How To Write A Successful Charity Grant Or Community Project Funding Application Or Bid In 4 Simple, But Critical Steps

The basics of how to write great charity grant or community project funding applications or bid to a charitable trust or foundation in 4 simple steps. The key to a compelling fundraising application. And why writing a case for support will make your bids for grant funding even more successful and less work.

4 Steps To Successful Charity And Community Grant Funding Applications

Writing really good charity and community grant funding applications, bids and letters to charitable trusts and foundations may appear to be a black art, but it isn't.  Here are 4 simple steps to substantially increase the chances of your funding bid being successful. 

But Before You Start - Here's How To Find The Grant Funding For Your Bids

The Charity Excellence Funding Finder database gives you click through to a huge range of grant funding and there are also 50+ downloadable grant funding lists. 

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Charity Grant Funding Bid Applications Step 1 – Remember Who This Is About And For

Our funding application isn't about what we want, but what our beneficiaries need and the grant 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, although it seems to have become much more challenging recently.  

Grant Proposals 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.

Fundraising Proposal Letters 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.

Charity Funding Proposals Step 4 – It Will Engage The Grant Maker

The grant application 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. 

How To Make Charity Funding Bid Applications Even More Successful

Here's how to make your trust and grant funding applications even more successful - how to write a compelling core case for support. and, if you need more, 20 ways to find new funding.

Find funders using the Funding Finder database and 50+ funder lists, and assess your fundraising effectiveness online in 30 mins, to find even more funding opportunities, with access to a whole range of fundraising resources, to help you secure more fundraising income.  If you want funders now, here's the index of 12 online charitable trust and foundation lists.

To find the help and funding you need – Register NowEverything is completely free.

Access All The Free Fundraising Resources & Free Funding Database

Find funders using the Funding Finder database and 50+ funder lists.  Health check your charity in half a day, access the huge resource base, including 100s of organisations that provide free help and resources, and achieve the Quality Mark.

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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

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