If you haven’t applied for funding before, we know that it can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t done it before, but we hope you will find this guide helpful.
Your application form is your opportunity to tell funding organisations about your project.
1. Select your funders
Gather a list of funding sources and choose which options sound suitable. This could be sponsorship or a grant. We have given some examples of grants that you can apply for here.
2. Check your eligibility
Make sure you haven’t missed anything before spending significant time preparing your application.
Even though you can reuse pieces of content for different grant applications, putting it all together still takes time. Any time spent doing that is not spent doing something else for the club, so you will want to ensure you are only applying for grants that you are eligible for.
Consider the importance of each grant to your club and rank them accordingly. Getting one grant of, say, £5,000 is better than applying for five grants of £1,000 because it takes less time to get one grant than five. Put your most important grants in order of when they close for applications.
Be sure to read the details of each scheme carefully to ensure that you won’t be ineligible for another if you apply for one.
Writing your funding application or bid
1. Get your paperwork ready.
When applying for a community grant, you will need the following information:
- Your club’s constitution documentation.
- Club’s policies and procedures documentation
- A description of your club’s management team and volunteers, including their roles and responsibilities
- Any rental or lease agreements
- Insurance policies
- Charitable status documentation (if applicable)
- Any payments you make to your team members
- Keeping a record of volunteer time
2. Prepare your project brief
If you don’t have a written statement on your club’s aims and objectives, now is the time to do so. Keep it brief and to the point. Provide evidence that your project is needed. Describe who will do what, where and how they will do it, and when.
- Who are the people who will be involved in delivering the project?
- Are there any external partners involved, or will it be just club members?
- Who are the key people?
- What are the project’s aims and objectives?
- Who is it intended for?
- What’s the expected duration?
When the funding is for a defined geographical area, it is imperative to identify the locality affected.
Milestones make it easier to define and measure progress. If this funding depends on the project’s launch, give each milestone a duration rather than a definite date.
- What equipment, information, or access will you need to complete the project?
- Are they qualified or have any relevant experience?
- What will be involved in delivering each project milestone, and what does success look like?
- What will key performance indicators (KPIs) allow you to track your progress?
Decide what costs you wish to cover with the funding. Ensure you don’t claim the same costs for more than one successful grant or fundraising activity. Ensure that you’re applying for everything you need by listing each item and its estimated cost.
4. Keep it simple
Rather than overly-complicated wording to impress the person reading your application, keep it clear and make it easy for the assessor to understand what you’re asking for and how the money will be spent.
5. The outcomes
Deliverables are the outcomes you want your project to achieve and will be important to your funder. Describe what you want to change, achieve, and deliver and how this project or funding will help you accomplish it.
Describe how your project will:
- Improve / increase / promote/ gain / more of [something]
- Make [something] better/stronger
- Minimise / reduce / decrease [something]
How can your club’s project contribute to what your community wants or needs?
6. The community
Your project can be participated in by a wide range of people.
Ask those who have already worked with you or benefited from your work to provide testimonials or other supporting material.
Get testimonials or other supporting material from those who have already worked with you, or who you have benefited. Record the time any volunteers spend with your club.
7. Proofread your application
An application with typos or poor grammar may appear to the assessor as if you haven’t spent much time on it or that it isn’t important.
You can make your application stand out by:
- Leave it for a couple of days and read it again
- Your committee members should do the same
- Make sure your figures and what you’ve written are accurate
- Ensure you’ve told the funder everything they need to know about your club
- Include photos, past projects, or links to your club’s website in your application