There are literally thousands of funding programmes in operation across the UK. They range from the European Commission to national government, regional programmes, local trusts and corporate donors. Trawling through those opportunities to find the most relevant can be both time-consuming and overwhelming.
Where to start?
Funding databases like GRANTfinder (UK wide) and Funding Central (England voluntary and charitable sector only) take the legwork out of the search process as they present the opportunity to ‘model’ your project according to those criteria which are most important to funders. Who’s delivering the project, where the project will take place and what the project hopes to achieve (common examples being employment; innovation; upskilling; and regeneration) are all important.
There are numerous benefits in accessing grant funding:
Sharing risk and cost
Building new infrastructure and resources
Learning from new partners and using their expertise to improve skillsets in your team
Accessing new markets
Strengthening partnerships to open up opportunities for future collaborations
Establishing yourselves as market leaders or innovators
Raising your profile with future funders
But before you throw yourself into the application process, are you sure your organisation is ‘funding ready’?
5 questions to ask yourself from the outset
1. Are you appropriately resourced?
Funders will expect to see evidence of a well-run organisation with a clear direction of travel such as a business plan or strategy plus financial projections. They will also want to see how you expect to sustain the project after funding has ended.
Running a funded project takes sound organisation and planning.
As well as staff time to dedicate to the project, you will need tools in place to help you deliver. This can include suitable administration systems and timesheeting software. Teleconferencing tools are useful where you have multiple partners or where part of the project delivery relies on communication to large groups.
2. Do you inspire confidence?
Even the smallest of organisations are expected to have some sort of ‘physical evidence ’ (one of the 7 Ps of Marketing). Potential funders will feel reassured if they can see your organisation has (more…)
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