Top tips to secure match funding for your project

So, you’ve got an amazing idea for the area you paddle in, or perhaps your club or group wants to begin caring for the patch of river you paddle? You’ll quickly find that to do most things, you need some money to do it. However, that shouldn’t be the end of your idea. Especially not when your idea will impact other people around you and make the place you paddle more accessible and sustainable for everyone!

The Canoe Foundation generally funds projects up to £10,000. We do welcome applications from more expensive projects in exceptional circumstances, but generally, the budget is maximum £10,000 to work to. That said, we know a lot of projects may run over that budget. So, what next?

Well, this is where match funding comes in. Many charities will often work together to ‘match’ funding given by others. For example, if you’re looking to launch a riverside hub to make paddling more accessible and environmentally friendly for paddlers and open water swimmers, you might want to consider splitting the donations you’re asking for. Say the project is likely to cost £21,000, you might apply to one charity for £7,000 for the launch pad, one charity £7,000 for the equipment you might need on site, and £7,000 from local investors or businesses on a sponsorship basis, for example.

Take a look at our list of other funds available to get you started on where you might want to apply for funding. Then, follow our top tips for applying for funding and match funding below.

Top tips to secure match funding or other funding

  1. Get clear about what you are fundraising for. Charities like to know exactly where the money is being spent. Take time to separate out what you’re asking for in terms of funding from that specific charity. It is absolutely fine to mention that you’re applying for match funding, in fact many charities like to fund part of a project rather than the full amount, but you need to be very clear about what you are asking for funding for, and the amount you are asking for.
  2. Be emotive. People, businesses, charities want to know what difference their money will make. Talk about the impact your project will have on local people and communities and the knock on effect to not just people, but the environment too.
  3. Identify suitable grants available from a range of sources. As mentioned in the commentary above, make sure you’ve got a list of other sources you can apply for funding from. As in point 1, make sure you’re clear about what you’re asking for.
  4. Think about things like fundraisers and crowdfunding. When we think about match funding, we often automatically go to think about other charities or funds available. But we’re lucky to live in a time now when things like crowdfunding are easy to access digitally. It also works as a good PR opportunity to tie in with your local press and Facebook community groups to spread the word!
  5. Link with local businesses and organisations for sponsorship. Again, think about taking a step back from the traditional charity match funding process. Local businesses and organisations often have a sponsorship budget for local causes, especially if there’s a strong link between the business and the waterway or club for example. So it’s worth drawing a list of local businesses and owners you might know to see if there is a mutual interest there worth exploring. This can also be helpful when looking into local philanthropy options too.
  6. Don’t over complicate the process. Keep it simple. Identify potential charities. Think outside the box with crowdfunding and local sponsors. Make a note of your start and end project dates and the intentions behind your sponsorship bids and get applying!

So what are you waiting for? If you’ve got a project that needs match funding, get planning today. And don’t forget to let us know when you secure match funding for a project!

We rely on donations to improve places to paddle across the UK.  Please consider donating a one off or regular amount to our Foundation to help us continue with our work and ensure everyone has sustainable, effective access to our waterways and coastline. Thank you. Donate here >

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