< Supporting small charities

Top fundraising application tips

Guidance on writing a great submission

1. Research

If you can, try to understand who will be reading your application, so you can get a better idea of what they are looking for. Before you get started, don’t be afraid to ask for support from external sources, to make sure you are on the right track. Websites like www.knowhownonprofit.org and www.fundingcentral.org.uk provide loads of resources to aid your application writing.

2. Clarity

Always make sure your points are clear. Let the funder know exactly how much money you’re asking for and what you want to spend it on. Remember, there are often restrictions on how you can spend funds, so make yourself aware of these to ensure you don’t waste their time, or yours.

4. Spelling and tone

What tone does the organisation that you’re applying to use? Try and mirror it and avoid using jargon or confusing acronyms. Also, always make sure that you can back up any claims with suitable evidence. Lastly, spelling... this one might seem simple, but spelling mistakes look really bad.

5. Journey

Funding bodies will always want to know where your organisation has come from and where it’s going. Even if you’ve applied for funding from the organisation before, never assume they already know about your project.

6. Short and sweet

Don’t labour over the details – it’s always better to get to the point. You want your application to be clear and concise, so don’t get caught up on little details.

7. Be realistic

Ask for a specific amount and make sure it is close to the sums they’ve offered before. Also, make sure you are aware of how quickly funding will be received, especially if your project is on a strict schedule.

8. Proofread

It is vital that you check your application for any errors. Using free sites such as www.grammarly.com can really help with this.

9. Proofread again

And once more again after that! Getting someone outside your organisation to look over your application can be really helpful. If they can’t understand it, you probably need to look again at what you’re trying to say. Gaining a different perspective is key here.

If you’ve found this information helpful, it’s available to print as a handy tip sheet.

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