Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 4


Many application forms will ask a question like “How do you know there’s a need for your project?”  It’s no good to state that it’s a project you’ve been wanting to do for ages, or that one of your Trustees is really keen.  Getting this answer wrong is one of the quickest ways to ensure your bid ends up in the waste-paper bin!     

Use statistics about your area, which in the UK are available on your County or Borough Council’s website (try looking for an Econ0mic Development department, or similar, and search for statistics).    Other documents will exist from your Health Authority, or within your own specialist areas, and it is useful to quote these, always referencing the source.  Demographic data about the local population, employment statistics, housing conditions, deprivation etc, are all invaluable in helping the funder understand about your locality.   

A specific survey or needs-assessment is useful for a major project such as a new building or a new way of delivering existing large-scale services.  For smaller projects, it’s really useful to use a couple of brief case studies – describing someone who has benefitted from a similar project in the past, or who would benefit from this project.  Where appropriate, respect the person’s confidentiality – but it’s ideal if there’s someone who is happy to be photographed and quoted directly.

So an ideal answer might state that the particular locality is an area of low educational achievement (quote the statistic), with a higher-than-average percentage of single-parent households with nobody in paid work (again, quote and reference your statistic), and would then go on to describe the benefits of the summer football training project you ran last year for young people, quoting 2 or 3 participants describing how it helped them, and perhaps quoting a teacher commenting that the young people’s concentration and behaviour had improved after the training.  Finally, a couple of parents commenting how the project helped them too, and you have provided the charitable trust with a persuasive argument for your project, backed up with a good mix of statistics (or “hard” data) and case studies (or “soft” data).

And remember, in step three we narrowed down our list of potential funders to those most likely to be interested in your specific project – so they will be keen to see this evidence and will already be half way to wanting to fund you!

Step five will look at the complex issue of describing the outcomes of a project – one of the most important questions on the application form.

©  Tamara Essex 2009

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One Comment on “Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 4”

  1. […] useful to track down some demographic information about your service provision area.  See Step 4  https://tamaraessex.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/ten-steps-to-the-perfect-funding-bid-step-4/#more-48 for details of finding the statistics relevant to your […]

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