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The cost of fundraising...

Return on investment is an important thing for any organisation, but particularly so for a charity.


Most people probably don’t think about the cost of fundraising (a heads up: it’s not just a case of having a volunteer rattling a bucket in a town centre ‘for free’).


Before a charity can fundraise, it has to:

·       Pay for public liability insurance

·       Pay for marketing materials/buckets

·       Pay for DBS checks and licences for their staff

·       Pay professional fees to remain complaint with various regulatory boards

·       Likely pay for a staff member to co-ordinate/plan the fundraising

·       Cover any processing fees for paying in cash at the bank

·       Typically provide T-shirts/uniform for volunteers/staff


That’s just a simplistic view. If they’re running an event like a charity ball or a dinner, there’ll also be venue costs, food, and server costs to meet. Even if they charge a ticket price to attend, these costs must be deducted first before they can begin to use the remainder for the project/good cause intended.


Core costs are the Holy Grail in the VCSE sector. You can run any number of projects that funders will back, but you can only do that when foundations are in place, i.e. once staff, workplace/office costs, insurances are paid, etc. Whilst it would be wonderful if all charities didn’t incorporate staff costs, that’s unrealistic. Volunteers are thin on the ground to begin with, and finding those who have all the individual skills needed for a charity to run, to create impact and to sustain themselves is unlikely if you’re only fishing in a tiny pool of people who can afford to give their time for free.


Evolve3 provides free or heavily subsidised events to charities to run as fundraisers, which are fully staffed and which are intended to command a ticket price. Community fundraising events like these are so beneficial:


·       Proceeds or profits can be used for ANY of the charity’s costs – no restrictions

·       Events provide value to the charity’s supporters; rather than just being asked to empty their pockets, they receive something of value too

·       They’re great for social media content and can help the charity reach new audiences


Our Battle of the Barristers events are wholly unique, and they’re fantastic as a charity fundraiser event. They’re immersive, fun, and like nothing you’ve seen before.


On the subject of ‘return on investment’, we’d like to share a wonderful testimonial from Suzanne Brown, the SEO and founder of Al’s Pals. Evolve3 CIC wrote their bid applications for a while, and we’re pleased to say that we brought back 35 times our cost to them in funding.


Whilst we have stopped offering our bid-writing service, we can still train your bid-writers. We can impart our skills and knowledge to charities who are looking to improve their outcomes when applying for grants. We’re on a number of funding panels, and we can see an application from both sides and can help your organisation hone its approach.


Over to Suzanne….


‘Diane was a major asset for us at Al’s Pals and it was the first time we had a grants/bid writer for our charity supporting cancer patients and their families with emotional support in hospital and at home. 


Diane was the best investment we ever made. Diane was hard working and very honest in her approach. She went above and beyond her role in what she charged us and the return on our investment was exceptional. A £35,000 income with just £1000 as an expenditure.  It made us realise the amazing work that can be achieved.


This £35,000 has enabled us to grow our home support service considerably with more volunteers, now that the costs for these volunteers are covered. Our home support service was struggling with only two volunteers and many referrals we were unable to address. Now the service has grown, we have seven volunteers and we're able to spread the word about our home support service with more GP surgeries coming on board and working closely with our local hospice. 


This has lessened the pressure our charity has faced, which is priceless. Our growth during this past year would not have happened without Diane on board.’


Get in touch and find out how Evolve3 could help your charity or social enterprise. Email us at or call 01924 654180.


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