Taking part in income generating activity may not be a key goal of your shed (e.g. producing items to sell by donation) especially for retired members who may be keen to avoid ‘work’ like tasks. However, it can be a quick and easy option for raising funds for the pot.
Here are some ideas for income generation:
- Charging members single, monthly or annual fees (even as little as £1/ 1 Euro to cover tea and coffee)
- Producing items to sell by donation at local events or online (e.g. fairs, markets, Gumtree)
- Producing or restoring items for your local community (e.g. planters or benches for schools)
- Renting out space in your shed to other community groups
- Providing training, mentoring or apprenticeship schemes (seek advice from your local voluntary support service).
If you are a charity you are able to trade if the activity is in the pursuit of the primary purpose or aims of your organisation (for example selling products made by Shedders), and profit is reinvested back into the organisation. In addition to generating money, it can be also rewarding to see that the outputs of your work are wanted by your community. As most Sheds are not VAT registered products could be made for a suggested donation, rather than a ‘sale’. For more information on this please visit your national charity regulator webpages listed in the resources section at the back of the toolkit.
If your Shed regularly takes part in trading activity, it might also be worth thinking about becoming a ‘social enterprise’. For further information visit Social Enterprise UK at: https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/ or the Irish Social Enterprise Network at https://www.socent.ie/.
This involves an organisation delivering goods or services that have an individual or community benefit through an agreement with a public, private or voluntary sector entity. It is often called a ‘service level agreement’. For example, a voluntary homeless organisation may take on a contract from a public sector agency to deliver employment training to homeless service users. Options for Sheds could be to produce planters for your local council gardens and parks. Contracts will often come with a specific budget, targets and timescales (including penalty clauses for non-delivery). This option may not be suitable for your Shed as you may not want to deliver a formal service or take on any level of responsibility- but it is useful to be aware that this can be an option. For more information on contracts please visit the national voluntary organisation support webpages listed in the resources section at the back of the toolkit.