Writing, submitting and winning grant funding for your organisation can be a stressful experience; getting the importance of your project/idea across can be a difficult task to take on.
We have put together five tips to help place emphases on what does work:

You are selling a solution to a problem
Funders want to know how the money they allocate will be spent:

  • your proposal solution,
  • how the project / idea will be implemented
  • what happens if plans go wrong.

Your application must be clear in explaining this to the funder in a coherent way that is easy to follow and which can be translated into a project plan against which to measure success.

Convince funders there’s a problem to solve
Funders want to ensure their money is being spent prudently so you need to prove there is a need. Almost all funders will ask you to explain what problem you are trying to solve and what evidence you are basing this on. Critically, although this can be secondary evidence such as available data and reports produced by 3rd parties, it is always more convincing if you can describe and demonstrate first hand evidence of the need your project / idea (surveys, questionnaires, etc.).
Have a clear and realistic budget

Highlight what your project can and CAN’T deliver within the funder’s budget. If the funder has a maximum of £10,000, you can employ 1 person on minimum wage for 12 months but nothing else! What do you need to buy to make the project a success, what can you rationalize and how long will the project take?

Don’t try to force a round project into a square funder…find a different funder
Finding funding is highly competitive but that should never mean you compromise your project / idea so that it fits a funder’s priority. Just find a different funder that recognises the problem you are trying to solve. Research potential funders who value what you want to achieve, these must become your out-and-out focus.
Less is always more
A maximum word or character limit is not a target. Aim to make your point lucidly and within 80% of the word count. Similarly, unnecessarily complex words and excessive lengthy sentences never convinces a funder; quite the reverse it makes them anxious about your ability to articulate complex ideas in an accessible and easy to understand format. With anything from 50-200 funding applications to read, a funder wants to understand your ideas quickly by reading concise explanations.