How can you improve your chances of being granted funding from charitable trusts that are also strapped for cash?

As requests from the care sector increase, the funding that trusts have available is decreasing. This means charitable trusts will only support the very best of applications for their limited funds. This guide is to help you make the most of your application.

Firstly, compile a list of the most appropriate charitable trusts that could potentially support your organisation and your needs.

You will be looking for core and/or project specific funding. You will either need to trawl through the many charitable trust funding databases available (and many come with a cost), or you can hire someone to do the hard work for you, such as a local voluntary sector support agency.

Secondly, and possibly the most obvious but often overlooked aspect of applying for funding, is to thoroughly read the funder’s guidance notes, applying for irrelevant funding will waste both your time and theirs.

The purpose of such guidelines are to help you increase your chances of success, so adapt your application or request letter based on the trust’s objectives and priorities, as you would a job application.

Keep in mind that some charitable trusts may be interested in the care sector but not have full and detailed knowledge. Because of this, applications must be kept simple and direct.

Trusts receive 100s of applications so they want to be able to quickly understand your request. Don’t be too technical with your explanations, you want to put your point across, not confuse them with jargon.

Funders also need to understand how important the funding will be to the people you support. They want solid evidence of consultations that you can get through talking to those who will benefit most.

You need to detail the evidence you have collated and mention relevant work you have already delivered to support your application.

As well as detailing this evidence you will need to highlight the predicted impact and benefits of the financial support. Be clear about this and detail the wider beneficiaries too, such as their families, care providers and the local community.

However, be realistic with your budgets. Charitable trusts are looking for value for money with their very limited resources. Do you really need a full time administrator for one year to organise a few training sessions or can you delegate that work to a colleague or virtual assistant?

The final piece of advice is to get someone impartial to go through your application before you send it. If they pick up on any errors it is certain the funders will too.

Good luck with your application.

Ahsan Malik

Fundraiser for ARC

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