Goalball UK is the governing body for a dynamic and inclusive Paralympic sport that has been designed for people with a visual impairment. Whilst the sport had received some grant funding from Sport England and one significant benefactor, the organisation engaged Philanthropy Company to advise on how philanthropic donations, both from foundations and individuals, could form a more substantial part of its income. Growing the game and ensuring success at future Paralympic Games was at stake.
Since 2018 we have undertaken three phases of work for Goalball UK, each funded by Sport England following a competitive tender exercise. The first was an exercise to assess the viability of fundraising for a consortia of smaller sports governing bodies who often struggled to steal the limelight or were relatively new. Goalball UK emerged as an organisation that was not only already a registered charity, but also had the potential to attract grants and contributions that recognised the wider social impact of the sport. Mark Winder, CEO, then wished to develop a specific fundraising strategy in 2019 and we were delighted to conduct a full feasibility, comprising stakeholder interviews and comparisons with other similar organisations. In 2020/21, we then developed an implementation plan, comprising the writing of a case for support and the assembly of various components of a sound fundraising regime.
Although the primary purpose of our work was to position Goalball UK to attract new donors, the most spectacular outcome was that in March 2022 Sport England fully recognised the innovative planning work that we had contributed to by awarding the organisation a multi-million pound grant so that it could expand, plan much more confidently over the long term and prepare better for World competitions. Beyond this, in the post-Pandemic period Goalball UK has been able to recruit specific fundraising staff, based on job specifications we assembled, and our wider recommendations are being implemented. Fundraising content, for example, is now much more prominent and comprehensive on the organisation’s new website.
“The Philanthropy company took our brief, thoroughly researched Goalball UK, spoke to people, listened (which so many consultancies don’t’) and prepared a report that is pragmatic, achievable and if implemented will change our landscape forever.”
Mark Winder, CEO