Are you looking for funding for a project in your parish or local community? These pages explain how to start your search.
Before you start...
The suggestions below explain some possible ways of getting funding, including some specific sources of grants. But they are not a comprehensive listing, for two reasons.
- Many grant streams come and go, and grant-making trusts change their programme priorities. It is always important to make sure you are getting up to date information, and you need to watch out for deadlines.
- There are far too many! And there are websites and services that do contain full listings, which are explained below.
In general, most searching for grants is now best done on-line. In past, people used the Directories of Grant-Making Trusts, and whilst these are still available, the information provided by online databases is more accessible and easier to search.
The requirements of funders vary – but almost all funders expect you to have:
- a project plan
- a budget
- a bank account
- a clear explanation of who is responsible for the project, its management committee, board or other arrangement.
Some funders only fund registered charities – if this is the case, you may wish to link your project to a local charity to enable you to make an application. The Bishop of Guildford’s Foundation can help with this.
There is an increasing emphasis among many funders on encouraging projects to focus on outcomes – what difference they are trying to make, and how they will know whether they have achieved this. Good planning is a crucial part of making projects work. Below are some suggestions about where you can find help with this.
- There are diocesan staff that can help you with planning and budgeting. Contact either email@example.com or tel 01483 571826 .
- Local Councils of Voluntary Service (CVSes) can also provide help – contact the nearest one. It may be called ‘Voluntary Action X’. For a list of Councils in Surrey, go to www.surrey.gov.uk and put ‘councils of voluntary service’ in the ‘search’ box. For Hampshire, go to www.e.volve.org.uk
- Use tools available on Websites – enter Funding or Grants into a search engine.
- Use toolkits or handbooks; the Community Development Foundation publishes a valuable and informative handbook called ‘Setting up for Success’.
- Identify a successful local project that is similar, and ask them for help.
- Ask in your local church for volunteers to help; ask for anyone who has skills or experience in developing budgets or business plans, and stress you only need a few hours of their time.
- Marketing and communication skills will also be helpful as part of getting funding is selling your case.
Searching for funding is a demanding process! It is a major task for one person alone. See if you can gather a small group and share out the work. Make a plan, and work through it systematically. Allow plenty of time – many funders only meet 3-4 times a year and you may have to wait several months for a response. And check you know the next deadlines of the funders you wish to approach.
If you have a success story about finding funding, or know of another useful source of information or advice about finding funding, please let us know. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding Funding Leaflet