4 Steps To Funding Bid Success - Writing Effective Charity Grant And Trust Application Proposals

4 steps to funding bid success - writing effective charity grant and trust application proposals. Simple ways to improve your grant applications to charitable trusts and foundations.

Writing really good charity funding bids and proposals may appear to be a black art, but it isn't.  Here are 4 very simple ways, in which you can substantially increase the chances of your trust and grant proposals being successful. 

Step 1 – Remember who this is about and for

It’s not about what we want, but what our beneficiaries need and the funder wants. We are meeting a real need, not just chasing funding. We’ve looked at the funder’s website/annual reports to see if they’ve funded projects like ours before.

  • Top Tip: If possible, engage the funder to help maximise your chance of success. There’s no magic fundraising ratio, but very roughly 10% of bids to ‘cold’ funders are successful, whereas it’s more like 30% for engaged funders.  

Step 2 – We meet the funder’s requirements

Our bid meets the funder's criteria - they fund our type of organisation and the work we want to apply for. 

  • Top Tip: Comply with any instructions on how the bid is to be submitted, such as online/mail applications, deadline dates, word count/length, attachments.

Step 3 – We’ve made the case well

Our bid includes the information, facts and/or figures, to make the case for funding, explains why we are best placed to deliver the project, and conveys the urgency of the need and the difference the project will make.

  • Top Tip: Ensure that all costs have been identified and accurately estimated. Some funders will accept all overheads, but not many, for most it’s 10% to 15% and some won’t accept any.

Step 4 – It will engage the funder

The bid is succinct (brief and clear) and will be understood by those reading it.   It’s also emotionally engaging – people give to people and want to know that their money will make a difference to an issue that matters to them.

  • Top Tip - keep it jargon free and any acronyms should either be in common use or have been explained.

Succinct - briefly and clearly expressed.   

Jargon - professional terminology or slang expression that not everyone will understand.

Acronym - an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word - BBC. 

Here's Even More To Help You

Here are 2 other resources that will make your trust and grant funding applications even more successful - finding the funders you need and how to write a compelling core case for support. 

My thanks to Lisa Gagliani whose input improved my original draft.

The questions are phrased brilliantly - challenging how we prioritise our management time." Ecosystems Knowledge Network

Register Now