After hearing from organizations about their failed funding applications, I had a look through some, talked to those who had put them together and quickly saw want went wrong. Lack of research and planning.
To save time and the heartache of receiving “sorry not this time” letters avoid these mistakes:
Poorly researched and written applications
Before putting the time into completing the application spend some time reading what the funders criteria is, do some research (if possible) into what other projects they have funded.
Simply pulling out an application you’ve submitted before and copying the information into a new one won’t cut it; more so if you missed out last time.
Ensure your have clear objectives, and ideally everyone involved in the project should be asked for their input.
Perhaps more important is to ensure you have fully planned out the project/programme you are applying for funding for; if you haven’t done this step, put the application away and spend the time planning.
Have you got the budgets sorted? If you haven’t done this – stop what you’re doing and get it sorted, you can’t expect a funder to guess what you’re trying to say with figures if you haven’t worked them out yourself.
And, avoid all jargon, you might know what certain acronyms are but you can almost guarantee that those reading your application won’t – do you want your application filed under “too hard”?
The scattergun approach
If you’re sending the same application out to a multitude of funders – stop it!
You will have more success with well planned and targeted applications, the right application for the right funder will win hands down over a poorly targeted one.
Yes, you might get a nibble or two with a mass mail out of applications, but you’ll gain more with targeted applications.
The right application, to the right funder will do you more good.
Not meeting funder’s criteria
This ties back to research and planning, if you don’t know what the funder’s criteria is, you won’t meet it.
When you’ve got your team together to work on funding applications, the first thing you should be doing is working through the funder’s criteria and ticking off each point – if you don’t meet the criteria save yourself and the funder time, don’t proceed with the application.
Most funders won’t mind if you’re unsure and make contact to clarify anything you’re unsure about. If in doubt, make contact and have the criteria clarified.
Meet and Greet
Some funders have open days, which are an opportunity for organizations to meet and learn more about the funder, their work, their criteria and what projects/programmes they are looking to fund. Make it your job to find out if funders you’re likely to approach hold these, if they do make sure you attend.
Some funders like it when an organization asks for the opportunity to meet – check, and if they are open to it, make the effort to arrange a face-to-face meeting.
You’ve got the funding – that’s the end of it
If you think that once you’ve received the funding that all you have to do is get down and do the work, you’re sadly wrong.
Funders want, expect – and deserve updates.
Your board expect updates – so you should already have something available, make sure you fully meet funders criteria and give them the reports, updates that they require.
If you don’t update funders your chances of winning their support in the future will at best diminish – or worse, you won’t even get a foot in the door.
These tips apply not only to traditional funding bodies, but also when applying for funding from companies and others in the community.
Write a check list of what you need to do with all funding applications – print it and pin it up on your wall and refer to it when applying for funding.
All too often I hear about an organisation taking on fundraisers, throwing them in the deep end and expecting miracles; alas, that’s a rarity.
Why once a year at least we should all revisit the basics of our trade
2. Would you like to be contacted by
Nonprofits are always on the hunt for businesses to connect with and gain as supporters; but it’s not as easy as picking up the phone or doing some online searches – some planning is needed.
Some questions need to be asked first –
- What type of business is best suited to your needs
- What type of business is least suited to your needs
- Are your expectations for a short, medium or long term connection/commitment
- Is it financial support or other support – if other, what other support could a business offer you
You MUST also think about what you can do in return for any support you gain from the business community.
Connecting with, partnering with business must be seen as a two way street, you can’t simply expect to put your hand out and not give something in return.
The ways you can give in return could be as simple as profiling business supporters on your website and in newsletters.
But these are just the basics, what about hosting supporting business at an event, giving them an opportunity to talk about why they have connected with you, and to also talk about their business – give them the floor for five minutes, it’s the least you could do.
Charities have to give in order to receive – it doesn’t have to take a lot, nor does it have to be a lot – but giving back is necessary.
Next time when you’re looking to partner with a business, think about how you can give back.
Receiving is a two way street – a two way affair.
Want to know how to connect, engage and encourage support for your organisation with social media, then this workshop is for you.
Everyone raves about the power of social media, but unless you know what you are doing it can seem like a challenge and too much work, this workshop will help you see that with the right tools and strategy you can make social media work for your cause.
Learn the best platforms to use for your organisation – is it, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+
- How to put together your social media strategy
- Get tips on how to ensure effectiveness of online activity
- Setting goals and measuring outcomes
- Come away with practical, instantly implementable tips on putting social media to work for your organisation
Places for the workshops will be limited, early registration is essential.
WHEN AND WHERE:
Tauranga 12th Feb
Wellington 21st Feb – Postponed
Hamilton 26th Feb
Bill Gallagher Centre – WINTEC
Christchurch 28th Feb
Auckland 5th March
Jubilee Centre, Parnell
9:00am to 12:30pm
Registration from 8:30am
$150 pp (incl GST)
Morning Tea is included
To register your interest in attending please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To register your place, email your details along with event you wish to attend. An invoice will be sent along with confirmation. Payment is due 7 days following the invoice.