Funding an adaptive/para program is a good-news/bad-news situation. The good news is that fundraising for adaptive equipment is some of the easiest fundraising a boat club will do. The bad news is that adaptive rowing needs lots of funding for specialised equipment which are expensive due to their limited production numbers (and second-hand units rarely become available).
But let’s focus on the good news here. Charities and businesses are typically focused on helping disadvantage and disabled individuals to provide support for the extra challenges they face. For starters, the video above of Norfolk RC’s fundraising efforts provides a useful case study which includes adaptive rowing (Norfolk is one of the most prominent adaptive programmes in the far east of England).
LOCAL BUSINESSES – Very often local businesses will support community activities as a part of their corporate responsibility and a bit of PR/marketing.
- BRANDING – In the past, rules were quite strict about what sort of branding you could put on a boat in a competition (especially some of the more elite one), but those rules have relaxed considerably in recent years. In fact, I was at the World Championships, ostensibly one of the strictest competitions for protocol, and many countries brought boats with prominent branding on them (and no marshals batted an eye). Offering to put a company’s logo on the side of a boat they have contributed to is a great way to provide something back to the donor. As boats often are in service for 10-20 years, their logo will get years of visibility.
- BACKSTORY – Years ago, corporate (most large corporate) marketing departments specifically shied away from sponsoring anything to do with disability as they perversely felt that connection with disability would make customers associate their product with being “disabled” or impaired. Thankfully, such archaic and misguided notions of brand dynamics have long been discarded. Actually, in recent years, marketing trends have shifted to more heartfelt, personal stories and triumph over adversity is perhaps the most popular themes for campaigns. High profile competitions of the Paralympics and the Invictus Games (especially in the UK) have made disability sexy from a marketing perspective. And that means bigger opportunities to secure financial support for adaptive sport.
CHARITIES AND GRANT FOUNDATIONS – A wide range of charities and grant foundations provide funding opportunities targeted at sport and disability. Sometimes their remit is further focused on areas like young people or geographic areas. Over the years, I’ve done a fair amount of research into the charities and grants for which adaptive rowing applications might be suited. With the help of Maidenhead and Stratford-upon-Avon who have been successful along with Marlow in a number of applications, I have collated a list of some actual adaptive rowing grants for examples (table directly below). At the bottom, I have added another table which for one reason or another the source wasn’t appropriate to my current needs to I wasn’t successful in my application, but other clubs might have more success.
If you have any other examples of funding your programme has received or know of any other sources, please let me know in the comments or by email and I will add them to this catalogue (thanks!).
Mark Dewdney, Coach and Coordinator of the Stratford-upon-Avon adaptive/pararowing wrote in to note that many towns have local Mayor Fund charities specifically to provide modest donation (eg. up to £1000) for various causes and initiatives in their community.
FUNDING EXAMPLES FOR UK ADAPTIVE PROGRAMMES
|Annette Duvollet Trust
|“grants to charities which support young people between the ages of 14 and 25”
|Part funding new boat
|“ad hoc and communicated to clubs via the British Rowing website/social media channels and Regional Chairman updates”
|Coop Community Fund
|“supports the mental and physical health of others through community wellbeing activities.”
|Henley Stewards Trust
|“provide funds to encourage and support young people (still receiving education or undergoing training) to row or scull”
|Coaching course for gap year assistant coach
|“supports a range of good causes and projects in its local community”
|Peter Harrison Foundation
|“supports voluntary and community organisations”
|Regatta for the Disabled
|Periodic special grants from funds raised at annual event
|New Wintech adaptive 2x
|Local Marlow charitable causes
|Pontoons, used 1x
|“promote the participation in rowing of young people (those under 18 or still in full time education) and the disabled of all ages.”
|Disabled lift contribution
|“predominantly within Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, West Sussex and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire… centres for adults with physical and learning disabilities”
|New Wintech adaptive 1x
|“part of our support package to help the sport…sector through the (Covid-19) crisis…committed to help the groups that, were being disproportionately affected by the pandemic [including]…disabled people”
|PR1 riggers for 2x
OTHER POTENTIONAL FUNDING SOURCES FOR UK ADAPTIVE ROWING
|Angus Allnatt Foundation
|The Astor Foundation
|Basil Samuel Trust
|Bernard Coleman Trust
|Bernard Sunley Charitable Trust
|Big Lottery Awards for All
|up to age 25, equip.
|County Sports Partnerships
|Donald Forrester Trust
|children & youth
|Garfield Weston Foundation
|Graham Kirkham Foundation
|John Beckwith Trust
|Joseph Strong Frazier Trust
|Marks Family Foundation
|Mars Milk Fund
|National Lottery Good Causes
|Sport England Small Grants