As funding gets tougher in the world do look at Big Lottery funding. It is relatively easier to get an Awards for All grant if you meet the conditions – see links at the bottom of this post. This is a good source of funding for up to 10K for a project getting started, running something one-off or for a well established organisation doing a new thing. For instance I helped an arts organisation get funding for a workshop programme in schools.
For bigger funding – that is £10K up to £500K – there is Lottery’s Reaching Communities plus other streams managed by Big Lottery with similar applicant expectations. Two tips from my experience with lottery staff and several grant wins. These are the two common areas of weakness in bids that cause them to hit the bin – evidence of need from beneficiaries (potential ones) and project outcomes. Firstly get your case for the needs for the project right with good evidence from your community – How do you know your project is needed and how does it address expressed needs?
Secondly make clear your outcomes – what difference will your project make to your intended beneficiaries? In Big Lottery world what difference you make is the pinnacle that pulls along and shapes what you actually do rather than the other way round. It is kind of a demand-pull rather that supply-push view of the world.
The Library and training area of my website has excerpts from the proceedings
of a short course on capturing outcomes at http://www.jimsimpsonconsultancy.co.uk/resources-library/management/fundraising/
Big Lottery’s pages includes:
http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/england/awards-for-all-england. It gets you to their guidance and from here to
other useful Big Lottery guidance