Applying for funding

Below is a summary of the different stages of applying for funding:

For full details, see our guide Applying for funding.

Writing the application

Once you know who you want to bid to, think about the way you are going to present your application to give yourself the best chance of success.

We can’t write the application for you, but we can check its quality before you submit it – please contact the External Funding team.

Helpful hints

  • Bids are often only read once so keep the assessor’s eye moving with short and punchy sentences. Use bullet points wherever possible
  • Use words like ‘can do’ and ’we will achieve’to make it sound more positive
  • Avoid using passive or negative wording, as this makes the whole bid negative
  • If you are using research or statistics to back up your bid, include references
  • Try to find out what scoring criteria will be used to assess your bid so that you can read through and compare this to your application form.
  • If you can find a copy of a successful application form, pick out their strengths and use these in your application form.
  • Never think that your first draft will be your final one.

Costing your project

Remember to think of all the costs that will be involved. Many charities and funding organisations, such as the Lottery, allow you to apply for ‘Full Cost Recovery’. This means securing funding for – or ‘recovering’ – all your organisation’s costs, including:

  • Direct costs of your projects
  • All costs associated with the delivery of your project (your organisation’s core costs – sometime referred to as core costs).

Evidence of need

You must be able to clearly demonstrate why your project is needed and how it fits into the priorities of the funder to secure the grant. This evidence may be already available, or you may have to consult or do research of your own. Below are some of the key resources you can use to support you:

  • East Sussex in Figures is a local Information System that provides the latest statistics on the social, economic and demographic character of East Sussex and its communities
  • East Sussex Strategic Partnership brings together different parts of the local community – public services, local businesses, community groups and voluntary sector organisations and has a number of reports covering different themes (e.g. transport, education and skills, community, environment, etc)
  • State of the County is produced by East Sussex County Council and covers a wide range of data about the county to help understand the context for the Council’s plans and their impact
  • The Joint Strategic Needs and Assets Assessment (JSNAA) is a process that identifies both the health and well-being needs (i.e. problems) and assets (i.e. strengths) of the people, communities and populations in East Sussex
  • We organised a symposium at The Keep exploring different sources of data at national and regional level that can be used to make the case for your activities including funding, strategic planning and business development. You can explore in depth a varied range of resources, evidence and guidance on making use of it as well as the presentations from the symposium.

Monitoring and evaluation

You need to monitor progress to provide feedback and see how successful your project has been.

This can show areas you would still like to improve on, and help you put in another application form if you want to continue the project and ask for more funding.