*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

How to prepare a fundraising bid

17 August 2012

We have little experience of working on fund-raising bids to trusts and others, but we think we should prepare them ourselves rather than pay a fund-raiser. Do you have any pointers?

THE climate for raising funds is tough, and will remain so for several years. Possibly, it is not as bad as a couple of years ago, but I would say that it is stable rather than improved. The trusts themselves are receiving far more bids, and have far less money to hand out than in the past.

As always, bids are in competition with each other, and the best-prepared bids may obtain a grant. But, in some cases, for example the Big Lottery, there are so many good bids that being good is not enough.

All of this means that paying a fund-raiser to prepare bids will not guarantee success. You might, however, find someone who can read over your prepared bids, and make suggestions for improvement.

A small group can work together on the material, but you will need one person to write each bid, or complete one form, as it is almost impossible to write by committee. My suggestion is that one of you gets together the forms and guidelines, after researching possible grant-sources. You should run through the required information together - it varies from form to form - and share out the task of information collection, from user numbers to charity-registration number to church postcode.

On longer forms, you could bullet-point the larger sections, and the description you use for trusts. Collect together a number of signed copies of the church accounts.

On all bids and letters, your incumbent should be the signatory, and probably the main contact; non-church organisations often do not understand positions such as churchwarden.

Look out for the questions about beneficiaries, and outcomes. The evidence provided is vital to your bid's going into the possible-winners pile rather than the bin. The trust will want to know: how many people will benefit; what sort of people; how often; and for how long. Then you will need to identify the qualitative benefits that your project will deliver in people's lives.

Some information will be present in a list of all current users of your building or project, but you will need evidence about any increase. You cannot just speculate, however; you must ask people, and show that you have asked them. Also, include letters of support: those from local residents and local organisations are of more value than the bishop/ MP/councillor type.

Ensure that all members of your group, and your incumbent, are fully up to speed on your bids, so that some or all of you can meet any representative of a trust that is considering a grant - and still be giving a single clear message.

Factors that might cause your bids to fail are: if you seem to have enough money; if your project seems over-expensive as a way of delivering benefits; if it is not clear who will benefit and how; if your church has plenty of members and probably could raise the money without help.

Badly written bids - ungrammatical, misspelt, speaking the language of the church rather than the trust - have a harder time. Remember, too, that information such as the name of the church and the contact person must be clearly stated on your descriptive materials.

Finally, ensure that, with each bid, you show clearly how your bid meets the trust's funding objectives.

 

Special offer for PCC members: subscribe to the Church Times now and receive a free copy of The PCC Member’s Essential Guide, by Mark Tanner. (New UK subscribers.)

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times Month

March 2024

For the whole of March, Church Times is offering completely FREE online access, so you can share stories without a paywall.

We are also asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

Find out more

 

Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

 

You are able to read this for FREE as part of Church Times Promotional Month, where for the whole of March, we are offering unlimited web access to the newspaper.

From next month to explore the Church Times website fully, you will need to sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers will return to only being able to read four articles for free each month.