Campaign for Learning
This podcast is targeted at voluntary and community organisations. It will provide an explanation of social marketing, and how to use social media to target users and potential funders.

Event fundraising

Code for event fundraising
Institute of Fundraising
This web page sets out legal requirements and good practice guidelines for fundraising, including a section on planning and delivering an event.
To find the information you need to go to the home page, click on the 'Guidance' tab at the top of the page followed by the 'Code of fundraising' and then the 'Guidance' tab.

Idea: Use corporate sponsorship to part or fully fund your event. Refer to the resources under the corporate fundraising section on this web page.

Oxfam have produced some information and guides for event fundraising.

Events fundraising: Top 10 tips for organising events (2011)
The Campaign for Learning
This podcast will provide ten tips on events fundraising. It should ideally be used with other resources to further develop your knowledge and understanding in this area. A transcript of the recording is also available.

Individual giving

How can I learn about researching and cultivating individual donors? (2007)
Foundation Centre
Foundation Centre is an organisation based in the USA. This website provides information about how to develop and maintain a strategy for individual giving, and information is presented in audio, video and powerpoint formats.

Give as you earn
Charities Aid Foundation

This is a payroll giving scheme to encourage employees and companies to give. The money is deducted from employees' pay before tax, and encourages the company to match employees' donations. The website includes an employer search to find employers that are part of the scheme.

Social enterprise

A business planning guide to developing a social enterprise (2007)
SENScot supports social enterprises in Scotland. It has produced this guide to offer business advice on planning and management for social enterprise start-ups, with particular voluntary and community sector organisations.

Social enterprise in the 3rd sector (2007)
Social Enterprise London
This guide is designed to help third sector organisations explore and choose the appropriate structure for their organisation.

Social enterprise starting point guide (2007)
Social Enterprise London
This guide explores basic issues facing start-up social enterprises. It will help summarise your own specific needs to make informed decisions about your next steps.

Social enterprise resources  (2010)
This is a comprehensive list of free electronic resources to support the development of social enterprises, and is targeted at voluntary and community sector organisations but can be used by other social entrepreneurs. It includes links to resources on marketing and branding; introductions to enterprise; finance; legal structures; and business and planning.

Strategies and tools: Other

Free ebooks on fundraising
Network for Good
The website includes free ebooks on fundraising including the Nonprofits Email Marketing Guide and the Online Fundraising Guide: 12 winning strategies to survive and thrive in a down economy.

Building relationships with funders and commissioners
Women's Resource Centre
This guide provides users with information and practical tips on how to engage with and develop relationships with funders and commissioners, including how to present your case and how to prepare for an interview. Although the guide was developed for the women’s sector, the information and advice is applicable for charities working in other sectors.

2. Fundraising: Additional skills and knowledge

Budgets and full cost recovery

The Community Accounting Network
This webpage provides the user with guidance notes on how to prepare budgets.

Full cost recovery
The Community Accounting Network
This webpage introduces the user to the basic techniques of full cost recovery along with spreadsheet templates to support its application. It also includes other templates and information for managing budgets and reporting.

Full-cost recovery toolkit software
This full-cost recovery toolkit software can downloaded for free from the ACEVO website.

Partnership skills

Collaboration for communities: Giving power to partnership (2010)
Toolkit includes frameworks for planning and organising partnership work. For more resources see the Locality website.

Working together to achieve your mission: a model for collaborative working (2006)
Guidance on issues to consider when working in partnership. Other resources on this topic can be found on the NCVO website.

Writing skills

How to write a winning tender (2009)
This factsheet covers key issues to consider when writing a tender.

Writing successful funding proposals 
Women's Resource Centre
This guide has been designed to help users write proposals for charitable trusts and foundations.

How to write a fundraising proposal (2003)
The Resource Alliance
This guide, an extract from a book, includes advice on planning an approach, targeting a proposal, and content of the proposal.  

Top tips for successful bid writing video (2011)
National Family Learning Network and Routeways
This short video was recorded with Routeways, a voluntary and community organisation, and provides practical advice on writing bids from a practitioner's point of view.

Role of volunteers and Board members

The trustees guide to fundraising (2007)
The Institute of Fundraising
This guide aims to help trustees play a more proactive role in fundraising strategy and activities for their charities.

Codes of volunteer fundraising
The Institute of Fundraising
This web page includes information for good volunteer management including a document that defines the codes of fundraising practice.
To find the information you need to go to the home page, click on the 'Guidance' tab at the top of the page followed by the 'Code of fundraising' and then the 'Guidance' tab.

Additional skills and knowledge: Other

Free or low cost services and goods to registered charities (2010)
The Campaign for Learning with funding from Wigan Borough Partnership
This document includes a list of organisations and companies that offer free or low cost goods and services, including IT support, creative support, office equipment and legal advice.

Little blue book (2010)
New Philanthropy Capital
This is a concise and practical guide to help charities assess their effectiveness in six areas, such as finances.