Tuesday, 05 February 2019 11:58

REFLECTION: My day at the Exult 'Sustainable Funding' workshop

by Rose Treadwell

At Creative Bay of Plenty, funding is always a hot topic. With my day-job being focused on marketing, I've been looking for an opportunity to up-skill and learn about the ins and outs of funding We decided to take advantage of the BayTrust subsidised workshop delivered by Exult on Sustainable Funding.   

Thank you to our presenter, Kerri. Your dynamic method of presentation was engaging, and your passion for the community sector was inspiring.  

We were taken on an engaging journey through the niggly nuances of what it takes to generate an income stream that is reliable and ongoing.  I want to share with you just some of what I learned - but this doesn't even scratch the surface. 

Any and all non-profit/social enterprise organisations: get yourself to an Exult workshop, stat!

I learned the importance of not having all one’s eggs in one basket; relying on a single source of income leaves you wobbling on one table-leg. If it is knocked from beneath you, for whatever reason, you will not have any other income streams to fall back on. Consider forms of income that you usually wouldn’t: just because you haven’t hosted a fundraising event before, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be beneficial to your public profile, community engagement and bank account. 

If I asked you to tell me what your organisation does, you’d promptly rattle off your elevator pitch. But, have you considered your ‘why’? Why is what you do worth investing in? The ‘why’ sparks compassion and empathy: a valuable tip for gaining funders' interest and support.

Something that struck me was how often creative organisations give away their services and knowledge for free. Kerri implored us to consider how an organisation’s expertise could become a service that generates ongoing income. We discussed how this could look: as a donation/koha, part of a membership package, or an entrepreneurial activity (not your business’s core product necessarily, but an additional component). 

When seeking sponsorship, you must determine who you can reach/who is your audience? Which businesses want to reach that audience? Those are your sponsors to seek out. They may not necessarily directly relate to your organisation’s purpose, but they need to relate to your organisation’s audience. 

And finally – treat fundraising like dating! Take your time developing trustworthy relationships with potential funders. To sustain an income stream, you need to give your supporters a reason to keep coming back.  


Exult facilitates a range of workshops for the non-profit sector including sessions on fundraising, sponsorship, marketing, governance, management and volunteer related issues.
You can participate in one of their public sessions or they can facilitate a workshop specifically for your team. 

Book your workshop here