Fundraising for sport and development post-2015
This is the fourth article in a five part series on sport and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
“There is much to celebrate,” says Sophie Beauvais, former director of international sport and development at the Australian Sports Commission, “Years of advocacy by individuals and leading organisations are bearing fruit.” However, she warns, “A declaration does not necessarily bring more funds.”
Angela Murray, sport for development programme manager at Comic Relief, is optimistic for the future. “As S&D projects gain increasing recognition the opportunities for funding expand.” But with increased recognition come greater expectations. “As the S&D sector matures there is an increasing expectation among funders that S&D applications should be as competitive as those coming from more established development fields.”
This will assuredly put more pressure on fundraisers, but it may also present an opportunity for the development of the sector. Angela explains, “Rather than see competitive funding as a challenge, we should see it as an opportunity to be pushed by the wider development sector to create programmes that are as strong as possible and which truly demonstrate how effective S&D can be.”
Improving the evidence base
“The launch of the new Global Goals on 25 September is likely to have a profound impact on the types of interventions that major donors prioritise”, says Ed Barney, research advisor at DFID. “This shift should provide the S4D sector with a renewed focus and clarity about where to focus activities.”
He continues, “It is likely that there will be an increasing emphasis on the sector to demonstrate strong development results. In addition, it will be important that the sector develops a research agenda to improve clarity about what we know S4D programmes can achieve, what we are less sure about and those areas where we do not think that S4D can feasibly play a positive role.”
Think globally, act locally
However, not everyone is convinced that new funding opportunities will result from the inclusion of sport in the 2030 agenda. “Will the 2030 agenda bring more money?” Sophie asks rhetorically, “Unlikely.” She explains that organisations will need to continue working hard to demonstrate the impact of their work and clearly show how S&D contributes to funders' goals and priorities. “The 2030 Agenda is a case of ‘think globally, act locally’.”
Whether or not new funding opportunities can be expected post-2015, it is clear that sport and development organisations will need to provide more evidence of the impact of their efforts. Arguments will need to be convincing if the sector is to attract increased investment from large development organisations, such as USAID and DFID.
Don’t miss part five in this series which will focus on the way forward for sport and development, to feature in the 150th e-Newsletter on 30 September.