Most churches at some point find themselves embarking on a fundraising campaign and there are a plethora of funders and application processes that can initially be overwhelming.
Follow our top ten tips on bidding for funding!
- Pick the right grant – Follow the funder's criteria and make sure your funding proposal meets the criteria of the funding body. Submitting applications that don’t meet the criteria is likely to annoy funders and lead to automatic rejection.
- Know your funding source – Do your research about the funding body and where they distribute their funds. The more you know about them, the more you will be able to demonstrate that you understand their organisation and their needs.
- Don’t duplicate – Funders are unlikely to fund something that is already being done by others in your area. Show how your project is different.
- Use simple and concise language – make every word count. Be mindful of the word limit. Use positive language, review each answer and illiminate unnecessary words. Get someone not directly involved with the project to proofread the application.
- Wow your audience! – Demonstrate how your project will tackle an issue in a refreshing and effective way.
- Find local priorities – Funders want evidence that you know the local priorities. Don’t assume you know what the community needs; do your homework and carry out research through community audit, community consultation and developing partnerships. Indicate how your project fits into the wider picture.
- Prepare an annual report / business plan – Showcase your credibility and track record through an annual report / business plan. Information on writing one can be found at Princes Regeneration Trust
- Have a clear vision – Organizations without vision tend to be those that run around for bits and pieces of funding, not being sure what they want to achieve and trying and do a bit of everything.
- Build relationships – Develop effective networks with statutory agencies, voluntary and community groups. Let them know what you have on offer and how you complement their services. Developing partnerships can enhance your organisation's credibility. Maintain relationships with funders, acknowledge grants awarded, comply with funding conditions and invite them to the completed project.
- Good governance and financial accountability – Demonstrate that your organisation is properly managed and has good accounting and governance structures in place that are robust and transparent.