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Tips on applying for funding

Advice on seeking external funding and preparing a grant application.

  • Be clear on the need for the project and what you want to do with the money
  • Plan the bid as much as you can, don't leave writing the bid until the last minute
  • Research the funder, their guidelines and any permissions you need
  • Be clear and to the point

How to prepare for fundraising

  • Be clear on why the project is needed
    Think about how the project links to key strategies, such as the Spirit of South Tyneside. Make sure you have a well-developed information base on why the project is needed. Statistics are available on Intelligence Online
  • Develop a clear idea of what the project will do
    If your going to access funding, the funder will need to be clear on what you want the money for, so make sure you have considered how it will operate at the initial planning stage, including how it will fit with projects and services other people are planning or running.
  • Consider any organisational systems you need to fit into
    Including committees, constitutions and financial regulations. For council projects you will need a Project Initiation Document.
  • Develop a budget
    Identify all items of expenditure, based on accurate estimates, and speak to finance staff (so you can fully include 'hidden' costs, such as salary increases and overheads.) Consider cost implications on your organisation, including match-funding requirements. For council projects, you must include finance staff during budget preparation.
  • Identify any special permissions
    Such as planning permission, listed buildings consent or building regulations. 

Research your funder

Based on your project idea, identify the most appropriate funder and bidding deadline, based on funding information websites and advice from the external funding advisors.

Once you have selected a funder, find out as much information as you can on them, some funders have strict regulations and exclusion (such as geographic coverage or type of organisations.) Find out about these, before you start writing the bid.

Hints and tips on making a funding application

  • Identify how the funder wants to receive applications - via letter, grant application form, in writing, electronically etc.
  • Read the funding guidelines - make sure your project covers all the necessary points of the application
  • Don't ignore any rules you don't like - if the bidding guidance says they will only accept one South Tyneside bid, a partnership project will be needed, if you ignore this and 2 bids go in, there's a good chance they will both be rejected.
  • If in doubt, be clear and to the point - focus on who your organisation is, why you need the money and what the project will do
  • Be specific not general - ideally quote figures of people to be supported etc.
  • If possible identify a contact at the funding organisation - so you have someone to deal with/ ask questions of etc.
  • Avoid using abbreviations and acronyms
  • Ask someone to check the application - it can be helpful for a third party/ 'fresh pair of eyes' to read through the application before it is submitted.

For further information

South Tyneside external funding contacts can be found on Intelligence Online.

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