Top 3 Tips: Project Fundraising

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!

[slideshare id=53317555&doc=150920fundraisingtop3-150929101321-lva1-app6892]

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!