Last week I was invited to speak at a fundraising workshop held by the Veolia North Thames Trust. Having worked with this brilliant funder of environment projects in South Essex for many years, I was only too pleased to speak in support their work. Talking to an audience new to grant fundraising and project management, I shared 3 tips on putting an application together, and 3 tips for managing a grant funded project.
Here is the Slideshare of my slides from the event, followed by a brief summary. Hopefully these tips offer reassurance that fundraising and project management is not as scary as it may seem. Having the confidence to take your idea to a prospective funder like the Veolia North Thames Trust is often the first step towards making your neighbourhood a better place!
My top 3 tips for preparing a funding application
1. Talk to the funder and your partners
- Establish eligibility, alignment with funder objectives and receive advice
- Identify whether any consents/permissions are needed for your project
- Discuss your idea with prospective beneficiaries and supporters
2. Develop a clear vision and explain why it is needed
- A short statement or summary helps people understand and buy into your idea
- Demonstrating why your idea is needed helps differentiate between a ‘pet project’ and a fundable project
- Show how your project will meet both your objectives and funder objectives
3. Be creative, yet mindful if funder objectives
- Funders read hundreds of applications per year – make yours stand out
- Tell a good story!
- Infinite number of ways to meet funder objectives – opportunity to be creative
My top 3 tips for delivering a grant funded project
1. Keep talking to funder and partners
- Make the funder part of your project experience, demonstrating the value of their investment
- Build a positive relationship with them
- Maintain support from stakeholders for your project
- Raise awareness and build relationships for future projects
2. Have a clear plan to guide the work
- Write a plan that anyone can follow. Doesn’t have to be long – a good plan can be 1 page!
- Accept that some elements will need specialist support – you don’t have to do everything yourself.
- A thought through plan will help with any briefs for external work that you will need to write
3. Unexpected things can happen – thats ok!
- Accept that things can change during the project – threats and opportunities will arise
- If things go wrong, best to be open with funder and discuss solutions together – they are human!