Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 1

Step 1.  CHECK YOUR CONSTITUTION AND YOUR CHARITABLE REMIT

Do NOT miss out this essential step!   It sounds obvious, but enormous numbers of funding bids go in without anyone noticing that the organisation has gradually (often over several years) drifted away from its original purpose.   This drift might be for the best reasons, such as meeting the changing needs of the user-group, or for less good reasons such as “chasing the funding”.    But it is frighteningly common that a funding proposal is submitted which is OUTSIDE the organisation’s charitable remit or geographical area of benefit.     

Most funders will ask for a copy of your Constitution, or will check your Charity Commission summary page.   And area of benefit and charitable remit will be the first thing they check.   Get this wrong, and your wonderfully-written bid will not even be read – it will go straight to the reject pile.   Don’t waste your time or their time – check your OWN constitution, charitable remit, and area of benefit. 

If you need to change your governing documents, then allow enough time to follow the procedure of getting Charity Commission permission, and calling an EGM or whatever your constitution requires for amending it.   And if you are quietly tutting to yourself, saying “how ridiculous!”, I can assure you that I wouldn’t be wasting my own time writing this first step if I hadn’t seen over and over again how necessary it is!

©  Tamara Essex 2009

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2 Comments on “Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 1”

  1. Mark Trotter Says:

    This is a very sound point, as I spent five years going through rejected bids to NLCB which had been turned down because of inadmissible or unrelated objects.

    Often the first issue isn’t the simple do we fit the criteria but do we have the right to raise funds, normally under the powers, most older community constitutions still focus on the members raising the funds through voluntary donations, a number of church groups suffered because of this simple point.

    If you’re not sure you understand get some advice before you begin from the local CVS of community network. You would be surprised at how many still fall at this hurdle. I still help about 10 charities a year change constitutions so they can raise funds. So I echo the point of step one.


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