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
  • Crowdfunding
  • Donations


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
Donor needs:
  • Eligibility criteria – first thing to look at
  • Exclusions
  • 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:

Livery Funding

With regards to livery funding, there are a couple of references below:

Useful Links:

Examples Of Policies And Principles:

Community Action: MK Information Sheets:

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.

We also have a specific funding page (related to Covid-19) for your interest, as well as a dedicated funding section in our newsletter, that you are welcome to sign up to here.

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 or call us on 01908 661623 for a chat with our friendly team.