We set up Catch 77 initially with the help of a bunch of friends who donated through our GoFundMe page, helping us raise enough money in the first few of weeks to ensure we had the funds to get us started. We are really grateful to everyone that donated – and indeed continues to donate, as the fundraising page is still open! (https://uk.gofundme.com/f/catch77)
However, constantly tapping up your friends and family for donations can lead to fewer Christmas cards pretty quickly and isn’t a sustainable model. That’s not to say we aren’t keen to develop our supporter base and continue to receive donations. We see that as part of the funding mix as we grow, and are going to come back to that once we have the capacity, as raising awareness and getting out there sufficiently to raise money through donations requires a lot of time and focus. For the past few months and for the next few, our time and energy has been spent getting our operations up and running – and of course delivering as many food boxes as we can.
To that end one of the first things we did early on was apply to the Devon County Council Covid response fund. This enabled us to get a quick decision on a grant which enabled us to focus our energies on getting Catch 77 up and running, on developing our networks and supply chain, and crucially, reaching and providing food boxes for more families. The Council’s handling of the application and decision making process was really efficient, and we are very grateful to the Council for supporting us so early on. Without the grant we may not have been able to continue beyond the initial lockdown, and we certainly wouldn’t have been able to scale up to quadruple the number of families we are supporting. More on that in the next blog!