Update on "Everything but the Grant" Conference

2nd October saw over 60 people take part in a NICVA event aimed at increasing knowledge, skills and confidence in generating income from sources other than grants.

With grant funding becoming increasingly competitive, generating income from other sources is becoming ever more essential if we want to ensure that we can continue making a real difference to our clients in the future. 

This event provided all those attending with both information and inspiration on ways in which we can all diversify our income and decrease our reliance on grants.

What happened on the day?

The day began with presentations from three inspiring NICVA members, Michael Boyd from the Irish Football Association Foundation, Leigh Carey from the Hummingbird Project NI and Laura Summerbell from Marie Curie NI.  Michael, Leigh and Laura shared their own journeys in aiming to increase their income.  The presentations gave all those attending food for thought, particularly in terms of the need for us to continue to demonstrate real passion for our work, ensure that we always find our own niches and the need for collaboration and partnership with others.

Those attending then chose 2 workshops from a choice of 4, where individual experts took them through various alternatives to grant funding and how to begin to master them.

  • Workshop A:  Corporate Fundraising - "Nearly everything you need to know about working smarter with businesses" was facilitated by Hilary Hanberry, Business in the Community
  • Workshop B: Community Fundraising – "Running a Successful Event” was facilitated by Rosie Forsythe and Kathryn Holland, Cancer Focus NI
  • Workshop C: Tendering - "Introduction to Tendering" was facilitated by Una McKernan, NICVA
  • Workshop D: Social Enterprises - "Developing a Social Enterprise – how to expand your income generation potential” was facilitated by Colin Jess, Social Enterprise NI

All those attending the workshops found them extremely useful and thought-provoking and the workshop facilitators were impressed by how engaged those attending were.

Over a long coffee break anf lunch break, those attending were also able to meet Will to Give, Social Enterprise NI, Business in the Community, Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), Co-op Alternatives and Joanne McDowell, the new NI Manager for the Fundraising Regulator on a 1-1 basis, learning more about the world of loans, gifts in wills, social enterprises, engaging with businesses and developing co-operatives to find innovative new ways for communities to work together to make changes.

What did those taking part say about the day?

“Everything but the Grant event was a really enjoyable event.  It was great to meet so many charities and community groups who are clearly making a real difference with those people that need it most.  The passion and enthusiasm was clear for everyone to see and I hope that delegates enjoyed the business workshop!” 

(Hilary Hanberry, Business in the Community)

“In the current climate we all have to think more about how we sustain our good work in the community. I was honoured to be invited to share how the Irish FA Foundation fundraises.

(Michael Boyd, Irish FA Foundation)

"Community and Corporate sessions were excellent!  Thank you to all concerned."

(Anne Holland, CAUSE)

"Great refresher on the Tender process.  Good to hear others experience - pass or fail !!"

(Teresa Coyle, First Housing Aid and Support Services)

Further Resources

For those who missed out on the day, or who would like more fundraising training, you can book on the following, future courses - 

Business in the Community

  • "Engaging with Business", 7 November 2019 - 9:30am to 1:00pm @ NICVA, (£55 Members, £80 non-Members)  Register here


  • "Preparing to Tender", 27 November 2019 - 10:00am to 4:00pm @ NICVA, (£80 Members, £120 non-Members)  Register here
  • Success in Funding Applications, 28 January 2020 - 9:30am to 1:30pm @ NICVA, (£55 Members, £80 non-Members)  Register here
  • Developing a Fundraising Strategy & Diversifying Your Income, 10 March 2020 - 10:00am to 1:00pm @ NICVA, (£55 Members, £80 non-Members)  Register here

Social Enterprise NI

  • Mind Your Business, 16 October 2019 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm @ The Hatchery NI, Antrim, (£12.96)  Register here
  • Mind Your Finance, 30 October 2019 - 2:30am to 4.30pm @ The Hatchery NI, Antrim (£12.96)  Register here

Institute of Fundraising NI

  • Masterclass in Major Donor Fundraising, 30 October 2019 - 10:00am to 1:00pm @ British Red Cross, Belfast, (£54.49)  Register here 
  • Masterclass in Fundraising Strategy, 19 November 2019 - 10:00am to 1:00pm @ British Red Cross, Belfast, (£53.89)  Register here 
  • Masterclass - Grants - Applying to Trusts and Foundations, 5 December 2019 - 10:00am to 1:00pm @ Clifton House, Belfast, (£54.49)  Register here

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