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The funding landscape for community sport and physical activity is changing…

 

The world of sport is no different from the world of technology or commerce where the rate of change is increasing all the time. Governing bodies, social enterprises, charities must not only have the appetite for change but must also implement these changes and adaptations or they will struggle to exist.

At the same time, there is an increasing focus on how sport and physical activity can help change people’s lives and create sport for social good, which is probably all well and good, but

While budgets are frequently threatened, these changes will probably also raise opportunities and challenges for providers when it comes to attracting funding. Opportunities in terms of the possibility of engaging with non-sport funders from health, justice/crime prevention, education and social inclusion. Challenges in terms of learning how to engage with partners and funders for whom sport is just a means to an end.

We are also experiencing a number of innovative enterprises who have developed sustainable business models running mass-participation events, developing community gyms, helping communities to prosper through sport and are getting inactive people active, all delivered in financially sustainable ways

But, it has to be said, that far too many providers and bodies within sport and physical activity do regard income and funding as an afterthought and therefore stagger from crisis to crisis when it comes to generating income to fund their good work.

And it seems that the community sport and physical activity sector can learn from the third sector and professional sport when it comes to generating income to help support and fund their work. In those sectors terms such as ‘digital fundraising’, ‘diversifying income streams’ and ‘donor engagement programme’ are commonplace – maybe community sport and physical activity bodies could learn from that.

So, we need to develop a new mindset and skill set – which is not always an easy thing; especially if your organisation has sunk into a state of what we call ‘grant-addiction’.

This conference will feature real stories and successes to be told, lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared

Delegates will come from community sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, local authorities, community sports trusts at our professional and semi-pro clubs, universities, colleges, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, leisure trusts, commercial providers, patient groups, sports governing bodies, community groups and other community sports providers.

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