11 Nov

Funding Masterclasses Part XII: Working out your Cashflow

Funding Masterclasses Part XII

Essential to any application for funding is the cash flow. A cash flow statement is an projection of how the project or business works in financial terms, to demonstrate you have enough working capital to deliver the project or survive in business – picture the amount flowing in the bank account month by month.

When preparing a cash flow statement, be sure what it is you are being asked to produce – a cash flow for the project only or for the business, and for the exact time period (normally 12 months, or the lifetime of the project!) If it is a project cash flow, you will need to look back to any milestones or key stages or dates that you’ve put in the application, work out when expenditure will be and ensure the cash flow reflects this.

The cash flow will show the opening balance, closing balance, income including who else is making a financial contribution and any projected sales and expenditure. This is usually detailed in table format, often on a spreadsheet.

 

By setting the figures down on paper, you will be able to see where any issues arise eg when expenditure exceeds income. You will then be able to take corrective action (eg short term loan until grant payment arrives).

You may need to do more than one version, an ‘optimistic, pessimistic and a realistic’ version depending on the funder – this is where the technology can come in helpful. It is much easier to introduce ‘what if’ scenarios, ie if sales increase by 10% rather than 5%, grant is less than expected, without having to manually recalculate all the figures!

Profit and Loss statements are different, as this is the trading position of the business (also known as income statement, earnings statement, operating statement) – and you may also need to complete sales forecasts to complete the financial sections.

There are lots of examples to follow on the website (see startuploans.co.uk)  For any help or advice please contact Sophie Price 01837 658643.

Liz Abell signature

Managing Director

 

 

04 Nov

Funding Masterclasses Part XI: Finding Match Funding

Funding Masterclasses Part XI

In addition to your own funds, to make your project happen you may need support from other areas. This is known as ‘match funding’. Match funding comes from a variety of sources with the mix you use dependent upon your own circumstances and the size and scale of the proposed project you want to do.

The usual options are grants, loans, mix of the two, community share issue and crowdfunding, and we will look briefly at each. A word of warning – not all funders will fund all things so, as we’ve mentioned before, you’ll need to check eligibility.

 

Grants – come from numerous sources, and do not have to be repaid (unless in exceptional circumstances, where terms and conditions aren’t met). Grants can come from local sources (such as councils or charities), or from national organisations, such as the Big Lottery. There are also trust funds and foundations, (eg Esmee Fairbairn and Lloyds Bank Foundation). Each with its own critieria, rules of application and timescale. Don’t forget the EU grant programmes, such as LEADER programmes delivered by the DR Company. Lists of funders can be found at http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk/ but it is a complex area, and can be confusing and frustrating if you don’t have support.

Loans – have to be repaid. They could be from private individuals which may be an informal arrangement or from the more traditional banks and building societies. There are also peer to peer platforms, such as Folk2Folk. Formal loans will have an application process, likely requiring a business plan to be submitted, and will need to be repaid in a specific time frame with interest. You may also need some kind of security in case of default.

Grant and loans – some funders offer a grant and loan to an applicant, expecting the loan element to be repaid.

Community share issue – aimed at community organisations working co-operatively, a share offer is an excellent way of demonstrating local support.  Can raise significant amounts, but needs to be managed correctly. See http://communityshares.org.uk/

Crowdfunding – a way of gaining funding and making best use of the digital world. There have been significant achievements such as £250k for a community swimming pool. Crowdfunder is perhaps the most well-known, but there are others!

Researching match funding can be complicated, and can feel like you are spinning lots of plates in the air. It is unlikely that if you are getting match funding from more than one source, that all sources will be aligned as there are likely to be differing timescales. You’ll need to keep information together, and be organised.

If you need help identifying match funding or developing a funding strategy or business plan please contact the team at DR Company – 01837 658543

Liz Abell signature

Managing Director