Don't just rely on grants

There are many ways that you can fundraise or generate income

Please click on the topics below to find out more.

EventsThere are many things you could do from bag packing at your local supermarket, to fun runs and charity balls. 

Planning your Event - Planning is the key to making sure your event is successful. Make sure you are aware of any rules related to collections or raffles and lotteries - look at the code of fundraising practice
TenderingPlease click here for more information.
Working with BusinessesDon't be afraid to approach businesses for support. This could be financial support, the supply of relevant goods or use of their employees as volunteers. Here are a few top tips to get you started:
1. Research the business - remember no two businesses are the same. They will require different approaches.
2. Be clear on what you need from the business and what you can offer them in return. 
3. Be personal. Find out the name of the person you need to speak with and don't send generic requests.
4. Think outside the box. Don't just ask for money, maybe the business could give you advice/design a free website/provide goods/provide volunteers.
5. Emphasise your Unique Selling Point (USP) - what makes your organisation stand out?

Speak to a Development Officer for more information, advice and support on how to engage with businesses. Call 01270 763 100 or email

Trading can directly further the organisation’s mission or can be purely to generate profit. You can trade as long as your constitution allows it.

Primary Trading – is when trading is part of your charity’s primary purpose, e.g. a care home charging residents for accommodation and care or helps your charity’s primary purpose, e.g. a museum running a cafe for visitors.

Non-primary Trading - When your charity’s trading does not relate to your charity’s primary purpose, it may still be exempt from tax if the turnover is below the small trading tax exemption.

Subsidiary Trading company - You may find this useful if your charity:

•       makes profits on trading that’s not linked to its primary purpose;

•       makes a profit that comes close to or is higher than the small trading tax exemption limit;

•       wants to protect its assets from any trading losses;

•       wants to have a separate organisation to carry out all its trading activities;

•       can donate profits to the charity without paying corporation tax (and your charity pays no tax).

Make sure you look at guidance from the Charity Commission before embarking on any trading activity. Click here for more information.

Individual Giving
Engaging with individuals is a great way of generating income and there are many ways you can do this:
Legacy giving is an often neglected area, but one that can bring in significant amounts of money. Click here for some top tips on legacy fundraising.

Major donors can make a signifcant difference to your organisation. Consider establishing a major donor programme. Click here for more information.

Regular giving is vital to helping an organisation become financially sustainable as it is often unrestricted income that can be used for core costs. Ensure it is easy for individuals to sign up to give regularly whether it is via standing order, direct debit, text to give or pay as you earn (PAYE).

Speak to a Development Officer for more information, advice and support on how to engage with potential supporters. Call 01270 763 100 or email
Make the most of the many online systems available:
Crowdfunding: is when lots of people contribute small or large donations to fund a project. There are many different Crowdfunding websites, so research carefully before choosing which website to use. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Be realistic when setting your target.
2. Be strategic and plan your crowdfunding campaign carefully.
3. Stay connected with your supporters, inspire them about your work and you may turn them ongoing donors.

Online Giving Platforms: Make giving easy for potential supporters. Have a clear section on your website dedicated to donations. There are many companies that provide online giving websites. Research them carefully to establish cost and also the administration required to process any donations. Here are some you might like to consider:
JustGiving; Virgin Money Giving; Golden Giving; Charity Checkout; Local Giving; Wonderful; Facebook.

Other Ways:
Sell goods online via Ebay, Gumtree and other similar sites.
Raise money whilst supporters shop via website such as Easyfundraising & Give as You Live.
Gifts in Kind/Free Goods
Gain support from people or organisations using their time or resources or donations of free goods.
In Kind Direct - redistribute goods from companies to charities, social enterprises and not for profit organisations. To find out more click here

B&Q Community Re-use Scheme - B&Q donate unsellable products and paint to community groups and charities. To find out more click here
Investment income includes rent from property, dividends, and interest on deposits. Investments by voluntary organisations generate a small but significant share of the sector’s overall income. Click here for further guidance on investments from the Charity Commission.
Social Loans
Social loans are something that you may want to consider for projects that it's hard to fundraise for, but do need careful consideration. Click here for more information.
Grants & Trusts
There are a huge number of grants and trusts available to voluntary and community groups. Click here for some top tips on grant writing and click here for more specialist grant areas.
Gift Aid
To find out more about Gift Aid and how your organisation can claim extra on certain donations click here

It would also be sensible to put together a plan or strategy of the ways you are trying to fundraise or generate income, and regularly review this to keep you on track towards achieving your target.


CVS also offer a number of training courses looking at different aspects of income generation, from trusts and foundations to attracting major donors - look on our training pages to see if there are any of these courses taking place in the near future.


CVS Member? - contact the Membership Services Team for ideas, support and advice on the different ways you could raise funds.

Not a Member? Find out more about becoming a Member here.

Other resources to help with fundraising include:

Know How Non-Profit: Fundraising Ideas


You can get in touch with us by emailing

You can also call the team on 01270 763100