An important requirement of any Supporters’ Trust is to be in a financial position to purchase a stake in its club if required or desired by the club’s owners, or to be able to respond if the club’s future is in jeopardy. It takes time to raise funds and HUST has continued to grow its reserves since HUST’s formation in 2015.
HUST raises money through membership fees, public and member donations, the monthly lottery draw, merchandise sales, and though the various different events that we hold. While HUST occasionally partner with community groups to assist with their fundraising it is important to note that HUST’s funds – particularly those raised through membership fees and via the 2018 ‘Fighting Fund’ campaign – are entirely ring fenced for only the purposes of which they were raised. Partnership events are clearly advertised in advance and profits from the events are only distributed once any costs have been covered.
Funds held in reserve are one important aspect to fundraising, but as a Football Supporters’ Association affiliated, FCA regulated Community Benefit Society, HUST is also able to raise funds via community share issues (CSI). The money raised as a CSI is managed and facilitated by HUST on behalf of its members, however, all members retain a single vote over the share issue, irrespective of the individual sum invested. By acting as a community rather than as individuals they share issue carries more weight, with one community having greater influence than the sum of the individual investments.
Community share issues have been used to secure significant Trust facilitated investment in many clubs, including; Barrow, Crewe Alexandra, Portsmouth, Newport County, and our local friends Darlington.