Applying to Grant Makers

Application Question 2 - What are your Aims and Objectives?

"What are Aims and Purposes of Your Organisation?" is a very typical question on funding application forms. Aims are defined as a statement expressing the purpose of the group and what it wants to achieve. It tells everyone why the organisation exists and the changes it wishes to bring about. Another way of looking at aims is that they are your group's ultimate wish, which rarely changes over the course of your group's lifetime. A common mistake is to confuse the organisation's aims with the project's aims and vice versa.

Application Question 3 - What is The Background of Your Organisation?

Another frequently asked question is what is the background of your organisation. This question seeks to establish how and why it was set up and how is it governed and who by?

Background information on your group may cover a range of areas. It can include:

Application Question 4 - How Do You Know There is a Need For Your Project?

Funders look for clear evidence of need for projects they intend to fund. Notice the change of question from wanting to know about the organisation to wanting to know about the project. You should seek to make a clear distinction between the two in your applications. 

Usually the ‘need' experienced by a community, whether geographical or issue-based, is the main reason behind wanting to do the project. ‘Need' covers things such as unemployment levels, lack of educational achievement, levels of illness, or high levels of teenagers on probation, etc.

Application Question 5 - What are you Applying for?

When asked what are you applying for it is easy to fall give two types of answers, neither one of which is really "selling" you project to the funder in the best light. You could be tempted in saying that you are applying for "a computer" or "a salary for a staff member" etc. This, however, isn’t normally what the funder wants to hear in response.

Application Question 6 - How Does Your Project Meet Our Criteria?

One of the most important questions on any application forms relates to how you project meets the funders criteria.

Application Question 7 - How Will You Monitor and Evaluate the Project?

A common question asked by grant-makers as part of the application process is how you will monitor the success of your project?

The Allen Lane Foundation for example asks "How will you know if your work has been successful?" Funders will expect information relating to the expenditure of the grant at different stages of the project. Most funders will want to know how successful (or not) their investment in a project has been.

Application Question 8 - What is the Project's Budget? In Kind Contributions?

For almost every application you make you need to be able to provide an itemised budget for your project. The budget will form the basis of the costs you request from the funder. Regardless of what you ask the funder for - you will need to fully cost the project and include every possible expense.

Funders will not pay for items retrospectively, ie. they will not back date a grant for items purchased or salaries already paid. You need to wait to hear if you have been successful before any expenditure for the items requested can be made.

Application Question 9 - Is the Project Sustainable?

When a funder asks is the project sustainable they want to know how you will fund the project beyond the amount of money they will provide.

When a funder asks how you will sustain the project you have really only two options:

Application Questions - How to Apply in Writing

It is quite common for a grant-maker to ask an applicant to "Apply in Writing", with little or no further guidance how to do so. The Wheel recommends the following as a template to putting together a written application.

Try to limit the main body of a free-form application to three A4 pages (both sides) unless a shorter (or longer) application is specifically requested. Shorter is often better than longer. Always use a word processor or typewriter. Use short sentences and avoid jargon. And always, always check your spelling!

Covering Letter

Application Questions - After Completing an Application

What happens after you put your application in the post-box? Once you have submitted an application there are still some useful tips to help increase you chances of success with an application.

Know What Happens to It

So what happens to your application after you put it in the post-box?

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