Funding Finder is a useful and important tool in seeking funding. Here are a variety of useful steps you can take, both before and during the application process, to give you the best chance of success.
Before you seek funding & apply
Develop a project plan
Why does this project need to happen?
What are you proposing to do?
What will success for this project look like?
How are you going to achieve this?
Where are the main activities happening?
When are the key dates and milestones?
Who is involved in the project and do they have the skills necessary?
What type of costs are involved? Be realistic in estimating costs and consider getting detailed quotes.
Research and gather evidence
Who has done this type of project before? Talk to subject experts. Learn from their experiences.
What are the statistics or results that support the need or benefit of your project? Consider using relevant demographics.
Are any permissions required – planning approvals, public land permits?
Identify potential funding sources
Research what type of organisations fund the type of project you are planning.
Consider various opportunities to generate income, such as: fundraising, sponsorship, crowd-funding, partnerships, investments, loans, sales, and membership fees.
Be brave and creative – look for mutually beneficial partnerships.
Discuss your funding needs with your existing networks to explore opportunities for advice and further connections.
Get to know your proposed funders
Read the relevant funding program guidelines and consider the assessment criteria.
Look at the type of projects they have funded in the past.
Ensure both your organisation and your project are eligible.
Be clear on what is eligible for funding in each funding program.
Call and speak to the funders – ask them about what they are trying to achieve with their funding program.
Ready to start your application
Start drafting early
Check funding round’s closing date and time.
Allow time to gather all your supporting documents.
Allow time to ask questions and revise your application.
Submit with time to spare in case of technological faults.
Ensure your application is clear and concise
Keep your project plan in mind and ensure you are clear in communicating what you are going to do.
Stay relevant to your audience and avoid fancy jargon, unexplained acronyms and broad meaningless statements that are not evidenced.
Write in a reader-friendly way.
Be a compelling communicator
Stand out and sell your project – why is this project important?
Do not assume the assessors know about your organisation and the work you do.
Show that your organisation has experience and is capable of undertaking this project.
Ask an honest friend to proof read your application – ask them to find errors, and ask them to make sure it includes all the detail needed to make sense.
Link with funder’s priorities
Show how you will achieve the priorities listed by your funder.
Use headings to ensure you address all the relevant priorities.
Support your application
Attach relevant evidence of support for your project by stakeholders.
Include evidence of any permissions, permits or approvals you require.
Provide any plans that provide background or context to the project.
Provide your budget and consider how you would proceed with the project in the event of part-funding.