This month, Community Action: MK were lucky enough to be able to host an online information session centred around funding. This came out as an area of interest and need from a group survey we ran, as well as our Collaborative Action Groups. Below is a round up of the session with some useful links for your interest.
Issues encountered when applying for funding
- Grants are more competitive now
- Applications are at the mercy of another organisations time frames Comply with what the donor is asking
- Funding can be short term
- Some funders will only fund registered charities
- Timings of funding – do not want to fund projects that have happened before
- Time pressured and milestones
- Cannot make plans until funding is secured
- Reporting and administration required
Question: How might you be able to diversify your current funding stream? (So that you are not reliant on grant funding?)
- Alternative forms of funding (loans, trusts)
- Corporate sponsors
- Local businesses
Tips to remember:
- Consider their criteria
- Research really important – prioritise your funding approaches (recommended to be targeting up to 10)
- Tailor responses to individual donors
- Invest the time to research and identify the donors you’re likely to succeed with
- Eligibility criteria – first thing to look at
- Requirements for any supporting documents / information / governance set-up
- Geographical area of donor, as well as groups geographical reach
- Typically funders won’t fund retrospectively
- Re-applying – often can’t reapply within a certain period of time
- Being critical – use an external source to help assess your own application to see if it meets the criteria and is likely to be funded
- Check how much a funder will go up to
- Ensure all parts of forms are fully completed i.e. with signature, date
- Make sure that the application gets to the donor in enough time for it to be looked at
Common Donor Questions:
- What are you looking for and where is the evidence?
- Evidence of the need to be made clear – What is the evidence for the need?
- What is this project leading to?
- The number of people the project will reach – How many people will the project benefit?
- How much will the project impact people’s lives?
- What are you going to do? Make this clear.
- Show that you are set up to manage funding. How are you going to manage the funding?
- ‘Showcase’ – clearly show what you are able to do. What are you already doing and are able to do?
- How have you found what the needs are in your community? ie, Have you talked to residents? Have you completed surveys with residents?
- What is the evidence of need? How do you know that there is a need?
- How can you show that your project has the intended impact? What indicators can you show? i.e. young people’s confidence has increased.
- Have you thought about life beyond the grant? How will it be funded in the future? How will it be brought to an end?
- What impact will your project have?
Tools to identify potential funders:
With regards to livery funding, there are a couple of references below:
- Funding Central – To search for potential donors.
- Foundation Giving Trends – Association of Charitable Foundations – Annual report on trends from the top 300 trusts and foundations
- Fundraising Strategies – Charities Aid Foundation – Getting started.
- AFC Annual Conference – Conference
Examples Of Policies And Principles:
Community Action: MK Information Sheets:
- First steps to fundraising
- Proving the need
- Organising your funding information
- Grant funding from trusts and foundations
- Common funding mistakes….and how to avoid them
- Sustainable incomes
- CAMK Funding Search Questions
Remember: Community Action: MK are able to support you with sourcing potential donors through our funding search (mentioned above) and also act as an external source to look over your application / bid.
Community Action: MK are here to support you, so if you want to get in touch regarding funding or have any other enquiries, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01908 661623 for a chat with our friendly team.