Talk

Advanced search

How to fundraise without pissing off everyone around me?!

(31 Posts)
AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 08:06:05

All the time on here I see posts about people fundraising and pissing off their friends and family in the process.
Myself and some volunteers want to save our pub from being turned into houses. Currently it's a grotty building with many neighbours complaining about the eyesore and view the community pub as slowing down the inevitable, ie they think it'll be houses regardless and we're delaying that process so I am already facing an uphill struggle with quite a few local naysayers
so AIBU to ask, what fundraising activities you would actually support? What can I do that wont result in an AIBU post about me?!

GottenGottenGotten Tue 12-Mar-19 08:09:45

Instead of doing what so many peeps do, and try to get people to sponsor then su they can do something that they want to do (walk the great Wall and such)

Offer people something they want. An evening of entertainment. A pamper party. A bake sale. A class in craft activities. A clothes swap. A second hand book sale. Etc.

EvaHarknessRose Tue 12-Mar-19 08:11:47

I think this kind of venture needs a lot of community support, for ever, can you scope what level of support is out there? After all they are your future customer base.

Your fundraising could build community spirit - start up an annual May Day or Boxing Day tradition (like the good old british traditional ones being revived, barrell rolling, cheese rolling, welly wanging) - get people socialising together.

Ginger153 Tue 12-Mar-19 08:14:12

Is the pub in community ownership and a registered social enterprise or charity? If yes, then your best bet is applying for grants if it's to restore/do up the building. If you want to raise money from the community too, then try to focus your activities on bringing people into the building - quiz nights etc. So people can come together and enjoy the place.

ShatnersWig Tue 12-Mar-19 08:15:49

What is your actual PLAN though? Are you looking to raise money to buy the pub and run it yourselves in some form of community buy out? You'd have a form of committee and then advertise and employ a manager and staff?

PBo83 Tue 12-Mar-19 08:27:52

I think it's a great cause but it will only work if the community already use the pub, if they don't they won't see the value in your cause.

I would try and avoid anything that screams 'fundraiser!' (i.e. anything sponsored) but maybe try and put events on AT the pub as it stands (quizzes are always popular) which will not only raise funds but might lure in a few more potential customers/investors for the future.

Good luck!

AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 08:46:51

Hi All, So bit of background:
Pub was run by Batemens and sold off to a property developer, it's the last remaining asset
Property developer gutted the building to start renovating with no change of use. He was told to stop work, a community asset order was placed on the building.
Hes applied twice and appealed for change of use, every time has failed as they cannot prove the pub wasn't viable.
It's been up for sale for 4 years for £200k OVER two independent valuations.

Back at the start we had a lot of support in the community, over 90% wanted it converted but we had stumbling blocks.
1 - We tried to raise the money to pay the asking price without him actually accepting our offer. Crowdfunding was pulled so we didnt pay commission to them without and agreed sum. Simply, we messed up and acted to hastily
2 - Building has sat empty with rubble dumped outside, huge iron gates up and left to rot genuine eye sore
The last planning application saw people write in to support (less than 50% of the objectors) all of their support was because it was a mess and they wanted the site cleaned up so thought giving in was the best bet.
3 - Parish council are against it as they want the villages downgraded to a hamlet to stop any future house building

So we have a management committee, part of the Plunket foundation for support.
We now have an agreed asking price
We can't get grants to buy the building but once we own it we can get grants to renovate
We are aware of 2 matched funding campaigns and a company has agreed a 70% loan.
Worst case scenario we need to raise £56k as a 30% deposit and the rest is a loan. OR we raise the £56k and get matched funding and the loan amount is dramatically reduced.

Essentially I need people to part with money for something that's an eyesore...and need to convince them of this. All whilst having no venue to host events.
:/

ShatnersWig Tue 12-Mar-19 08:57:44

How financially viable was the pub before it closed?

You say your parish council want the village downgraded to a hamlet? Never heard of such a thing, but a hamlet is generally VERY small. If you are that small, presumably this is a very small community. Even if you manage to raise the deposit, do you have enough of a community to ensure you can then earn enough to pay off the loan? If you are off the beaten track, then you will need to be a very good pub with very good food offering to get people to come to you to ensure you can pay off the loan. Which means a pretty good chef and a very good grade kitchen and all the necessary requirements there.

I'm not meaning to pour cold water but I am concerned as to the realistic nature of this. I only know of a few villages that have bought and run their own pub but it was already a relatively successful pub to start with and no one wanting to rip it down. And most people in the village were fairly affluent.

scaryteacher Tue 12-Mar-19 09:08:51

Could you do what other places have done and sell shares in the pub, so it is a true community pub? If each house in the village bought shares (assuming not on the bones of their arses), would that raise enough? Other villages also have their PO and shop in the pub, and use it as a coffee shop as well so there is something for everyone there to support.

