Writing a really effective charity fundraising case for support really matters for grant funding applications and proposal letters. Writing multiple grant applications for your project proposals, is very time consuming and less effective. Use this simple template as an example to ensure your submit the very best fundraising bid every time.
You can not only write letters and proposals for grant funding bid applications more quickly, but also make these more effective, by writing a charity fundring case for support that sets out all the key information needed. This can then be adapted to meet the needs of specific trusts and foundations, and also tailored for other fundraising project proposals, funding bids and donation letters and communications activity. The advantages are:
· Much of the core material for each funding bid, or other communication, can simply be picked up from the case for support, making bid writing quicker and easier.
· All the key facts and information are available, so you present the best case each time and the information included in all material is clear and consistent.
· It is a very useful briefing sheet that can be used by those meeting with funders and responding to questions, to ensure they are fully briefed.
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Quality always counts in writing fundraising grant applications, so here's a template that will enable you to how to write a simple, compelling fundraising case for your charity.
This is an entirely internal document and, as it covers all your activities, will be longer than most grant funding bids. Nonetheless, it is important that it is:
· Succinct – funders receive lots of applications and are often volunteers. A long bid is less likely to be read as thoroughly and the key points are likely to be more difficult to pick up.
· Compelling – include data and arguments that very clearly make the case.
· Urgent – there is huge need across the sector and a funding bid for work that isn’t essential now may well not be considered a priority.
· Emotionally Engaging – people give because they want to help others, so don’t simply rely on facts and data. Tell your fundraising story in a human way.
Information to be included in your funding application:
· Background information on your charity and its activities.
· Explain what the need is and why addressing this is not only important, but also urgent.
· How you will meet the needs of your beneficiaries and the impact this will have on their lives.
· Evidence your work with examples of recent successes, to demonstrate:
o Your ability to deliver,
o The impact your charity is having and;
o Why you are the best organisation to make this difference.
· Outline what will happen (or not happen), if your work does not go ahead and the impact this will have.
· Identify how much money you need to raise and over what timescale. It can be helpful to have a costed shopping basket of fundable items.
· Explaining the challenges and urgency helps to make the case for your funding bid, but an unremittingly negative picture doesn't. Donors want to know that their funding will make a real difference, so paint a positive picture that makes clear what this will be.
· Avoid jargon and waffle by using clear and simple language. Ever heard anyone say they enjoyed reading business speak? Me neither.
· If you need to use acronyms that aren't commonly understood, explain them the first time you do. Do you know what BBSRC stands for? I didn't - see below, if you really want to know.
· Ensure facts and figures are accurate and include sources, so that you can respond to any queries on where these came from and demonstrate these are robust.
· You may wish to consider uploading your case into Drop Box or similar and giving access to those who might need it. You might also upload relevant reports, in case they may wish to access these.
· You might also use hyperlinks to these and relevant online documents, referred to in your core case, so people can very quickly and easily click through to more detailed information if they want to.
· Nominate an individual to take ownership of your charity case for support and ensure that it is kept up-to-date.
· Ensure that your funding bid portrays your beneficiaries is the way in which they would wish to be.
· Be mindful of data protection by ensuring that you have informed consent to include any personal information on an individual, if this is something you wish to do.
· No bid is ever perfect and many organisations are facing real difficulties, so you may wish to think through in advance and provide properly considered responses to any potentially challenging questions you might subsequently be asked.
· Give the final draft to someone and ask them to critique it, so you can be confident that you’ve captured all the key issues and there are no mistakes or blind spots in your thinking.
Once the Case for Support has been written, use it as a basis for preparing fundraising materials, adapting it to suit the intended audience and the method that will be used to communicate with potential donors.
Ensure that those who will be meeting or communication with donors have access to this, so that they can respond quickly and effectively, and information is provided consistently to donors by everyone on the team.
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BBSRC – Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.