The Orchard Project have developed a highly successful model for planting community orchards across the UK through accessing grant funding for our charity. We would now like to sell our services to local authorities and others such as developers and landscape architects, in order to bring in earned income, and we need a strategy to do so that helps us to highlight the opportunities and best approach.
The Orchard Project is the UK’s only national charity dedicated solely to creating and restoring thriving, urban community orchards. Our work is community-led, with over 70% of our work in areas of greater deprivation. Our vision is simple – everyone in the UK within walking distance of a community orchard by 2040.
In the last year alone we planted or restored 72 community orchards in urban areas, we involved over 10,000 people in training, volunteering or community events around orchards and 1,300 children in schools workshops. What our volunteers say about the impact on them is particularly impressive, 94% of people say that being involved in their community orchard helps them to feel more positive about where they live and 85% of people say that they feel more connected to other people in their community, with 93% feeling more connected to nature which we know has benefits to well-being.
In recent years we have had some great successes fundraising from grants which has enabled us to grow and carry out a fantastic programme of orcharding activity across the UK. However as these grants come to an end and the funding landscape becomes more challenging we need to find ways for our charity to become more sustainable over the long-term.
One of the avenues that we want to develop a strategy for in order to progress it as a funding stream is earned income - we have had some success in the past at securing contracts with local authorities and others who buy our services, but we have never had a plan for how to grow this. We hope that by approaching this is a more methodical and focused way with your support, we can develop this as a viable part of our charity’s income which would then support us to keep delivering our grassroots community orchard projects.
Can you help us to grow our income and become more sustainable?