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Funding Bid? Avoid these common mistakes

Do They turn down your applications for funds?

Third Sector suggests some common pitfalls to avoid

Are you ...

  • Applying for grants you can't get - if They say they don't fund in your town They won't fund you, however eloquent you are (nearly half of applications in some Big Lottery programmes are ineligible)
  • Asking for too much. Or not enough - it will be obvious if you can't do what you plan with the money you're applying for
  • Providing too much information. If They say four pages They mean four pages - eight pages won't make you twice as popular
  • Using jargon and buzz words - your own words show you really understand the issue
  • Sending off "streams of consciousness" - get someone else to read it to see it makes sense
  • Sending budgets that don't add up - did your Chief Executive change something at the last minute and forgot to adjust the total?
  • Not taking up the chance to speak directly - if They say they'll talk to you on the phone you might get a lot of help (or save wasting your time) if you do
  • Forgetting to tailor what you write to the funder. Do you just cut and past? It's probably obvious.
  • Assuming They know all about you, and the problem you want to tackle. You are close to it - They are not.
  • Not showing that you'll make a difference to people's lives - They want to see what will change, not just how you'll do it.

(more information in Matthew Little's article  "The top 10 fundraising application errors" (Third Sector 31/7/2012))