5 Steps to Funding

Be sure you understand what can be funded.  Funders do not usually fund the day-to-day activities of your organisation, though they may contribute to the organisational overheads involved in running a project. Be sure you know what is meant by a project.  A project is a piece of work that is additional to the everyday work of your organisation.

If your project involves extra staff or costs your grant may cover them; or if you are looking to fund a new project, or set up a new organisation, start-up costs, including staff and other core running costs, they will be considered.

In recognition that not all funding requirements can be project based, there are funders that are willing to help pay core costs such as help with overheads and staff salaries.

There are 5 Steps you should think about following when making an application, they are:

  1. Show a need for your project
  2. Plan your project well
  3. Cost the project accurately
  4. Give evidence of good management
  5. Show how the project will make a difference

Show A Need For Your Project

You must show that there is a need for your project and that your project is a good way of meeting it. The three points you should think about are:

  • What needs do your community or users have?
  • How do you know they have these needs?
  • How will your project meet those needs?

Sometimes applications are turned down, not because funders do not believe that the need is there, but because they are not convinced that what you want to do will solve the problem or that your proposed project is what people want.

How much information you need to give depends on how much money you want. If you are looking for a relatively small grant you could conduct a survey among your existing members or users, asking them for their views on the new project. For a larger grant, you may need to do a fully costed options appraisal, perhaps with some research into different ways of meeting the need. You can then explain which option you decide is the best and why.

Plan Your Project Well

It is recommended that you write a project plan listing the main things you have to do to make your project happen and to achieve its aims. You need to explain:

  • What you are going to do;
  • What difference your project will make to the people or organisations that benefit from it;
  • How you are going to do it – including what resources you need (premises, equipment, staff, recruitment and training budget etc);
  • When you will do it;
  • Where you will do it;
  • Who will be responsible for doing it; and
  • How you will know you’ve made a difference.

Your project plan should cover everything from the activities and tasks you have set yourself in getting the project started to the outcomes you are expecting as a result. It is important that you can show that your project will make a difference to people’s lives.

Cost The Project Accurately

Once you have done your project plan, you should work out how much money

  • you will need to carry out the project.
  • You will need to justify the amount you have asked for. For example, if you want money to pay for staff, you will need to show how you worked out the level of salaries.
  • When you are drawing up your budget, it’s important that you don’t cut corners. Include in your budget everything you need. If funding for your project is granted, funders will generally fund what you need if the evidence is there.

Give Evidence Of Good Management

We must be sure that your organisation is able to deliver the project. Your grant comes from public funds and you must be able to account for the money we give you.

Your management committee will have close contact with your users or your community and they will have the skills to handle the activities involved in delivering your project. This could mean managing staff or working with professionals on building projects.

Funders may ask you who the members of your management committee are and about their skills and experience. You must have established procedures or the election of the management committee and for conducting regular meetings.

It is important that you have procedures in place for handling the finances of your organisation – a proper bookkeeping system, regular financial checks and properly prepared accounts.

Funders will look at your policies on health and safety and employment. If you employ staff they will want to know that you are striving for equal opportunities in your employment procedures.

Show How The Project Will Make A Difference

Funders want their grants to make a long-term difference to the lives of the people who will benefit from your project.  You need to think about this while you are making your application. You  should explain how you will collect information about the difference your  project will make so you know you are achieving the things you set out to do, and show how you will use this information as the project goes on.