What do funders want?

When applying for grant funding you will quickly find out that no two pots of money are quite the same. The criteria, approach, or the 'buzzwords' that may turn on one funder, may not have the same effect on another.

To target potential funders effectively you should:

  • Follow closely the criteria and guidance material
  • Reflect back the funders' aims and 'buzzwords' clearly in your application or proposal
  • Make sure you answer all questions
  • Build up a relationship with funders over a period of time - you are more likely to receive repeat funding from someone who knows and likes your work

What funders want to know

Potential funders will usually want to know:

  • Who are you? Do you have a track record?
  • What is the problem you are trying to address?
  • What is the best solution?
  • Who is going to benefit - how many and by when?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What do you want to achieve (i.e. outcomes)?
  • How is it unique or different?
  • How you will spend their money?
  • Do you have the skills and capacity to keep your project and finances on course?
  • What will you do when your money runs out?

Funders' criteria

Funding or grant giving bodies will usually have pre-defined criteria to use as a basis for scoring and appraising proposals. Criteria can be quite loose, allowing appraisers to use their professional judgement more freely. Or for other grants, the criteria can be quite rigid and subject to formal stages of eligibility checking, scoring, appraisal and formal approval.