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Why Applications Fail

Eligibility - Funders such as the Community Fund received applications from organisations and individuals which they could not fund within their own rules. These applications are a waste of everyone's time.

Funders' Criteria - Many applications fall outside the funders' own criteria, (e.g. the BBC Children In Need Trust aims to benefit disadvantaged under 18s, but still receives many bids which don't show how their target group is disadvantaged).

Bids to benefit Organisations, not people - A bid to keep your group, (or even to keep you in a job!), is less attractive to a funder than one to provide a much-needed service. Similarly, 'we need a computer' has less impact than 'with a computer we could keep records more efficiently, freeing time to spend with our service users'.

Planning Projects - A bid for a computer or a vehicle needs to show how it would be stored, insured and used, and who by. Has the group thought through all the implications of taking on this new piece of equipment/post/building?

Costing - Are the figures realistic - enough to pay for the work in question? Do they represent good value for money? has the group handled similar sums before?

Timescales - Very few funders will make grants retrospectively - i.e. after the project has taken place. Bear in mind that they can take months to consider your application, so if you want to run a play scheme in the summer holidays, don't leave the applications until June, (even if you have money in the bank to 'lend' to the play scheme).

Involvement - The National Lottery Community Fund rejected some bids on the grounds that they did not appear to involve either the projects' beneficiaries or local people.

Form-filling - All questions should be answered on the application form, (unless the form states they are optional), not just in other enclosed documents so the funders have to hunt for the information.(E.g. if they ask for details from our accounts on the form, copy them onto it - even if they also ask you to enclose your full accounts).

Match Funding - If match funding is required, it must be secured before a grant will be released.

Long-term Funding - For major capital projects, applicants will need to show how they plan to raise the funds for long-term running costs and maintenance.

The above information was supplied by Fit 4 Funding.

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