What’s next for Sport Sector Fundraising as we exit lock-down

Join our Webinar “What’s next for Sport Fundraising?” as Ireland exits lock-down. How should sport organisations approach fundraising in the months ahead? Over a short number of weeks, we have seen significant changes in the sector. These changes have impacted the fundraising approach of sport organisations.

 

The announcement of €70m government support package for sport is very welcome and needed. Fundraising is largely untapped by sporting organisations. The latest evidence suggests that sport reports only 2%-3% of the total fundraised income in Ireland which was €1.1b in 2017. We have seen massive fundraising drives across Ireland from Irish sporting bodies. When it comes to donor priorities, where do sporting organisations rank in a post-lockdown Ireland?

 

What choices will have to be made to survive and thrive in the future? Sporting organisations across the country are built on a earned-income model which has been adversely impacted by Covid-19. As we progress into 2020 and a new decade, is now the time for sport to look at alternative sources of funding in order to balance risk?

 

The webinar will debate this and will start by looking at the current fundraising landscape in Ireland. We will look to international peers to see the pros and cons of the different approaches to sport fundraising and where opportunities may lie for National Governing Bodies, regional bodies and clubs. Our expert panel will take us through their experiences in fundraising for Irish sport to date while Rob Hartnett will cover some of the inventive club fundraising initiatives taking place around the country.

 

Joining 2into3 on the panel will be:

  • James O Callaghan, Performance Director, Irish Sailing
  • Tim Floyd, Secretary, Tipperary GAA
  • Rob Hartnett, CEO, Sport for Business

Date: Thurs 25th June 3pm.

Register https://bit.ly/2YoSGDm

Sports Capital 2018: Does Class Matter?

For a few weeks now, the allocation of Sports Capital Grants has made headlines across the country. With these allocations comes moans, groans, cheers and praise for a grant system that is severely underfunded. However, the recipients of the grant money has caused much debate. Most recently, Mr Ewan MacKenna and Mr Philip Boucher-Hayes have inputted to the debate on Sports Capital Grants. Is it about “La-la Land” forgetting what sport really is? Or, do we all need a significant dose of reality? Mr Mackenna writes “To be fair to the sports grants system, that it exists is a step in the right direction. But how it exists is problematic.” The issue, though, is not how it exists, but rather the general Irish interpretation of the grants system.  Over the past number of years, 2into3 has conducted research on Sports Capital Grants. As outlined in previous research findings, delving deeper into the figures better informs the debate. Questioning the allocation by quantum is not a fair assessment of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s (DTTAS) policy towards the allocation of Sports Capital Grants.

Following the fallout of the 2017 round, DTTAS followed through on their commitment to dedicate more funding to socio-economic disadvantaged areas. The system they have used for the more recent rounds was the Pobal Deprivation Index. Clubs that were based in disadvantaged areas, according to the Index, were given more marks than clubs not in these areas. Furthermore, the level of own funding required varied depending on your location in the Pobal Index. Clubs from disadvantaged areas were given greater preference. However, many have taken exception to the DTTAs allocation of money, see table 1.

Use of the Pobal Index does not tell the whole story. DTTAS is very much so aware of this. A club sitting in a Pobal classified “affluent” area could have many members coming from disadvantage or minority groups. The same could be said vice versa. Greater consideration should be given to the member composition and catchment area of clubs applying for grants. However, at the time of writing, a more refined system has yet to be developed or suggested by DTTAS or the general public.

Mr Boucher-Hayes of Drivetime RTE Radio 1 argued that the grants “show a distinct bias in favour of middle-class sports.”[1] This was an argument put forward in previous rounds. DTTAS philosophy is quite simple, if you’re not in it, you can’t win it. It begs the questions, how can DTTAS allocate funding to those who are not applying for the programme in the first instance? A breakdown of table 2 shows what sports applied for the local fund in 2018. Why did the GAA receive the most? They applied in greater numbers. Why did golf receive more than boxing? Simple numbers, golf clubs applied at a rate of 3:1 compared to boxing clubs.

To secure a Sports Capital Grant, you need to be proactive, not reactive. Tennis Ireland has trained clubs to be proactive with Sports Capital. Unsurprisingly, tennis’ application rates increased and therefore what they received increased. Similarly, golf clubs have been trained to anticipate deadlines, not react. This approach does take time, though. 2into3 have done similar work with cricket, for example, which has seen a 17% increase in applications and an 83% increase in secured funding in 2018 compared to 2017. No sport will apply at a comparable rate to the GAA. The GAA is at the root every almost every community in Ireland. Nonetheless, it is the responsibility of national governing bodies to prepare and inform their club base appropriately. This is completely out of the control of DTTAS, it cannot force any club to apply.

