10 tips for writing a successful application

Posted in: Foundation

Writing a successful funding application is really like a good recipe… it just depends on a few ingredients coming together well! But if you have never applied for funding before or you are starting up a project for the first time, the process may seem a little daunting.

Applying for funding is something that almost all voluntary and small organisations need to do, so our previous award winners have shared their own advice to help you cook up an application storm, and help your project succeed…

1. Research and prepare! Ensure that you have read the terms and conditions and application questions to make sure you fully understand them.
2. Get a few people together who have a variety of skills and backgrounds to pool ideas and complete the application.
3. Think about your unique selling point – what is the appeal of your project to others? Remember, what you write in your application is also what will be displayed on your project page when voting opens, so this is your chance to really make your project stand out.
4. Take your time. Pause and review what you have written before submitting.
5. Speak to us. Seek advice, and then go back to your application form.
6. Ask someone else to read your application before you submit it. This could be a family member, a friend or a colleague… but make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve, and whether it would engage them to support you!
7. Give your application the ‘so what’ test. For every statement you have written, ask yourself ‘so what?’ to make sure that you get full value from the word count available.
8. Assume nothing! Presume that the Foundation has no prior knowledge of your group, organisation or local area. What may be obvious to you is not often obvious to them.
9. Try to ‘left hand rule’. If you scan the left hand side of your application and it is all about you, then rewrite it. The application should be about your beneficiaries not you.
10. Don’t over complicate it – KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid! The more complicated the application is, the less likely the reader is to try and understand the content.