Posted tagged ‘writing effective fundraising bids’

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…)

Successful Bid-writing: The Power of Words

December 9, 2011

Ah, the power of words.  I was running a course on tendering for local authority contracts in Devon a couple of months ago, and on the evaluation forms one participant wrote “I never realised that the WORDS mattered so much.”  It raised a wry grin from me … well actually I had to supress a bit of a laugh.  Just what else do we have to persuade a funder to give us money?  Videos, slideshows, photo-montages are all well and good but I’m yet to find a charitable trust or foundation that doesn’t still want something written down! (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…)

Re-Blog – “Charities: Don’t Mention the Olympics in 2012”

July 30, 2011

Many charities might well be planning an Olympic-themed fundraising event next year.  Well beware!   Howard Lake has written a fantastically useful blog post in HuffPost UK warning that almost every word you might possibly want to use (even “gold”, “Games”, and most ridiculously of all “2012” have been listed in LOCOG’s guidance of words which cannot be used without infringing The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006.  Who even knew THAT existed?

Read his post at     http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/howard-lake/charities-dont-mention-th_b_910769.html   and avoid injunctions, damages, and criminal proceedings.

I’m in the middle of developing a new training course on “Advanced Bid-Writing Skills” and some thoughts from that will appear in this blog shortly.

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…)

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…)

Passing the test is not the same as learning to drive …..

November 14, 2009

Doing GCSE Spanish last academic year was quite frustrating at times, as the curriculum was focussed on passing the GCSE exams, rather than on improving our Spanish.  Being an Adult Education class, most of the attenders had homes or family in Spain, or travelled there frequently for work, and were interested in genuine communication.  However our homework kept focussing on “work experience”, “penfriends”, and “hobbies”.  Fair enough I suppose, because that’s what the exams focussed on.

This week I’ve been developing course materials for an NVQ course in community development.  I’m delivering the Fundraising and Resources for Community Groups elements.  But instead of being able to actually practice different tasks within writing effective fundraising bids, the participants must complete “worksheets” that demonstrate that they have been told the theory of writing bids, and that they have understood what they have been told.  Not that they have tried it out for themselves!  Indeed such are the constraints that I have even needed to drop some practical sessions from my regular course, in order to fit in a simple worksheet to cover the differences between core funding, revenue funding, and capital funding.  A section which would take a minute and a half in my normal “Ten Steps to the Perfect Fundraising Bid” course.

But I must be fair on the participants, and whilst I’m sure they would rather learn the practicalities, they also need to pass their NVQs in order to get themselves jobs as Community Development Workers, before they can help voluntary and community groups with their fundraising.  And they need to “evidence their learning” with these completed worksheets.  So that is how I will deliver the course. 

But I’d rather ensure they knew how to help our struggling rural community organisations REALLY to write the perfect fundraising bid!