Version dated 31.08.2023

Sport England: Active Together - Eligibility and pledge criteria

Active Together - Sport England’s Extra Funding Scheme to help organisations recover, reinvent and build resilience.

Introduction

This programme aims to help sport and physical activity organisations to move forward with priority projects and running costs that they might still be struggling with.

The fund can help with projects that cannot be afforded right now due to the impact that Covid-19 continues to have on an organisations normal income streams, as well as a broader spectrum of issues that most of us now face. It is a fund about recovery, reinvention and building resilience, so your project for example could be for:

• Facility refurbishments, maintenance or improvements
• Adapting your facility to ensure a safe return to play
• Running new activity to meet demand, post-pandemic, helping your community to recover,
• Unforeseen events continuing to impact on your finances - fire, theft, vandalism or adverse weather,
• The emerging energy crisis - changing your facility to lower your energy consumption (you can find more information in our 'Reducing Energy Costs' guidance here)

As the country learns to deal with the coronavirus as well as other emerging and emergency crises, we know that some sport and physical activity organisations are facing a very difficult period of time. Our match investment, of up to £10,000, aims to help organisations start to help themselves on the road to recovery. It's specifically targeted at community clubs and organisations who play a crucial role in supporting the nation to be active but who are experiencing short term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to crisis.

We want to support as many organisations to run a successful, rewards-based community crowdfund as we can and have a broad range of supporting materials available for you (see our guide here). Ideally before you apply to us, your campaign page should be as complete as possible but not yet launched; whilst we can consider an application on a campaign that is already actively running, helping you to make it as successful and suggesting improvements can then be a little harder to do, so please do try and apply before you launch your campaign page.

Eligibility Criteria

This match funding is designed to help grassroots sport and physical activity providers.

To be eligible to apply, organisations must be:

• Local sports clubs
• Charities, community, voluntary and social enterprise sector organisations that deliver sport and/or physical activity in their community, including organisations that are not solely or primarily sports organisations
• Town or parish councils delivering activity within their community
• Education establishments that provide access for their whole community for the benefit of people residing in England

The following are not eligible for funding:

• Individuals or sole traders
• For profit businesses or partnerships
• Local authorities, with the exception of town and parish councils
• Commercial sport and physical activity providers, e.g. private gyms
• Leisure operators

Priority will be given to projects that are in the most deprived communities to ensure that our match funding reaches those most in need. This will be organisations that do one or both of the following:

• Deliver activity in areas experiencing social and economic deprivation, including rural communities
• Work with one or more of the following groups as a main focus:
- Disabled people,
- Lower socio-economic groups,
- Culturally diverse communities
- Young people aged 16-24
- Older people aged 70+

We will still support projects which do not meet these priorities, however we may reduce the level of match funding offered. Match funding will usually be in the range of 30-50% of the project target.

Organisations that have already secured Active Together funding on three separate occasions will be limited to a maximum pledge of £1000. Please note, this funding will match donations pound for pound. Find out more in the pledge criteria below.

Exclusions

There are some things that we’re not able to match invest against, these primarily being:
• Projects which do not benefit people living in England
• Projects which have been funded directly by Sport England, for the same expenditure
• Organisations without a trustee board/management committee (with 3 people minimum)
• Applications from individuals, or which are for the benefit of one individual
• Applications from private, profit making businesses
• Projects promoting religion
• Education establishments seeking to solely improve provision for students
• Playground equipment or projects without clear sport outcomes
• Organisations seeking to distribute grants on our behalf
• Projects intended for private gain
• Campaigns that focus only on existing members and/or supporters, including campaigns offering prize draws as Rewards
• Campaigns only offering Rewards in the form of membership fees or subscriptions
• Closed or Always On campaigns on Crowdfunder
• Projects already supported by Sport England under Places and Spaces

We are unable to support the same organisation with a pledge more than three times. Do however consider another campaign as part of your fundraising activity, as other +Extra Funders that work with Crowdfunder may be interested in supporting you. You can see the full list of all current funders here.

Pledge Criteria

If your application is approved, and you have not received funding from Active Together three times or more previously, you’ll be offered match funding of up to 50% towards your initial crowdfunding target, up to a maximum of £10,000. This offer will be valid for 4 weeks after the date of notification, if you do not launch your crowdfunding campaign within 4 weeks of notification the offer will be rescinded.

Following approval for funding, if you wish to make any changes to your campaign target, or any significant changes to your rewards or other page content you must notify us.

To receive a pledge, you will need to do two things (the ‘pledge conditions’):
1) raise at least 25% of your initial target,
2) raise this from a minimum number of unique Supporters. To verify whether Supporters are unique we will take account of information including, but not limited to: name, address, email addresses and payment card used.

The minimum number of unique Supporters required is:
25 Supporters if your target is up to £5,000
50 Supporters if your target is between £5,001 and £10,000
75 Supporters if your target is between £10,001 and £15,000
100 Supporters if your target is £15,001+

If either of these conditions are not met, the pledge will be withheld until both have been met.

If these two conditions are met, Sport England will pledge up to 50% of the target (unless your target is over £20,000), which means in most cases the campaign will then be at 75%. You must then raise the remaining 25% from your crowd, to achieve 100% of your funding target and receive the Sport England funds.

If the project fails to reach 100% of the target the Sport England pledge will be cancelled. The Project owner will be encouraged to review what went wrong and, if appropriate, to attempt to crowdfund again.

Organisations who have already secured Active Together funding three times previously

Organisations who have already secured funding from the Active Together Fund on 3 previous occasions will be limited to a maximum of £1,000 match funding from Sport England. A fourth round of funding will work as follows:

• Once approved and you have launched your campaign, Sport England will match every individual donation you receive up to £250 per donation.
• The maximum value of extra funding your project could receive from the Active Together fund is £1000 (or a maximum of 50% of your project target if below £2000.)
• All projects must have received donations from at least 25 unique supporters to qualify.

If the project fails to reach 100% of the target and/or at least 25 unique supporters, the Sport England pledge will be cancelled. The Project owner will be encouraged to review what went wrong and, if appropriate, to attempt to crowdfund again.

Sport England reserves the right to vary these pledge criteria; projects will be notified if their pledge criteria will vary from the stated terms above.

Additional Requirements

Project Owners or the campaigning organisation pledging to their own campaign is allowed, however this should not be a significant amount unless discussed with Sport England before the pledge is added. Small offline donations that have been collected may also be added, however you may be required to evidence the origin of these pledges (receipts, letters of support, copies of cheques or bank statements etc.). All funds should be raised during your campaign duration for the purposes of your campaign and project; retrospective funds raised prior to your campaign as well as ordinary income will not be considered eligible.

You will be ineligible for funding from Sport England if, at Sport England’s sole discretion, it is not satisfied that all the Supporter pledges on your project are genuine pledges.

Where projects or pledges are identified as fraudulent, potentially fraudulent, or demonstrative of manipulating the pledging on a project in order to obtain match funding, this is taken very seriously. Where appropriate, the police or other relevant authorities will be informed. In addition:

• Your application for funding will be refused and any existing commitment for funding will be withdrawn.
• Your Crowdfunding project may be cancelled and you will be ineligible for future applications or projects.
• Action will be taken to recover funding which has been paid out.

Once a pledge has been offered by Sport England, you must not alter your project closure date or initial campaign target raise amount, without discussing with Sport England first.

All funded projects are required to agree to the Active Together Grant Conditions.