1. Don’t be afraid to contact the funder
If you have questions you can discuss your ideas and application! Many funders welcome this contact and sometimes have outreach workers who will support you through the application process.
2. Be specific
Make sure you have answered all the basic the questions: What? Who? Why? Where? How? When? you will carry out your project. The funder should feel confident they understand exactly how you will use their money.
3. Avoid lengthy explanations
It is better use bullet points and brief facts. It is a good idea to start by writing a rough draft with all the details you can think of – and then get working on cutting it down in size and keeping the bare essentials!
4. Do your homework!
Find out what type of projects/organisations the grant is likely to fund – always read the application criteria and guidelines or you may well be wasting your time. Study the funder’s website, and look up projects funded in the past.
5. Know what is going on around you
What other organisations do similar work? What resources and contacts could you tap into? Who could you work in partnership with? Are there any social or policy developments that will affect your project? Remember you need to be able to back up any information you refer to in your application.
6. Have a thorough and clear budget
Break down the costs so funders understand how you arrived at the final numbers. Get quotations and estimates rather than guessing how much things cost.
7. Check your application for consistency!
Does the budget reflect everything you say you will do in your project proposal? Are the proposed outcomes (the difference you expect to make) realistic in view of proposed activities, timescale and budget?
8. Always get someone else to read through your application
Some things that may be obvious to you could appear vague to someone else. Get it checked by someone else before you send it off!
9. Don’t forget to enclose any additional documents required!
These can include for example bank statements, copies of your Annual Report and Accounts, your constitution, and any relevant policies (eg Child Protection Policy).
10. Successful application?
Remember to submit a clear and correct monitoring report before the given deadline. This will increase their confidence in you and, importantly, your chances for further funding!