On the starting blocks to raise money for community sports centres – join the club
Club fundraising is difficult, particularly in these times, but there are ways you can help boost your club’s funds
Anyone for tennis? Ratoath Tennis Club – enjoying the club today
It is estimated that some 500,000 Irish people regularly volunteer in their local sports club, giving their time and effort to support their community. Fundraising to keep a club alive has always been difficult – but particularly so in the current environment. Nonetheless, there are ways you can help boost your club’s resources.
Back in 2007, a committee of 12 people came together to create a tennis club in Ratoath, Co Meath. Entrepreneur Damian Scattergood was founding chairman of the committee, which was tasked with the job of raising €200,000 to build the tennis courts and get the club up and running.
Key to its success was getting a group of people with diverse skills who were willing to commit themselves to the project and see it through.
“We started with 12 in 2007 and finished with the same 12 in 2009,” Scattergood says. “We had different skills, but worked hard to share the workload. It’s important to make sure you share the workload and not burn people out. “
And the rewards are there.
“Two years, 12 people and hundreds of hours of work. Now we all play tennis together,” he says.
Apply for grants
The National Lottery-funded Sports Capital Programme allocates funding to projects that are directly related to the provision of sport or recreational sport facilities.
For example, in 2012 Virginia Rugby Football Club in Co Cavan got an allocation of €50,000 under the scheme, and Macroom GAA club in Co Cork got €70,000. It is also possible to apply for lower amounts – Longford Swimming Special Olympics Club received €1,900 that year, for example.
While the money is available, though, it can be a time-consuming process. Ratoath Tennis Club got a grant of about €90,000 from this source. However, as Scattergood notes, “a huge amount of work went into this”. He recommends that clubs keep accurate and up-to-date accounts and records.
Applications will typically require information such as financial statements, a business plan and future cash projections. Applications for the 2014 Sports Capital Programme opened on January 17th; organisations must register for the grant by 5pm on this Friday. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, February 28th.
Provided that your club or association is deemed eligible by the Revenue Commissioners, you might be able to claim tax relief – hence boost your donations – for any “approved projects” your club is looking to undertake, such as developing facilities or acquiring land.
The minimum amount eligible under the scheme is €250 and the project should not cost in excess of €40 million.
The scheme works by deeming donations to be granted net of income tax – which means that the club is entitled to claim a refund on the grossed up amount. So, for example, a €580 donation from a taxpayer liable to tax at 20 per cent will amount to €725 once the club claims back the tax.
Similarly, a donation from a taxpayer liable to a 41 per cent tax rate will amount to €1,000 for the club.
Lotteries have become increasingly popular as a way of raising funds for clubs around the State. Setting up a lottery means you will need to get a licence, which is usually easy enough to obtain and involves filling in one application form and attending the district court. The maximum jackpot allowable under such a licence is €20,000.