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Steps to a successful funding application

Step One – Identify the need/problem

People like to feel that they are involved in a cause. If you can clearly define the need/problem that you are raising funds for, you are more likely to attract potential givers. The need should be specific and stated in realistic and measurable terms. The problem needs to be relevant to the potential donor and should be supported with information and statistics if available.

Step Two – Relate the need to the overall mission of the Organization

The mission statement of an organisation explains the organisation’s reason for being. If the need that you have identified is part of the organisation’s overall mission, potential donors will see that you have the skills to meet the need. This builds credibility and donors are more likely to give.

Make it clear to the funder why you should be doing the project.

Step Three – Match the need to the funder’s priorities

Explicitly explain how your project meets the funders criteria – use their language to describe what you plan to do.

Step Four – What are you going to do about it?

You must propose a plan which is both feasible and which will actually produce results. You must be careful not to promise more than you can deliver nor claim more than the reader might expect you to be able to do. Your proposal should explain what you will do with the funds and what difference it will make to the cause/problem/community.

Step Five – Planning and Budgeting

The key to success is careful planning from the start. You must first determine how much money is needed. Once you have that basic budget, then do some research to back up your figures – gets quotes.

Step Six – Your Credibility

You must provide evidence that you can produce the results that you predict. If possible, document your past accomplishments and relate the good things that others have said about you.

Step Seven – Ask for the money

Donors don’t generally knock on doors looking for places to give. Often you just need to ask.

Funding advice is available from


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