Writing Successful Grant Applications Delivered by Derek O’Reilly, Training & Support Services Manager
Golden Rule 1 Grant Makers don’t invest in Products, they invest in People
Golden Rule 2 Understand what your key strengths are and seek out opportunities to build on those strengths
Golden Rule 3 Provide the Grant Maker with Change they can Believe in! (Outputs and Outcomes)
What are your outputs and outcomes? • Outputs: What and how much gets produced or delivered (usually expressed in quantitative measures) • Outcomes: The difference made. What are the short and long term benefits of the activity?
Example: The Youth Project The aim of the project is to reduce criminal activity by offering support and group work to young people Inputs: staff, budget, venue, advertising Outputs: One-to-one support sessions, outings, group work Outcomes: After the project young people will be more confident, aware of alternatives to crime and training Long term change: Less social exclusion and less criminal activity
Golden Rule 4 Know why you need the money, why you need it now and why you can be trusted to spend it
What the grant giver thinks! “A thoughtful and honest application always stands out in the crowd!... (it) isn’t a hurried and last minute dash to meet our deadlines with something dreamed up overnight. It is a serious and sincere attempt by your organisation to use its experience and skill to make a positive difference where it is needed”. Children in Need Grant Guidelines 1998/99
Practical Steps to Writing Grant Applications • Be able to prove that the need or problem in your grant proposal is significant 2. Ensure your application delivers an answer to the stated need or a solution to the problem. Your experience and ability should be apparent in the application 3. Your proposal should convey solid planning and research
Practical Steps to Writing Grant Applications 4. Research the grant makers. Identify their priorities and applicant eligibility 5. Ensure that your aims and those of the grant makers are compatible 6. Before completing the application, re-check the guidelines
Practical Steps to Writing Grant Applications 8. Ensure your proposal is complete, is an appropriate length and includes all required attachments 9. Ensure that your organisation’s needs and objectives are clearly and concisely written
Practical Steps to Writing Grant Applications 10. Cover all important criteria: project purpose, feasibility, community need, funds needed, applicant accountability and competence 11. Answer the key questions on the proposal checklist (typically provided with grant application forms) 12. Demonstrate project logic and outcomes, impact of funds and community support
Determining your Needs – Generate a Needs Statement • Identify some of the issues/needs you might present to funders 2. How would you go about researching these problems and needs? Where will you find relevant information?
Monitoring and Evaluation of the Project • What information will you collect in respect of activities and outputs (measurable) • How will you measure progress towards meeting aims and outcomes • How often will you formally evaluate the project • Who will conduct the evaluations • How will you use the evaluation results
Project Budget • Group budget headings under common themes • Headings should mirror project plans • There should be a basis for all the figures - Remember that funders have a good grasp of costs!
Style and Presentation Matters • Write in shorter sentences • Avoid jargon • Avoid unsubstantiated superlatives e.g. unique • Avoid the “everybody knows” syndrome • Make it clear and logical • Write for the reader – are they an expert or a novice? • Be neat, tidy and positive!
Why applications fail • Applicant organisation is not eligible • Target group is not eligible • Poorly planned project • Applicant does not present the project clearly • Applicant fails to demonstrate they meet the criteria • No monitoring or evaluation
Why applications fail • Problematic budget/unconvincing financial management • Applicant misses the deadline • Incomplete/illegible application • Incomplete/inaccurate supporting documents • Duplication of existing projects
Types of projects we fund: • Ethnic Minorities: • Assisting the building of networks and structures for ethnic minorities, with a particular emphasis on Integration
The Grassroots Grants Scheme seeks to: • Support areas of work that are currently not well funded by the state • Target areas of work where a small grant can create a new opportunity or make an obvious addition • Be relevant to urban and rural areas
Applications must be from community and voluntary groups that possess charitable aims and are not for profit • A commitment to equal opportunities must be demonstrated • A willingness to share learning with others if necessary • Multiple applications may be made, provided they are for separate projects
For larger grants the piece of work must be sustainable beyond a three-year period or the project must be completed within this time • Commitment to working in partnership with other organisations must be demonstrated • Proposals must include clear, detailed, realistic costs and timescales • We will consider all requests fairly and will do our best to take any particular need into account
Non-charitable activities • Sponsorship and fundraising events • Capital projects • (including building, refurbishment and equipment costs) • Core or ongoing costs (including salaries) • Work that has already taken place • Individuals • Overseas Travel
Promotion of religious causes • Statutory organisations or a direct replacement of statutory funding • Sports without an identifiable charitable element • Animal charities / work which only benefits animals • Medical research, equipment or treatment • Political activities • Applicant organisations should have an annual income of not more than €1,000,000. Documentary evidence may be requested
Reporting Requirements • Organisations in receipt of a grant will be required to provide Outcome Reports (after six months), updates and newsletters. • The Foundation will also require the mention of the grant in annual reports, accounts and any appropriate publications. We are always pleased to receive good quality digital photographs if possible. • The Grants staff undertake Evaluation visits to grantees on an annual basis. Your co-operation is requested, should you be selected for such a visit.
Case Study: DCG • Welcome to Dublin Community Growers • For a vibrant green Dublin and a healthy garden movement. Changing the city one root at a time. • Dublin Community Growers is a network of community gardeners who meet monthly within central Dublin. An open group, they meet to discuss community gardening projects, and the issues faced by these projects. Dublin Community Growers also organise events to promote community gardens as amenities to be valued. The core ethos of Dublin Community Growers are represented by social inclusion, and environmental responsibility.
Case Study: DCG • COMMUNITY GROWERS FUND – Revised CRITERIA • Groups wishing to engage unemployed people in community gardening • Must have a committee structure • N.B. Applicants must involve local people who are presently unemployed. • A survey of the local residents allowing them to make suggestions is desirable. • A budget must accompany the application.
Case Study: DCG • Dublin Community Growers Forum 2012: • Date: 9th June • DCG and Dublin Co-op GIY will hold a joint seed and plant swap on June 9th at 11am at the Dublin Food Co-op, Newmarket Square, D8.This will be followed from 1pm to 3pm by a workshop titled ‘How to Start a Cooperative’ and from 3pm to 5pm by a workshop on ‘How to Start a Community Garden’. DCG have recieved funding from the Community Foundation to hold these workshops. To register for this free event please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Case Study: DCG • Grant aid from Community Foundation, combined with a lot of volunteer effort, can go a long way. • I think the important points about applying for grants is to read the criteria carefully and have a project ready to implement that your group is really keen to run, and will make a DIFFERENCE.
Grant Updates • Check out the following sources regularly: - www.activelink.ie - www.wheel.ie - www.communityfoundation.ie The Carmichael Centre Twitter updates! http://twitter.com/CCVoluntaryOrgs