20th July, 2023 — fundraising

Forest Rangers stay afloat post-COVID: Sponsorship tips

Finding funding for your community sporting club is crucial but can take a lot of time and hard work. This is why we’ve asked some of our most successful Good Sports clubs to share their top tips.

This is part three of our funding tips series. Read part one and part two.

Forest Rangers Football Club is the winner of the 2022 Good Sports National Safe Transport Award. It has over 1,000 members and relies on community and state body grants, as well as local sponsorships to stay afloat.

Vice president Matt Spanko has some great tips for securing sponsors in a post-COVID lockdowns world and advice to help your club stand out in a grant application.

Be flexible with sponsors

“It has become harder to secure sponsorship off the back of COVID-19 and we’ve definitely seen a reduction in the amount of funding business are able to provide,” Matt said.

“This means we’ve had to become more flexible. For example, it might not be possible for a business to provide a lump sum, so instead, we’ve introduced instalment plans.

“We also offer different sponsorship packages with incentives based on various funding amounts – this gives businesses the option to choose an amount that works for them.

“And, we’ve had to find other ways to make up some of the money we used to receive from sponsors in other ways, such as putting more effort into securing grants.”

Be specific when applying for grants

“When applying for grants, it’s important to be specific about what you’re asking for and justify why,” Matt advised.

“You’ll also need to show that it aligns with the criteria of the grant you’re applying for.

“Think about how it might benefit other groups in the community. If you can show it will have a positive impact on people outside of your club, this will strengthen your application.

“Most of the time, you’ll also need to show that your club is able to contribute some of the funding towards what you’re asking for.”

Often ‘in-kind’ support, which is a contribution of goods or services, is accepted as an alternative to money.

Learn more about in-kind contributions on the VicGov website (relevant information for all states/territories).

Show off your achievements

“Another tip when applying for grants is to showcase your club’s achievements.

“For us, having won the 2022 Good Sports National Safe Transport Award, we’re able to demonstrate that our work has been recognised, and it does open a lot more doors,” Matt said.

Check out these Good Sports guides and resources to help your club find and win those grants!

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