For example, clubs that do not satisfy the land title requirements as stated above can still apply for capital. Most clubs either overlook this or are not aware of the opportunity. In fact, DTTAS increased the threshold from €25,000 to €50,000 in 2018 in a bid to increase applications of clubs that do not suit the title requirements of the programme. Furthermore, clubs can also apply for up to €150,000 in equipment grants with no need for land ownership. Almost half of boxing’s allocation came via the equipment grant route.Ownership of land is another critical issue to access of Sports Capital Grants, which the GAA has over others also. The fact remains that sports like badminton, basketball, boxing, squash, and more all play out of sports halls. Often, they do not own these sports halls or work off yearly rental agreements. To apply for a full maximum grant of €150,000, clubs either need own the land through freehold or have leasehold of a minimum duration of 15 years at the time of the application. The lack of applications from these sports would suggest that long-term agreements are in the minority. Admittedly, the statistics provided by DTTAS do not go deep enough to show how many boxing, basketball, etc clubs applied under multisport. The numbers are effectively skewed. However, the programme was adjusted in 2018 to encourage more clubs to apply for capital.

Furthermore, DTTAS gives preference to applications from local authorities to aid local capital development. Since 2014, DTTAS have shown a distinct preference to applications made by local authorities and local sports partnerships who are making applications on behalf of clubs unable to do so themselves. This included €97,850 to Ballymun Sports & Fitness and €94,500 to Finglas Sport & Fitness Centre. However, these applications are classified generally as “multisport” which was only bested by the GAA. “Multisport” facilities will not make national headlines as Irish society is too transfixed with looking over the fence to see how one sport did compared to another. Multisport facilities are commonplace across Europe.

Allocations to hockey have made significant headlines over the years. To put the 2018 allocations in perspective, that’s 1.3% of the total funding and only 39% of what the 34 hockey clubs asked for. On the other hand, boxing received 1.6% of total funding and 53% of what clubs asked for. Undoubtedly, boxing performed better than perceived “middle-class sports” such as hockey, golf and tennis. Should we simply exclude any sport based on public preference to others? No, DTTAS simply cannot do this. Clearly, an awareness campaign is needed to raise application rates among sports like boxing. One wonders, why doesn’t the Sports Capital Programme get such publicity when a funding round opens?

In the UK, much research was undertaken to prove the true impact of sport. The Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) programme was a joint strategic research initiative led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and its sector-leading arms-length bodies: Arts Council England, English Heritage and Sport England. The published research provides ground-breaking evidence on making the case for investing in sport based on the broader wellbeing, health and educational outcomes. Some of the key findings were increases in numeracy scores, education, health gains and substantial long-term economic value in terms of avoided health costs. Furthermore, a “A range of factors, including age, gender, alcohol consumption, childhood experience of sport, socio-economic variables, a limiting illness or disability, educational attainment, unemployment, TV and internet use, and the proximity of local sports facilities, are directly associated with people’s participation in sport.”[2]  It is time that studies similar to this are commissioned in Ireland.

 

When the whistle blows, there are always winners and losers. After all, it’s the basis of sport and an oversubscribed grant system is no different. Should funding be given to allow clubs access to land? Or should we follow the approach implied by Mr MacKenna and Mr Boucher-Hayes and simply expel “middle-class sports” from the Sports Capital Programme? A more pragmatic approach is needed, one that supports the grant system and gives evidence to DTTAS that €50m-€60m each year simply is not enough.

Understandably, calls for increased state support are no surprise; a common critique that could be used across every government programme and support. What makes Sports Capital any different? Frankly, it is the primary mechanism for clubs access significant capital funding. Without it, the provision of sporting developments at local level would effectively stagnate. The benefits of sport cannot be understated – it benefits physical, mental and emotion health. It helps social inclusion and cohesion. Na Fianna’s GAA club’s social value report gives hard evidence to the augmentation of state supports for local clubs. Now is the time to significantly increase the investment in grassroot sport. Valid applications under Sports Capital clearly have credit. The level of funding under Sports Capital should allow all valid applications to get support. This would benefit all sport – not just the reader’s choice.

 

Darren McMahon is a Consultant at 2into3, specialising in Sports Capital Consulting, Fundraising and Masterclasses. For more information, please contact Darren at Darren.McMahon@2into3 or +353-1-234-3127.

[1] Philip Boucher-Hayes, Drivetime RTE Radio 1, Thursday 21 November, 2019.

