Posted tagged ‘Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid’

Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: Step Ten

May 27, 2012

Final Read-through

If you’ve followed the first nine steps (plus the odd addition along the way), your bid should be in pretty good shape.  Quite rightly, the Ten Steps blog finishes with Step Ten, and covers the final read-through.  It’s a rather more important stage than you may have assumed!

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Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: Step Nine

December 30, 2011

Monitoring & Evaluation

Another question on grant application forms that is often answered badly, is the question on monitoring and evaluation.  You need to show that you understand the need to check and capture that what you are doing is actually delivering your original aims.  (more…)

Bid appraisal by (secret) checklist

August 5, 2011

It’s useful when a funder issues clear, detailed guidance notes.  Ideally, these should include a full list of what the funder is looking for in a bid.  As applicants, we can then use this as a checklist, knowing that whoever is appraising the bid is using the same checklist.  I’ve been doing some bid appraisals where unfortunately I knew that I had an appraisal checklist that was different from anything the applicants had seen. (more…)

Communitybuilders and money-laundering

February 16, 2011

Now I’m not in favour of money laundering.  Indeed it’s fair to say I’m against it.  Therefore, I suppose, I’m in favour of steps which mitigate against money laundering.  However Communitybuilders really truly do go a step too far.  Several steps too far.  Many many many steps too far. (more…)

Corporate Fundraising – is it possible in a recession?

January 13, 2011

I promised in the last blog to come back and cover unit costing in a little more depth.  But before that I’d like to divert briefly from the Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid, and say a little bit about corporate fundraising in difficult recession times.

I’ve been developing a new training course with my colleague Margaret MacKenzie of The Swan Company (www.theswancompany.co.uk – strapline “taking the cold out of calling!”).  She’s an expert in business-to-business relationship building, and we’ve come together to combine specialisms and to help charities and VCOs to find ways of extracting cash from businesses. 

So will a business, facing another difficult year, stump up funds to a local charity?  We would argue that it depends on how you approach them.  And this highlights a really bad habit that I think VCOs fall into.  We tend to focus on what WE need, and how brilliant OUR project is, and we think that this is enough to convince the whole world to be hugely impressed and instantly give us all the funds we need.  Well here’s the reality check – it ain’t that easy.  Businesses are not charities and they aren’t grant-making bodies.  They need a reason to give out their hard-earned cash, especially at the moment.

And what we will be helping VCOs to explore in our new training course, is how to show the businesses that there are good solid reasons, and that supporting a local charity can make good business sense.  We need to think not about what we need, but what we can offer.  This also has the advantage of making the relationship a more equal partnership, rather than one of supplicant and benefactor.

So we’ve got some guinea-pigs coming along to the first “Cracking the Corporate Coffers” day on January 19th, and I’m happy to write more on this topic if it’s of interest.  Click through to my website for details of the training course  www.tessex.co.uk

Next time though, it’s back to the Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid.  I think we’re up to 8b!

©  Tamara Essex 2011

Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 7

July 29, 2010

Describe the Project:

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  But this is where you have to use your journalistic skills … and by that I mean “Think tabloid” !!!   You only have a line or two to grab the interest of the people reading your funding application – so make the project sound captivating, effective, and significant in those first few words. (more…)

And fundraising just got harder …..

July 16, 2010

So the voluntary and community sector will get less Lottery money.  Isn’t that just great?  What started out as being “our” pot of money all those years ago, then got raided to fund bolt-on NHS services and bolt-on education services.  And then came the Olympics.  (more…)

Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 6

June 20, 2010

Demonstrate Your Track Record: 

As well as having a superb project that exactly hits the priorities of your chosen funder, any charitable trust or foundation needs to feel confident that your organisation is robust and that you have the capability to successfully manage the project you are proposing.

Spell out that your organisation is robust, has delivered a range of projects successfully before, and has managed budgets of a similar size.  List a few specific projects that have worked well.   If this is a larger project than you have managed before, use other ways of demonstrating that you have the skills – you might have a Trustee with a financial background, or a member of staff who managed large projects in their previous job, or a Trustee who works for a larger organisation and manages large budgets, for example.   (more…)

Lottery – reasons they reject bids:

May 25, 2010

The Blog is Back!!!   My apologies for the gap since the last blog entry.  Hopefully this will make up for it – I’ve unofficially got hold of the official list of the top eleven reasons that Lottery applications are rejected, and I’m sharing  the top three here.   (more…)

Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid: step 5 (b)

March 7, 2010

A Little More about Outcomes:

In response to a couple of requests, and because I think this is one of the main obstacles to a great funding bid, I’m going to expand a little on the vexed question of outcomes.

When I wrote about this earlier this year, I said that if you found the outcomes question EASY to answer, you probably hadn’t done it right.  I stick by that.   It is always going to be a difficult balancing act, to strike the correct line between wanting to OVER-state your outcomes (because you want to show how brilliant your project will be), and UNDER-stating your outcomes (because you want to make sure you can deliver them and demonstrate you have delivered them).   

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