Advice and resources that help you raise funds to make your vision a reality.
Once you have finalised your project plan and are clear on what you want to do, it's time to put together a budget, start fundraising and provide research for potential funders.
The first thing to think about is developing a project budget. A budget illustrates your project plan, by showing what you will be spending money on to run your project. You will also need to include money that you have for the project, such as donations or grants, and any funding that has been applied for.
20 Fundraising steps.
Fundraising can seem daunting, but we have identified 20 steps to develop a fundraising strategy and help you make realistic bids to funders.
1. A Vision for the Future
Have a clear vision that external funders can understand.
2. Say it with a Plan
Develop a plan to show what you are going to do and how you are going to do it
3. Your Unique Selling Points
What are the key features of your project that make it interesting to a funder and necessary in tackling local issues.
4. Creating Credibility
If you are a new organisation, you will need a constitution to show how your work will be governed and managed, so that a funder can assess your accountability.
5. A Blast from the Past
If you have received support from a particular funder in the past, mention this when applying and show how you spent the money well.
Some funders are keen to know how your project will continue after their funding has run out or where else you might apply for support.
7. Finding out who gives what and why
Most funders have specific criteria and priorities, so be aware of these before applying by looking at their websites, or other fundraising resources and directories.
8. Ask Somebody That Knows
Your local authority or voluntary sector support agency can provide you with advice on fundraising.
9. Seek the Line of Least Resistance
It can be tempting to drastically change your project in line with the criteria of funders, but keep focused on your core aims.
10. Is your Project ‘Healthy’?
Most funders will be clear about what information they want from applicants, such as accounts and policies, assess your plan to see if it meets the requirements.
11. Shortlist the Most Likely Sources
The more funders you apply to, the lower the quality your applications will be, so it’s better to focus on a few relevant funders.
12. Getting Your Facts Right
Use local resources and funding directories to find out the most up-to-date information about funders.
13. Don’t Put All Your Eggs into One Basket
You don’t need to wait until you receive a decision from a funder before applying elsewhere, explore as many relevant options as possible.
14. Talk to the Funder
Some funders are happy to speak to projects before they apply to clarify their criteria and you can also invite them to upcoming events.
15. Writing Winning Letters
Funders receive more requests than they can support, so you need to be concise and clear about what you want to do.
16. Ask a Third Party
Ask a local friend or partner organisation to read the application before you submit, as they can provide useful feedback.
17. Phew! That’s It Gone in the Post
Keep a copy of the application and information you send, in case the funder asks for further information.
18. Use Failure as a Positive Learning Tool
Funding rejections can come through no fault of your own, so try and ask for feedback if possible.
19. Getting Your Timing Right
Some funders have deadlines or take some time to make a decision, so incorporate this into your project planning.
20. They Think It’s All Over
Try and avoid leaving fundraising to the last minute, as this can cause unnecessary stress.
Storytelling can also be just as important as having detailed project plans and budgets and can help funders understand the benefit of your project.
Research & Monitoring.
Give funders a good reason to fund your project by helping them understand why your project is needed in the local area and whether local people would be interested in taking part, as well as how you are going to monitor your progress in meeting objectives.
You should also keep informed about the latest research and developments on local community initiatives, especially where they involve different ethnic and faith groups working together, as this can inform the priorities of some funders.