[2] https://www.sportengland.org/our-work/partnering-local-government/tools-directory/culture-and-sport-evidence-programme/

Sports Capital 2018: Mapping Per Capita Trends by County

All of Ireland now looks to topple Dublin’s dominance in football. Like football, securing sports funding is another competition – it’s every county for itself. Over a weekend period last May, word began to spread about a Sports Capital Equipment-Only announcement, which came as no surprise on a week heading into European and local elections.

Many rural clubs and community groups were the first to hear of their success. Ireland is often a country of urban-rural divide; rural areas often feel like they are overlooked with perceived preference often given to Dublin. However, when it comes to the Sports Capital programme, this is not the case.

Allocation of 2018 funding has been divided, for the first time, into two tranches. Applications for only equipment-only were assessed and allocated first, with an announcement made last May. Those applications for capital (infrastructure), or a combination of capital with equipment, will be allocated in September according to recent public statements. In the recent May announcement, only the top 75% (by score received under the (DTTAS) Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport guidelines) of applications received funding, whereas in 2017 round every valid application received some funding. In addition, the trend of allocating more funding, on a per capita basis, to areas outside Dublin was more pronounced as illustrated in the table below.

“Sports Capital Equipment-Only Allocations,” Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; “Census 2016,” Central Statistics Office, 2into3 Analysis.

In recent years, the Sports Capital Programme made headlines over political intervention and prioritisation of more favoured sports in ministerial backyards, particularly in Dublin. However, an examination of the previous local rounds of the Sports Capital programme shows that Dublin consistently lags behind the rest of the country, despite a plethora of cabinet ministers (and a Taoiseach) in the greater Dublin area. With the 2018 equipment round the gap, on a per capita basis, between Dublin and the rest of Ireland has widened significantly.

“Sports Capital Local Allocations 2018-2014,” Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; “Census 2016, Census 2011,” Central Statistics Office, 2into3 Analysis.

Dublin clubs, in total, sought over €19.6 million from the local fund of the 2018 Sports Capital Programme. Outstanding 2018 applications are expected to be announced in September, with a new round expected to open in November. It will be interesting to see if some rebalancing of the allocations will occur and if Dublin can bag a few goals of their own.

Darren McMahon is a Consultant at 2into3, specialising in Sports Capital Consulting and Masterclasses. For more information, please contact Darren at Darren.McMahon@2into3 or +353-1-234-3127.

2into3 Partners in Sport – Cricket Leinster Fundraising Masterclass

Cricket Leinster held a Fundraising Masterclass last Wednesday 22nd of February in the Talbot Hotel Stillorgan. This masterclass was facilitated by 2into3 Consultant Amy Power, a specialist on fundraising strategy development. The event was very well attended, with over 20 representatives from 13 Cricket Leinster clubs present.

The masterclass was opened by Paul O’Sullivan, CEO of Clann Credo, a not-for-profit organisation that provides community loan finance at affordable interest and repayment rates to community groups and sports clubs. Recently, Clann Credo announced a €10 million community sports fund to help community groups access sports grants and funding by providing them with community loan finance. Clann Credo do not require person guarantees for loans, while also not penalising early repayment. You can read more about Clann Credo here.

Participants were then provided with an in-depth look at the private investment landscape, looking at the role of philanthropy and sponsorship in the sport sector. The theory behind best practice was initially explained before clubs were shown what they can do for themselves. This included applying for Section 235 status. Under Section 235, approved sporting bodies can apply for tax relief on donations for approved capital projects. The masterclass also covered ways of building relationship-based fundraising. Participants worked on ways of building a fundraising strategy, setting goals and knowing your member base. Almost every club highlighted youth development, subs collection and the acquisition of new equipment as priorities going forward. Issues around these points included lack of a suitable database, possible donor fatigue and limited finances resulting in short term year-to-year ambitions. Clubs were urged to look consider the following when approaching these issues, use events as a means of networking for new volunteers and potential donors, developing an adequate fundraising mix, using a dedicated database to contact past members and to be ambitious in developing long-term targets for the club.

Feedback of the event has been very positive, and will no doubt help Cricket Leinster clubs prioritise their fundraising strategies in the coming weeks and months.

Furthermore, Leinster Cricket is partnering with 2into3 to assist Clubs secure funding under future sports capital rounds.

If your organisation you would like to learn about how 2into3’s expertise can help in the funding of sport via Fundraising Masterclasses please feel free to contact 2into3 Consultant Amy Power via Amy.power@2into3.com or on 01 234 3165.

2into3 Securing Sports Capital Funding for Sports Clubs

2into3 are delighted to have assisted 4 of our clients in the 2017 Sport Capital Programme Grant round. Since 2014, 2into3’s consulting practice has assisted clubs across a range of sports to secure funding.

