The scramble for funding
At the very start of our project back in May, we applied for the Innovative Initiative Grant from Edinburgh University (now renamed the Student Experience Grant). This is a great source of funding to kick start a student project. Up to £ 5'000 are up for grabs, however we only applied for £1'500. This was due to two reasons:
- We slightly (read greatly) underestimated how much a 1 kW wind turbine would cost. A professional estimate at a later date put the cost of materials between £3'000 and £4'000.
- We believed that applying for less money would mean we were more likely to get the grant.
Once we received this grant, we set to work hunting down more sources of funding. After spending hours trawling through the directory of grant making trusts, we realised they are mostly reserved for projects proposed by trustees and not open for applications. We also tried to contact companies which proved difficult without a personal contact within the company. The one avenue that proved successful was tracking down university grants which suited our project.
The one that did suit our project, the social responsibility and sustainability fund, opened late as they struggled to get access to funds. This caused us to nearly miss the deadline, but we just made it and got another £500 for our project.
Our next step in fundraising is organising events next semester. The two events planned so far are a pub quiz and a raffle!