Increase your chances of finding funding for your organisation

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Funding is crucial in enabling your organization to deliver its services and finding the right funding is key to success.

Ultimately you need funding to carry out activities and further your charitable purposes. This can be anything from repairs to buildings, to developing specific services to targeted service users.

What Type of Funding do you need?

Expenditure broadly falls into three categories:

  1. Revenue expenditure – the on-going running costs of the organisation, a project or activity.
  2. Capital expenditure – the one-off costs of buying fixed assets such as premises, equipment, van, furniture, or repairs to buildings. These need to be planned for – as fixed assets depreciate, allow replacement costs to be set aside over the life of the asset. It is beneficial to do a cost-benefit analysis prior to any substantial expenditure on an asset.
  3. Core costs (often referred to as overhead costs) – are those central costs of an organisation that enable it to function but cannot be attributed to a particular project of activity; for example, the salary of the chief executive. They will exist before and after a project or activity.

Finding the right funding is a challenge we all face, and successful applications do not happen by accident.

Do the planning

A good funding strategy will help you to secure the income needed to run your organization now and, in the future, and therefore preparation is vital. A strategy should set out what your funding needs are likely to be over a certain period (usually a year) and how you will raise money to meet those needs.

It should include a variety of sources of funding, be reviewed regularly and include good practice, with governance and policies around fundraising activities.

Make sure you have diverse income streams – it's not all about grants!

To have a truly effective strategy you also need to think of ways in which you could raise funds. There are many sources of funding and a combination of these is likely to increase your chances of success.

  • Donations and legacies
  • Corporate relationships
  • Fundraising events
  • Collections
  • Crowdfunding
  • Income generation (from chargeable services)
  • Bid writing

Make sure you know the rules

Certain activities, like raffles and street collections, have laws that relate to them, and some funders will only accept funding applications from organisations that have a particular structure, so it is important to know what structure, policies and procedure will best help your organisation.

Getting those Grants

Grants can be a major source of income but bid writing can be daunting, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Whether you are applying for a small grant or a multi-million-pound grant, the principles are the same.

Firstly, you need to identify what you need the funding for. Be clear about the project or service you are offering and gather evidence to support your application.

  • Prepare a clear and precise budget that is both realistic and comprehensible.
  • Explain clearly why the project is needed and how it benefits service users and/or the community.
  • Research the funder. Read and understand the guidelines before completing the application; missed or incomplete information will mean your application is likely to fail.
  • Consider how you will monitor the success of the project

Help is at hand!

There are so many elements to consider before making a funding application and understanding these will increase your chances of success. This is where we can help!

Our team of experienced Community Development Officers have supported hundreds of community groups and organisations through the complexities of Strategy Planning and finding the right funding, as well as advising on the application process.

What we can do:

  • We can carry out funding searches
  • Proofread your bids to show you where your applications can be strengthened.
  • Training on how to plan for funding, impact and evaluation monitoring and more
  • We also have a range of factsheets about funding and fundraising that you can use to ensure your Team is working from the same starting point.

If you need help and advice, contact us today to discuss your requirements on 01362 398216 or by email to office@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk