There are always costs associated with starting up and sustaining any type of community organisation. Start-up costs for a Men’s Shed may include:
- Rental/hire costs for premises
- Possible renovation of premises
- Utilities costs: gas, electric, water
- Funds to pay for equipment
- Insurance costs
- Printing/ photocopying costs for promotional leaflets and posters
- Money for tea, coffee and biscuits.
Depending on the intended location and size of your Shed and range of activities you plan to offer, you will need to consider your current and future finances.
To cover all or some of these costs there are specific types of funding available:
- Grant funding- this involves filling in an application form for a pot of money from a small or large funder. It will typically require providing detailed information about your Shed. Some funders may specialise in start-up funding for small community organisations, so this is a good place to start.
- Donations/ Fundraising- this can be a simple way to raise a small amount of money to cover start-up costs such as buying equipment. For example, you could hold a coffee morning, or organise a community raffle. You may also receive donations of physical objects to fill your Shed (e.g. tools, kettle, wood, paint). The most important thing is to make yourself known in your community and make good connections with potential donors (e.g. local business and builders merchants).
- Income generation- a simple way to generate start-up income is to charge fees to your members through a single, monthly or annual fee. For example, some Sheds may charge £1/ 1 Euro per meeting to each member to cover the cost of hiring a hall and paying for tea and biscuits.
- More detailed information about funding and financial sustainability can be found in Part 2 of this toolkit.