Gazelda Tue 12-Mar-19 09:22:32

Do you have a project plan? Business plan? My first thought if I were being asked to support the appeal would be 'what happens after it's bought?' Will more funds need to be raised for refurb? For staffing the new pub, for maintenance etc?
As for fundraising, I'd go down the community day route. And sponsor a brick. Get back to crowdfunding. Any local famous people (past or present?) big up the history. Does it have a ghost (ghost tours?). Have you applied to heritage lottery?

RosaPfirsich Tue 12-Mar-19 09:30:26

I also wonder how financially successful the pub was before it closed. A lot of pubs are struggling at the moment and it's going to be no good resurrecting something potentially doomed to fail.

SouthernComforts Tue 12-Mar-19 09:36:06

The first question is - do you all passionately want a local pub, or do you just NOT want houses? Pubs are struggling, you need a steady flow of regular drinkers on a wet Monday evening, do you have that?

babysharkah Tue 12-Mar-19 09:40:34

How do you know a local pub would be supported? Can you turn it into a community hub - some pub pubs now have a post office / small village store in them as well. Do you have those facilities in your village already? Why did the pub close in the first place, I assume lack of revenue? Why do you think you can turn that around?

How is the venture going to be run / staffed? It sounds a little vague, and like you just don't want the houses' at the moment.

VelvetPineapple Tue 12-Mar-19 09:52:59

Sorry but I’m with the parish council. Stopping future house building is worth more than having a pub.

Firstly you need a written agreement from the owner to sell for X amount. In my experience these people get greedy if funds are being raised. They will want to make the same amount of profit they’d make from the conversion. And a grant will only cover buying back the property at market value - they won’t give you money to put in a developer’s pocket as profit. (We tried to get a grant for a historic building near us but they’d only grant us enough to buy the building at the price the developer paid, they understandably refused to pay an inflated price to give him his profit. So he refused to sell because he wanted his pound of flesh).

Also I still don’t understand how you intend to run the pub? As a community enterprise with paid staff? With volunteers? (not viable imo). Who will be the licensee? Etc.

ThePittts Tue 12-Mar-19 10:50:07

The Packhorse, South Stoke did a similar thing, maybe check out their pages to get some help and ideas. Good luck hope it works out for you, as we are losing too many pubs...

AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 11:38:57

Sorry just seen lots of replies - running into a meeting but I'll reply as soon as I'm out. Please keep the positive and negative comments as they are all things we need to consider.
In short to a couple of posts:
Tenanted model so not run by volunteers
Building is large so we would use the rear hall as a community hall with events put on
The front will be a pub
Upstairs has a large 4 bedroom apartment and storage so may be split to air b+b type and accomodation for landlord
We have no shop, no post office. Nearest is in town 15 minutes away or villages in opposite direction also 15/20 minutes away
We do have a village hall which due to damp, electrics not working and no heating is limited in use

VelvetPineapple Tue 12-Mar-19 12:30:09

Who will own the building though? I assume your community group plans to set up a registered charity with a board of trustees, and the charity will own the building and rent it out to a tenant?This is stuff that I’d want to see written down before I donated any money.

Hoppinggreen Tue 12-Mar-19 12:36:51

A similar thing happened in MILs village a few years ago.
People bought shares to make the pub viable
All went tits up, loads of people lost money and ww3 was declared in the village with several battle fronts drawn up.
Got so bad MIL (and some other family) moved
If the pub wasn’t viable before then it probably isn’t viable now.
Plan sounds Idyllic OP but have you got a solid business plan? Everyone will say that they will support you but when it comes down to putting in time and money you will see the majority vanish. Sorry to be so negative but if it goes wrong it will be awful and you May find yourself living in a place with a horrible atmosphere

AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 12:41:20

@ShatnersWig - the more cold water you pour on the more it makes me think of things that either we need to seriously consider/put a positive spin on so please do go ahead!

Parish council...hum I don't have much positive to say, all un-elected and self serving. We once had 2 villages that were joined to become one Parish. They are pushing to have those separated again.
If the last asset is removed then both villages would have less than 80 houses each, currently we're at just over 150 houses combined.

Pub was run for years by a couple - very successful, they asked to buy and were turned down, they bought a pub elsewhere. They left and immediately pub went into decline, had 4 people in over the space of 2 years. I say the brewery is Batemans as I believe they are renowned for having a poor business model, they charge rates plus a % of profit which increases the more profit you make. There's little incentive for a good landlord under that model. However, the pub was not sold as a 'going concern'

In terms of customers as well as those in the village it is a popular cycle route and used to be frequented by big cycling groups as it has a large car park so was ideal for people to start and finish, there is also a water sports centre on the outskirts of the village that attracts people.

There is a restaurant on the outskirts of the village that has just been put into liquidation due to alleged tax evasion (court case coming up to prove if fraudulent or not)
so closing due to greed as opposed to lack of business.

