As a non-profit, we know how daunting fundraising can be. That’s why we put together this helpful guide for those wanting to use our kits in their programming, but who need to access external funding to do so. Thanks to Ontario Trillium Foundation‘s Resilience Grant for their help in developing these resources!
First thing’s first: get to know us.
Before you decide you’d like to include funding for our testkits in one of your grant applications, explore what we have to offer! Our online store contains more than just testkits alone. We can also supply you wish secchi disks, dissolved oxygen kits, thermometers, and more.
After you familiarize yourself with our products, get to know our open data platform. Creating a group on Water Rangers is free and easy to do, and will help you keep track of your volunteers’ data all in one place. Learn more.
Our top fundraising tips
What's your purpose?
You'll need to succinctly describe your project's purpose in any funding application. Do you want to help people feel more connected to water? Or maybe you live in a data-deficient area, and you want to help collect much needed water quality data. Maybe it's a combination of the two, or maybe there are other reasons! Whatever your reasons are, make sure you explain them clearly and concisely. The people reviewing your application will likely skim through a lot of it; you want your purpose to be compelling and to stand out.
One of our not-so-favourite sayings at Water Rangers is "everything takes longer than expected." It's a simple yet painful truth! If you anticipate needing a large amount of supplies from us, there may be delays. Some products have longer lead times which can be compounded by current events (pandemics, wildfires, and flooding are a few examples that we know all too well). Make sure to consider testing season, too- our testing season runs from March to November. Do you want to align your testing season with ours, or will you be testing all year 'round? This may impact the amount of supplies you need.
Crafting the right budget is an important part of your application. Consider the following: shipping costs for our supplies must be included separately. We can calculate this for you ahead of time. Discounts may be available for bulk orders; we typically offer 5% off 10 testkits or more, and 10% off 20 or more. Do you want to customize your kits? This will cost an extra $15 per kit. All of our prices are in Canadian dollars, and we don't charge tax. Will your program last for more than one year? Consider the cost of restocking supplies. Don't forget to include funding for travel, managing volunteers, etc. Last but not least, we may be able to offer you a small amount of in-kind support. Contact us to learn more.
While this seems like something you'd consider only after your project is underway, planning how you're going to track and measure your projects's progress is crucial. Oftentimes, this information will need to be included in the grant application itself. Will you organize yourself with timelines and spreadsheets? Will you check in with your volunteers weekly, monthly? Will you need to complete an interim report, or will you only need to report on your success at the end? Make sure you plan for this ahead of time, and decide who will be in charge of ensuring your project runs smoothly.