Find support from local businesses and community groups for your event

If you can get financial and practical support from organisations in your local community, your event is more likely to be a success.

Last updated: 31 March, 2020

Finding support from local businesses and community groups will help you: 

  • focus on organising the event rather than trying to raise funds 

  • manage the financial risk of running an event 

  • build a network of contacts who'll help you find free resources and promote your event 

Offering volunteers community shares in the garden centre means that they’re invested in seeing the community space succeed. It gives them a sense of belonging

RachelHulme Community Garden Centre

Find individuals or groups willing to donate 

Look for the people and organisations who might benefit from your event. 

These could be: 

  • individuals with a personal connection to your cause  

  • a local business who might benefit financially from more people visiting the community  

  • an organisation who supports the same target audience or group. For example, community groups or Community Interest Companies (CICs) 

  • local councillors who have money to give out to community projects. Find out who your local councillor is at gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors  

  • faith groups who might have access to a central funding pot. For example, local churches 

We’re lucky that our scout group has been going for 100 years. We have lots of people who’ve benefited and are willing to support us financially. Although most businesses don’t want anything in return, we always offer to promote their kind gestures and help advertise their business

Jacques248th Manchester Scouts Leader

Partner with a local group or association 

Find like-minded community groups who: 

  • support the same target audience or group  

  • are trying to meet the same need as you in the community 

They’ll often have the experience and the contacts. They might also have access to other resources and close contact with your target audience. 

Housing groups or associations are also great potential partners. They have teams of people whose role it is to help improve communities and organise events.  

You can download a list of housing groups in the UK from the gov.uk website. 

We rent a storage facility with another charity. We applied for the funding together from Trafford Housing Trust to rent the space so that we can both operate. We have a great relationship

RoyStretford Foodbank

Get sponsorship 

Local businesses in your community might want to support your event. Try and find those who share your vision and values. 

In return they might want you to promote their business through your event. 

National charities trying to meet the same need as you are also potential partners. They might consider supporting your event if it helps them achieve their aims. 

For £100 businesses can sponsor our Soup event. They get good PR and can hand out some promotional material at the event. This is a good way for them to give their support to the cause with minimum involvement

AndyMossley Soup

Find free stuff 

Money isn't always the answer to everything. There are plenty of resources and tools that can be borrowed rather than bought.   

At the start of planning your event, you might have made a wish list. Have a look again at this. 

Use local networks like: 

  • residents' associations 

  • community centres 

  • local councillors. Find out who your local councillor is at gov.uk/find-your-local-councillors 

  • ‘friends of’ community groups 

  • voluntary sector networks. You’ll find these through your local council website. Find local councils by postcode at gov.uk/find-local-council 

  • parent and teacher associations 

  • Councils for Voluntary Service (CVS), small local charities that operate across the UK 

  • libraries 

  • community influencers on social media. For example, people who regularly post on local community Facebook groups 

  • housing groups. You can download a list of housing groups in the UK at gov.uk website 

You can also search for free stuff online at: 

  • The Freecycle network, run by local groups near you 

  • Gumtree, good for finding lots of random free items 

  • Olio, connects neighbours to share food and other stuff  

We source free stuff from Chorlton and Trafford Recycle and Reuse Facebook sites. We’ve had a free gazebo, raffle prizes, logs and a fire pit from there for nothing!

CatherineSt Matthew's Friends and Family (FAF)

Talk to Natalie

Natalie is a Co-op Member Pioneer who helps bring people together to improve local communities. Find out more about Member Pioneers.

I’ve been a Co-op store manager for 5 years and jumped at the chance of being a Member Pioneer. I’m passionate about community and want to make a difference to people’s lives. I’ll put you in touch with other Member Pioneers in your community who can advise and help

Natalie EvansMember Pioneerco-operate@coop.co.uk

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