1. Make sure you’re eligible for the funding
Firstly, you need to make sure you’re eligible to bid. If you’re ineligible it’s a major waste of both time and resources. It is also important to make sure your funder’s aims and objectives align with your own. Then you need to be certain that the size of the grant is appropriate to the size of your business; not too small. Every contract should be assessed before you submit your bid. One of the best ways to assess each grant would be SWOT analysis. This looks at the strengths of the funding, the weaknesses of the funding, the opportunities and threats. The opportunities are the main thing that should be analysed. You must ask yourself the question; “what I am going to be able to achieve with the funding”. If you believe it will be successful for you then you should apply for the funding. The opportunities that you come up with are what you should focus your bid on.
2. Plan effectively
The key to a successful bid for funding is the perfect plan. For a successful plan, this must be written well in advance with a perfect understanding. The more experience you have when bidding for funding, the better your plan will be as you’re able to learn from previous mistakes. One way to create the perfect plan and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything is to create a checklist. There are so many points before you send off your bid including:
• Are you asking for the appropriate amount?
• Is the timing right?
• Is the spelling, grammar, and punctuation perfect?
• Are your aims and objectives appropriate?
• Have you shown how you’re benefiting the funder?
• Is the bid clear and concise?
3. Put yourself in the funder’s shoes
When writing your bid, you must put yourself in their shoes if you have any chance of being successful. If you don’t fit in with their aims and objectives, they won’t be willing to fund you as it won’t benefit them. You need to be able to show that your plans align with their funding objectives. For example, if they would like to support disabilities, you need to show how you’re going to help as many disabled people as possible with that grant.
4. Make your bid clear
You need to make sure that your bid is clear and concise to show your funder exactly what you’re going to do with the grant. There is no need to use technical jargon, you need to make it as easy as possible for the funder to understand as the funder will have to read a lot of bids. The easier you make it read, the more chance you have of making your bid successful. Similarly, it must be well articulated and have the correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar to give you the best chance of success. The easiest way to get your point across in a concise manner would be to use the PEE structure by explaining your Point, Evidence, and then Explain your point.
5. Include previous experience with similar funding
To give yourself the best chance of being successful when applying for funding you should show how you have previously spent the funding, what you have done and how you were successful. If you don’t have previous success and haven’t used your previous funding wisely you aren’t going to win any more funding. Then you need to clearly show how much you received and then what you have achieved with that money. The more successful you have been previously, the more successful you’re likely to be at winning even more funding. Therefore, if you can show examples of this then this strengthens your bid a lot.
6. Prove how the funding will be sustainable
Proving sustainability with your funding is the key feature that the funder will be looking for when reviewing bids. Therefore, it is key that you provide a clear pathway with the funding that you are going to receive. You must be able to provide a financial plan with clear examples of how you’re able to provide a lasting benefit for a long period of time rather than just a short benefit. No matter your industry, your plan must be able to provide sustainability with a social, economic, and environmental impact on your community. This is vital when providing a service to the public sector.
7. Innovate and bring new ideas to the table
Another way to give you the best chance of winning the funding is to stand out from the crowd. You must be able to show how your funding is going to be spent better than your competitors who are fighting for the funding. The funders are much more likely to pick your bid if you offer high levels of innovation.