Overview

Although you make a small amount of money go a long way with volunteers, if you want to secure long-term change you will need to obtain funding, which can take time.

Key funding sources are:

  • local government - grants from local authority or parish council
  • planning system - contributions from developers
  • revenue streams from transport - such as parking charges, fares or hire charges
  • contributions from businesses and other local bodies - either sponsorship or for partnership working to deliver their travel plan commitments, for example
  • grant making funders - such as the National Lottery and local charities


If you are seeking funding you will normally need to make sure that your bid fits with the criteria of the particular body you are seeking funding from: this might mean you need to approach more than one funder to fund different parts of your project or plan. You are more likely to raise money if you bid from a range of different bodies rather than try to obtain everything from just one. If funders can see that another body has already granted you funding, then that will give you greater credibility.

Some projects have valued volunteer contributions in their bids and reports by working out how much they would need to have been paid at the minimum wage. This can go some way to showing that a project is supported by a range of sources. Volunteers are valuable and may be able indeed keen to help out for specific tasks. But relying on volunteers in the long-term can be difficult, particularly for managing a project or initiative, which is why some paid help for run of the mill tasks like admin can be so useful. Partner organisations may be able to offer a contribution in terms of staff time. This could be very valuable in helping to secure the longevity of a project, making it easier to secure external funding.

Based on normal accounting principles, funding is often divided up into capital - investment such as in new or improved infrastructure or equipment (e.g. a new cycle path or a minibus) - and revenue - such as the cost of paying for drivers or fuel. If you are bidding for capital, you may need to show how long-term maintenance as well revenue costs will be covered.

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