A Multi-Sport Workshop with a sole focus on Funding and Fundraising for sports clubs and designed to provide interesting and innovative ways to develop new techniques to secure funding and improve club’s methods of fundraising was jointly organised by Ulster GAA, Irish FA Foundation and Ulster Rugby.
Funded by the Department for Communities, the masterclass was delivered by Neil Irwin, who has 20 years’ experience with hundreds of charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.
Neil spent 13 years as fundraising adviser for the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) providing training, writing about fundraising, giving consultancy support and developing Northern Ireland’s first dedicated funding search website.
The event delivered at the Girdwood Community Hub in Belfast on Wednesday 15th November, was attended by over 50 volunteers from all three sports. Within the presentation areas such as fundraising, gift aid and funding applications were discussed in an attempt to strengthen club’s potential when applying for funding. After a consultation with all grassroots clubs the three sports identified a gap in provision and knowledge around this particular area.
Ulster GAA Club & Community Development Officer Fionntan O’Dowd highlighted, “Feedback has been extremely positive from those in attendance. In a period when public funding is not readily available our clubs are challenged with how they can raise funds through their own mechanisms. Neil has provided our volunteers with a lot of simple but useful tips that can be brought back and implemented in their clubs which will hopefully assist them increasing their fundraising potential.”
Irish FA Volunteer Development & Policy Officer Michael Carvill said; “The attendance of the event highlights how important it is to provide support for our clubs and volunteers. A workshop like this can be the difference in clubs securing funding or even something as simple as fundraising more efficiently and effectively. Neil’s knowledge in this area was excellent and all those who attended gained something from the event that they can bring back and develop their own clubs.”
Ulster Rugby Volunteer Development & Policy Officer Nicci Wilson commented, “It was fantastic to see so many clubs represented on Wednesday night. I think it just highlights the difficulty clubs are having sourcing funding in this economic and political climate. Thanks to Neil Irwin with his knowledge and background in funding in the voluntary and community sector he was able to bring some fresh ideas and tools to help clubs maximise their fundraising potential going forward.”