@Gazelda we do have a business plan from the last time the shares were launched. At the time the original team made fundamental mistakes, raising the asking price not the value and even then the owner hadn't agreed to sell. It was advertised as potential tax relief BEFORE it was confirmed as eligible by HMRC plus we tried raising enough to both buy at asking price and renovate without maximising any grants so due to several mistakes I am keen to get all ducks in a row before we attempt again as I genuinely think if we fail this time it will be houses.

@SouthernComforts I have no issue at all with more houses, we are a linear village and there's plenty of scope for more houses. Approximately 14 have been built with planning permission for another 4 granted since this all started. For me, living in a rural having somewhere I can go for a drink and meet friends and neighbours is important. Right now we don't have that without driving out somewhere and having a designated driver or taxis
We have a village darts team, and no pub to host!

Other reasons for wanting this are that we have no open space in the village, it's rural but all surrounding land is farm land. No kids play park, which we can add to the generous pub garden, in fact it's large enough to get room for older kids to kick a ball about, younger kids to have a play park, beer garden AND parking for 40 cars. My kids are teens so less important for us but I think it's really important to cater for families in a village and it can be frustrating having multiple kids over because they have nowhere else to go than someones house.

@ThePittts Thank you, I'll look them up

The negative feedback I have heard from some locals - I say some because there's a handful who are very vocal and negative on social media with personal attacks do prevent some people from speaking up. Walking the dog etc many people say they are interested to see what happens, but they are fed up of the mess the site has been left in, a known tactic by developers. I believe there's a genuine want for a pub and it would be used, but an apathy of it'll happen or it wont

AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 12:44:09

@Hoppinggreen Would you mind if I pm and ask you what village? I need to see the bad as well as the success stories as it's the only way to ensure we don't make the same mistakes - or give up now!

@VelvetPineapple I wasn't involved at the start and set up so would need to ask to be sure of the correct legal term but I do know we are a not for profit corporation, Currently made up of members who volunteer their time.

VelvetPineapple Tue 12-Mar-19 12:52:25

The reason I suggested a registered charity with trustees was because of the legal protection that model offers. It limits your personal liability, including your financial liability if it goes tits up. A company doesn’t offer the same protections. It’s vitally important to check that you’re all insured and protected from any negative consequences should things go wrong.

AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 12:58:35

@VelvetPineapple Thank you for the suggestion. I'll ask the group for the official term and how they agreed on that to see if we need to explore additional options. Much of what I am hearing is that 'an advisor told them so that's what they did' whereas I am less trusting and prefer the advice of several people until I find someone who is consistent in their advice!

Hoppinggreen Tue 12-Mar-19 13:00:42

I dont mind at all but I’m nor sure how me naming the village will help you, there’s been nothing in the press about it and the “shares” were sold in quite a dodgy way tha5 meant people didn’t even get proper paperwork
Another issue was that the pub ended up having around 20 managers (everyone who owned shares), with 20 views on how things should be done and 20 plus people thinking they deserved to be served first at the bar. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there’s was at least 1 fight.
It’s a nice thing you want to do for the community but so fraught with difficulties I’m afraid it could destroy what yiu have now rather than enhance it

AmIAWeed Tue 12-Mar-19 13:12:52

Hi @Hoppinggreen PM sent, as I said in my message we need to see the good, the bad, the what we really need to avoid.
Shares are great and I believe a nice approach but I do fear the issue of people thinking they are shareholders to get special treatment. Perhaps a pack on what being a shareholder/donator means and doesn't mean!
Additionally the group set up and dynamic, right now we have a committee of working board members which we are keen to limit in size to avoid the too many chefs in the kitchen effect but I would like to see more surveys, more questions and accountability to anyone who donates their time or money.
I hope if we get that clear message right from the start, the transparency will encourage people to come forward as they see this as a community thing.
Most of the messages I am reading here really are based on the genuineness of the cause, the clearness of the ask, where money is going which are all fair questions and thoughts.

QueenEhlana Tue 12-Mar-19 13:26:36

Two fundraising ideas:

1) If you have some houses with beautiful gardens, you run an 'Open Garden' day, one ticket gives you access to all gardens and a cup of tea. You set up a marquee somewhere, or use the village hall, to have cakes and a cuppa for extra money, and a plant sale, with seedings and plants (donated by volunteers, prepared in advance).

2) Trash and Treasure Trail - everybody can hold their own trash and treasure stall in their front garden, they pay a fee to the organisers to be included on a map, and then people can visit all of the trash and treasure sales in the one day. Some people (with a large front garden/drive) might be willing to host a sale with all the proceeds of that site going to the organisers, and other people can drop things off there to be sold. Again, a cuppa and cake, bbq etc at the village hall. (The food element is often the largest fundraiser of any event).

Both require quite a few volunteers.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: