CAN’s income generation advice project

Published on 8 June, 2023

Bounce Back was funded by BCP Council to give advice and support on income generation to the sector to help them recover from Covid-19. Between September 2021 and the end of June 2022 we delivered:

  • 9 ‘Meet the Funder’ one hour webinars for funders to present their priorities and process, with Q&As. These were very popular with groups (satisfaction scores 90%+) and funders
  • 53 individual audits to identify actions groups to take to become funding ready and concentrated 1-2-1 support. In total 763 hours of support was provided. 93% of groups were very satisfied or satisfied with the support they have received
  • We contracted NCVO, the national body representing voluntary and community groups, to deliver their fundraising training online. Thirteen courses were delivered allowing access to nationally recognised, high quality training at a greatly subsidised price. Feedback was highly positive and 91% would recommend the courses to a colleague. Overall attendance at the webinars and training exceeded our targets and feedback from attendees is that they meet a need and should continue
  • Provided 46 groups with 2 nationally recognised fundraising textbooks for ongoing reference

As a result of the work:

  • 282 people from 101 groups attended our 24 webinars and training
  • Assisted with 62 applications to apply for £473,532. £258,155 has been confirmed which represents a significant 5.2:1 return on investment from the council’s grant, and a success rate of 55% which is better than the usual 30-40%
  • 75% of groups said they have a better understanding of income sources
  • 93% say they are funding ready
  • 88% said it has improved their bid writing
  • 38% said that the advice has made them more sustainable

We have prepared four case studies – Acts Fast  •  The Crumbs Project  •  The Power House  •  Your Planet Doctors – on the impact of support provided as part of the Bounce Back project – here are quotes from groups:

“Our Jubilee Project Funding application was successful!! Thank you so much Kathryn. Your help was pivotal. Arts Council/Dorset Community Foundation was oversubscribed by 5 times the amount of funding available.”

“We really wouldn’t have got through the last few months without the CAN Bounce Back. We hope that CAN will be able to secure further funding to continue this valuable work. It is certainly something that The Power House would apply for again to help us scale up and grow our team to ensure organisational sustainability.”

“The support I have received through the Bounce Back Project via CAN has been invaluable to me in my role with responsibility for projects and funding at CRUMBS. The range of NCVO training sessions has been particularly useful when developing our charity’s funding strategy, case for support and impact evidence. I am very appreciative of the availability and support from CAN, particularly from Kathryn Cook, who I have found to be very approachable, professional and helpful”.

BCP Council, who funded this project, interviewed CAN and Poole Waste Not Want Not (one of those who used the project) – you can see the interview on YouTube.

In January 2023 we surveyed all 100 groups who had made use of Bounce Back about any longer term benefits and changes as a result of using the project.

  • 84% said they had a better understanding of the potential income sources available to you?
  • “We were aware of what was available nationally, but since being involved with Bounce Back, we have become aware of and been successful in applying for more local grants.(e.g. NHS Charities Together)”
  • “The fundraising courses and consultancy were in a huge help in identifying different funding sources we could be eligible for.
  • “Yes we have now understood the need to diversify our income streams and how that might develop.”
  • 74% feel better equipped to apply for funding
  • “Previously we applied for funding from a place of ignorance of the process. Thanks to the training courses and consultancy we are much better equipped to identify funding opportunities and to make better informed funding applications.”
  • “Yes absolutely, have since applied and received 4 Grants.”
  • “We now understand our strengths and how to explain them more fully to funding sources.”
  • 68% feel more confident to write better funding applications and 19% saying to some degree
  • “Advice helped me focus on the actual question asked by a funder – rather than just copying and pasting our blurb from other applications.
  • We now understand the importance of describing community benefits and funder achievements in bids.”
  • 41% said their group had increased its income as result of the support, with 22% saying to some degree and 35% not really
  • 39% said the support made their group more sustainable, with 32% saying to some degree and 18% not really
  • “Equipment and facilities funded by grants have enabled us to provide a better service to our users and to cope with increasing numbers”
  • Without the funding that we have been able to access, many of our activities would have been forced to shut at a time when our clients have needed them more than ever. This is largely due to the rises in cost of living . We would have had to massively streamline our activities whereas thanks to learning more about the funding process , we have accessed funding which has enabled us not only to maintain existing activities but to extend the support on offer.”
  • “We have not heard back from the applications.”
  • 69% would definitely recommend this service to a friend or colleague and 14% not

When asked for general feedback or any changes to future advice and support nearly all comments were to continue this sort of advice and support, and indeed to do more. Funding alerts and Meet the Funder were popular services to continue as well as 1-2-1, personalised advice. One new area would be to look at a paid for bid writing service. One quote sums up a lot of the positive feedback.

“You provide better and more useful funding support than anyone else we have been in touch with. It’s personal and it’s been brilliant. The only improvement: more of it!”


Given the increasing need for income generation within the sector, and the very positive outcomes from Bounce Back, CAN used this project as evidence for continuation of the service. However, as no funding was identified our Trustees have agreed to use some of our reserves to fund a 2 year half time post to provide grant funding advice until such time as we secure additional funds for a full time post.

This service started in November 2022 (see Funding and Income) and is providing a web based toolkit, training webinars and 1-2-1 support to CAN members to:

  • review existing income streams
  • identify potential sources of grant funding
  • develop a fundraising strategy
  • write better funding applications
  • review funding bids and applications.

If you require any more information about our Bounce Back project please contact