Tips for writing funding applications

Remember: application writing is 80% preparation, 20% writing

  • First of all, ensure that your organisation is requesting funding to deliver work that falls inside the objects of your organisation, as written in your governing document.
  • Research your project, ensure there is a need for what you are looking to deliver and that you can demonstrate that need. Use facts and figures instead of generalisation. You need to provide hard evidence of need.
  • Research the funder you are looking to apply to and what their funding priorities are.
  • Use the support that is available to you, there are a lot of funders who have a Grant Officer available to check your eligibility and to discuss your project idea with. If not, use the free services available to you at VAL to talk through your ideas.
  • As part of the preparation process, develop a project plan to ensure that your application is well ordered and can clearly identify the need, the aims and outcomes of your project and how you plan to monitor and evaluate the work you are doing throughout the life of the project. Once you have a clearly defined project plan, it becomes much easier to lift the information and complete an application form.
  • Show how service users/beneficiaries have been involved in the design of your project.
  • Convey your key points as briefly as possible and keep your language simple.
  • Stick to the word count.
  • Ask for a specific amount of money. Create a clear and defined project budget and ask for a realistic sum. Include salaries, running costs and all other inputs when you budget.
  • Ensure that your main contact can answer questions about your project confidently.
  • Allow at least six months between sending applications and the start of the project.
  • Be sure to submit any supporting documentation that has been requested of you by the Funder alongside your application form.
  • Get someone not connected to your group to look at your application critically before sending it in. This could be the VAL free read and review service.