Sustainable Funding Mechanisms Used by Sport for Social Change Organisations

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Sport is increasingly recognised as an effective means for addressing public health and social issues. The proliferation of academic research on the subject, prevalence of sport for social change programs, and attention from policy-makers has intensified substantially since the start of this century. However, despite the increased attention, funding, and resources are still critical challenges for organisations striving to create social change through sport. To address these funding difficulties, a growing number of organisations have adopted a social enterprise model. The nature of social enterprises and the barriers to their establishment are a relatively under-researched area in the field of sport for social change. The following study endeavours to address this gap in the research by identifying the mechanisms used to maintain financial sustainability for sport for social change organisations that are members of the global network “Streetfootballworld.” This study explores the approaches to sustainable funding adopted by sport for social change organisations associated with the Streetfootballworld network. Through an exploratory survey, key challenges facing these organisations in terms of sustainable funding are identified. While respondents represent a wide range of national contexts, social causes, and business models, some common challenges as well as similar strategies to address these challenges are highlighted by respondents. This study also highlights the interest sport for social change practitioners express in developing their knowledge about effective social enterprise strategies. This exploratory survey represents a first step in understanding sustainable funding mechanisms used by sport for social change organisations around the world.