How to avoid being fully reliant on Fragile Funding

By Gill Simpson, Finance Manager

Did you have a classroom pet?

Back in the late ’90s/early ’00s I was working in Education Finance for an East Midlands Local Authority at a time when it was fashionable for the government to provide targeted funding for schools – with a narrow list of things it could be spent on.

The manager of these funds, who incidentally was also an Anglican vicar, brought the matter home to me by the example of ‘if the government wants every classroom to have a rabbit then this is how they will do it’.

Did you have a classroom pet?

The funding usually lasted only 12 months and then the emphasis would shift to spending money on something else, leaving schools confused and frustrated.

It resulted in me coining the phrase ‘fragile funding’ and represented the dilemma of money being available but no lasting guarantee and often no lasting benefit.

Charities across the country will receive funding from a mixture of sources including:

  • Grants
  • Business sponsorship
  • One-off individual giving
  • Regular giving
  • Fundraising

The mixture of these sources varies with some.

All sources of income are hugely welcome and allow a phenomenal amount of benefit to be delivered through charities.

However, the category that most charities love the most are the regular givers. Those unsung heroes who faithfully give small regular amounts over an extended period.

I wonder how many people realise the difference their £10 a month can make – I’ll tell you the answer – everything!

The power that regular giving provides to a charity through a steady income stream that can be relied upon is the ability to plan ahead – to commit to communities for the long term, to offer permanent contracts to staff and to focus on their great work rather than wonder if they’ll have the money to keep going after the end of the year.

Your bank statement may just show your couple of regular £10’s going out to your two favourite charities, but those charity bank account statements will be pages long showing lots and lots of £5, £10 and £25 donations coming in, month after month and year after year.

Add in the wonderful 25% gift aid from the government and the amounts quickly begin to grow into a substantial foundation for your charity.

£10 a month, with gift aid, given over 10 years amounts to a fabulous £1,500. Multiply that by other folks giving and the difference is made.

If you give regularly to a charity – thank you, thank you, thank you. If you don’t yet, then please consider if you can make a small sacrifice each month and set up a regular donation. You will help a charity have a better balance of funding, reduce the amount of ‘fragile funding’ it has to seek and help them make long term plans for their work.

Acts Trust is 15 years old this year! If you would consider giving regularly to Acts Trust, your gifts will make more of a difference to our work supporting the people of Lincoln than you could ever imagine. 

We are looking to sign up 100 new regular donors giving £15 per month to celebrate our 15th birthday. Will you help to make a difference and start a donation today?

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