The capital projects that 2into3 assisted in secure funding for are;

YMCA Hockey Club: in association with Wesley College: Awarded €150,000 towards resurfacing of the main hockey pitch at Wesley College, Ballinteer, Co Dublin.
Loreto Hockey Club: in association with Loreto High School Beaufort awarded €150,000 towards resurfacing of the hockey pitch at Loreto High School, Rathfarnham, Co Dublin.
Fr. Mathew’s Basketball Club, Cork: Awarded €59,000 towards provision of two portable basketball courts.
Monkstown Hockey Club: In association with Rathdown School awarded €19,000 towards provision of Hockey Goals and renewal of fencing.

The State, via the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sports, uses the National Lottery Funds to support capital investment by both National Governing Bodies and Sports Clubs through the Sports Capital Programme. A call for funding is usually made each year and funds are allocated by County. The 2017 round of the Programme closed for applications on the 24th February 2017 and by that date a record number of 2,320 applications were received. €56m was then allocated to over 1,700 different sporting projects. Just over 1 in 5 applications were deemed invalid (21%) with many applications falling down on avoidable issues.

2into3’s consulting practice can assist your sporting organisation in securing these grants through the following model:

 

In addition to working on a 1-2-1 basis with clubs 2into3 also work with National Governing Bodies. To help inform clubs on the Sport Capital application process 2into3 have developed a Sports Capital Masterclass. 2into3 have recently delivered a Sports Capital Grant Masterclass and Fundraising Masterclass to member clubs of Cricket Leinster, a partner organisation of 2into3.

Attendants were given an in-depth look at the Sports Capital landscape, looking at the performance of cricket compared to other sports, while also analysing the performance of Cricket Leinster clubs. Clubs were shown the common pitfalls of Sports Capital applications, while also examining the necessary steps to strengthen a grant proposal. As part of the Fundraising Masterclass participants were then provided with an in-depth look at the private investment landscape, looking at the role of philanthropy and sponsorship in the sport sector.

If your organisation is considering applying for a grant in the next Sport Capital Programme funding round (2018) and you would like to learn about how 2into3’s expertise can help, please click here or feel free to contact Dennis O’Connor directly via dennis@2into3.com or on 01 234 3184.

2into3 Deliver Sports Capital Masterclass for Leinster Rugby

Leinster Rugby and 2into3 recently held a Sports Capital Masterclass on Thursday 30th of May in the Red Cow Moran Hotel. This Masterclass was facilitated by Dennis O’Connor from 2into3, a specialist on the Sports Capital Programme. The event was very well attended, with 24 representatives from 19 Leinster clubs present.

Attendants were given an in-depth look at the Sports Capital landscape, looking at the performance of rugby compared to other sports, while also analysing the performance of Leinster Rugby clubs. Clubs were shown the common pitfalls of Sports Capital applications, while also examining the necessary steps to strengthen a grant proposal. Several myths about the Sports Capital Programme were debunked, giving attendants greater clarity going into the next Sports Capital round. We hope that this will lead to a higher application and success rate for Leinster Rugby clubs in future rounds.

2into3 also provide a 1-2-1 sports capital consulting service where we assist clubs, voluntary and community groups, local authorities, third level colleges, and education and training boards with their application. They assist at every step of the process, helping you understand your targets, improve your scoring and avoid common pitfalls which may lead to invalidity. For more information please contact Darren McMahon at 01 234 3127 or darren.mcmahon@2into3.com.

2into3 Deliver Sports Capital Masterclass for Munster Cricket Clubs

The Munster Cricket Union and 2into3 recently held a Sports Capital Masterclass on Thursday 10th of June in the River Lee Hotel, Cork. This Masterclass was facilitated by Dennis O’Connor from 2into3, a specialist on the Sports Capital Programme.

During the Masterclass workshops the areas of school and university sharing, attaining licence agreements and level of own funded needed for a Sports Capital application. Attendants were given an in-depth look at the Sports Capital landscape, looking at the performance of cricket compared to other sports, while also analysing the performance of Munster Cricket clubs. Clubs were shown the common pitfalls of Sports Capital applications, while also examining the necessary steps to strengthen a grant proposal. Attendants were provided with more clarity which will help clubs with future applications. We hope that this will lead to a higher application and success rate for Munster Cricket clubs in future rounds.

2into3 also provide a 1-2-1 sports capital consulting service where we assist clubs, voluntary and community groups, local authorities, third level colleges, and education and training boards with their application. They assist at every step of the process, helping you understand your targets, improve your scoring and avoid common pitfalls which may lead to invalidity. For more information please contact Darren McMahon at 01 234 3127 or darren.mcmahon@2into3.com.