Writing a good funding bid

  • SumoMe

 

A lot of my work involves writing funding bids, proofreading and improving other people’s funding bids.  It can be easy to assume that writing the bid is an easy process but it is definitely both an art and a science, to make sure the bid is successful.

Here are some useful tips that can really help to improve chances of successful bid writing.

  1. Pull everyone together who will be involved in the project and hold a funding workshop to talk through and plan the project, include discussions on budgets, outcomes and targets.
  2. Write a summary of the ideas concluded at the funding workshop to ensure the project is clearly formulated.
  3. Answer the questions the funders are asking, NOT the questions you think they are asking. Use bullet points to start answering questions, check you are interpreting correctly.
  4. Write clearly, be succinct and specific about your area of work.
  5. Demonstrate success stories, track record, knowledge and financial capability.
  6. Be clear about how the project will be evidenced and evaluated, making use of technology such as client management systems and databases.
  7. Be realistic, do not attempt large funds if you do not have the capacity to manage it. For example if your organisations annual turnover is £22,000 do not apply for millions of £. Use the principle of stretching capacity not breaking it!
  8. Only provide additional information if it is acceptable by the funder. Stick to word counts where applicable.
  9. Gauge how innovative you can be, as some funders want to see more and others are feared by something massively different, but you should have innovation as part of the planning process.
  10. How can you do it better than your competitors? Explain this to the funders.  Imagine, Dream, Believe. You can compete.
  11. Consider grammar, spelling and how the funding reads, is it interesting? Does it make sense?
  12. Make sure you have a proofreader on hand, someone who can see detail and will correct mistakes. Give them enough time before the deadline.

Although the funding environment is harsh, there is still opportunities for success so do not be afraid to try, and keep trying.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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