Training: Introduction to Funding Session - 29th January (West Norfolk)

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Introduction to Funding - Top Tips

a FREE on-line funding training session being run by Community Action Norfolk (CAN) for West Norfolk Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations

On-line Zoom session - Friday 29th January at 1030 to 1230

This session is aimed at VCSE organisations who are unfamiliar with, or inexperienced in, accessing funding.  The session will cover:

  • The foundations for effectively accessing funding including getting governance right, establishing the need and appropriate planning.
  • Types of funding available and where to look.
  • Clarifying aims and objectives, how to get started and top tips for applications.

To book your free place please contact Jackie Cushing Locality Manager West by email – jackie.cushing@communityactionnorfolk.org.uk.

Funding is such an important issue in the life of VCSE organisations. Going about finding funding, then, is worth committing a lot of time consideration to.  That's why on 29th January we’ll be delivering this training on how to get it right - for you, and for the funders.

CAN’s Community Development Officers are highly experienced in advising VCSE organisations on how to best approach funding – where to source it, how to make a good application, and how to maintain good relationships with funders.

Here are some good, commonsense but important rules that we'll be going into more detail about.

A minute to midnight doesn’t work

  • Read the guidance notes to get an informed ‘steer’ on what the prospective funder is asking for from their point of view – don’t just fill the forms in and send them off. People do, and are then disappointed when they don’t even pass the first hurdle of consideration.
  • Having given yourself time to plan your application, use that time to consider, reflect and discuss it with your colleagues. Several heads are better than one.
  • Focus on what your objectives are, why you are applying for funds. Clear thinking will result in a clear, easily understood application.
  • Find a balance. It’s easy to get drawn into trying to fit your aims and objectives into what you perceive the funder wants. Conversely, you won’t be able to bend the funders’ criteria to fit your own!
  • Be realistic and not over-ambitious about your objectives. Make them workable and achievable in the eyes of the funder.
  • Don’t leave it all too late. ‘A minute to midnight’ is not a good approach!
  • If at first you don’t succeed, don’t be put off trying again. Funders do remember good applications that might not have worked first time around. A great example is ACRE’s Village Hall Improvement Grant programme. We worked successfully with a number of village hall committees to get improvement grants. Then, due to an underspend on the programme, more money became available through the programme and groups who had missed out with their applications were re-contacted.


"We enjoy working with VCSE organisations and partners in West Norfolk because I’m constantly amazed and impressed by the ‘can do’ attitude of those people who are helping and supporting people in their community - in my experience West Norfolk folk like to get things done and rise to the challenges they face, even the challenge that is Covid-19"  says Jackie Cushing, CAN’s Locality Manager West.

"This can range from a grass roots community group springing up to help their West Norfolk neighbours with shopping during Covid, to larger West Norfolk charities who have completely reworked their support so they can keep helping their beneficiaries despite the challenges of social distancing, to public sector colleagues who step up to contact vulnerable people in the area who are isolating or shielding."