How to grab a grant


The People's Postcode Lottery is based in Edinburgh and gave out around £3m in grants in 2014

TFN’s guide to finding funders and persuading them to give you a grant

Susan Smith's photo

22nd May 2015 by Susan Smith 18 Comments

Community is all about mucking in and making do, creating something special for friends and neighbours on a shoestring. At least that’s the idea. Unfortunately, in the real world, nothing is ever really free.

One of the first big challenges for any community or voluntary group is raising the money it needs to keep going. Whether it’s a local youth group that needs to hire a room, a choir that wants to buy a piano or the community centre that hosts both but has just discovered its roof needs to be repaired – everyone is after a grant.

Fortunately, there are a lot of generous Scots out there willing to part with their cash and there are literally hundreds of trusts and foundations that have money to give out on a local or national level.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations launched Funding Scotland, which pulls loads of funding information together into one handy website.

Organisations can register for free and then search for potential funders according to the type of work they do and/or their geographical location.

Generating a list of potential supporters, however, is just the first step to success, and getting your hands on a grant will require a little more effort.

Firstly, make sure you’re not wasting time filling in applications to the wrong organisations. Give the funder a ring to check whether your work is something they might be interested in. Most funders will be happy to hear from potential grantees in advance as there’s nothing more disheartening than reading through a really good application for funding that just doesn’t apply.

When you sit down to write, remember to sell yourself. Funders don’t want to think their money will get squandered so tell them how important your project is to the community and how it is making people’s lives better.

Be very clear about what you do though, don’t get so caught up in the hyperbole, you forget to explain how the money will be spent.

Here are general top tips:

  • make sure you demonstrate why your community needs your project
  • outline what you’re going to do
  • highlight the other community stakeholders or advocates that are involved, such as councillors, MSPs and local businesses
  • have a clear budget
  • tell potential funders how you will measure success
  • check the application deadline and don’t submit it late
  • read the small print and make sure  to follow it

Remember that if a project is worthwhile, someone will want to support it, so remain positive and believe in your goals. If you’re getting rejection after rejection, it is worth examining your goals, and if you and your stakeholders still believe in them, keep at it. A big mistake that many groups make is trying to fit their project into the needs of a funder. This could mean you end up doing something that doesn’t suit your community at all, and in the long run this won’t be right for you or your funder.

Finally, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' guide How to Raise Funds provides detailed support on filling in a funding application, so it’s worth a look.

Now, go grab that grant!

28th January 2016 by mussa marandura

We are a small project called Scottish Africa Unted Not-For - Profit. We would like a form for funding. Our Website : Many thsnksMUssa Marandura

5th September 2016 by georgina smillie

hi was wandering what funding is availible for single parent with student thanks

29th September 2016 by Joanne and Jillian Thomson-Drummond

We are a small business in the start up stage named Bramble Cottage CIC. Could you send us an application forms for funding please. Thanks.

6th October 2016 by Helen Tew

I have tried to access your guide How to raise funds but the page is no accessible . Can you help please.many thankskind regards Helen

16th November 2016 by North West Carers centre

North West Carers is a small organisation, which operates in the north west areas of Edinburgh. supporting Carers in their own homes and in the community. The organisation has been running since 1998.

23rd April 2017 by BENSON BAGUMA

HELLO Hope this email finds you well, Muwanga Development Association in Uganda East AfricaMUWADA, Our Vision. Is of the society in which all people and vulnerable children realize their fundamental rights and meet their basic needs. We deal with Children/orphans,Water & Sanitation,Entreprenuership,HIV/AIDS,Youth Advocacay, Child Protection Is there any way you can support us in our work.We constantly strive to provide better skills to the children,youths,women through trainings, seminars, workshop thus improving their knowledge and mental capacity to make their lives better.The entire team of MUWADA looks forward to a very professional working relationship between both our NGO and yours, we are ready for your co-operation in any way possible to serve our orphans and community at large.You can learn more about our work on http://www.muwada.orgBest Regards, Benson Baguma Exective Director MUWADA

6th June 2017 by Movingi lastweek but need help!!!!im on my on im 4

It would take an hr and would be over the moonthank!!!?jist a wee hand or 2 ......

6th July 2017 by Jade

Hi was wondering if any help of home improvements is available for a young vulnerable girl in Tyne and Wear area Thank you.

7th July 2017 by lydia awor

hi was wandering what funding is available for a single parent with students thanks

9th July 2017 by Helen Ali

Dear sirMy son, Nasir Ismael, was recently accepted into Princeton University in New Jersey, America. He will be leaving next month 30th of August, This has been a dream of his for a very long time and he wrote to you for a letter of support to help his application. The cost of living and studying in America is very high and the scholarship he has been provided does not cover his full costs.I am a single mother currently working as a kitchen assistant in a Primary School to support my children. Due to being in a domestic abuse relationship, I have been suffering long term health problems which have made it difficult for me to find work and so I do not have the savings to be able to support Nasir’s studies at Princeton University.I have always wanted what is best for my children and encouraged them to do the best of their abilities and so I don’t want my financial issues to stand in the way of Nasir’s studies and goals. However we would have to cover additional cost which he needs to study. This includes health insurance a laptop,books,stationery and clothing. Therefore, I am asking if you could kindly help contribute towards the cost of Nasir’s studies at Princeton, or know any organisation which May be able to help in anyway.Kind RegardsHelen Ali

19th July 2017 by Christian Peter

Dear Sir / Madam, My Name is Christian Peter and I coach the Under 14s boys at Grasshoppers RFU in Osterley. I work for Heathrow Airport as a Security Officer. Originally born in Sri Lanka I was one of the fortunate ones to escape the civil war. because I was the minority I was never given the chance to compete in any sport events to represent my country and when I did I was threatened with violence. They’d rather loose than a Tamil person winning. When I came to this country I was so saddened to see the lack of interests in children for sports. They rather vandalize the bus stops or phone boxes or just shop lift. This country has everything such as state of the art sports facilities, humongous parks, schools equipped with excellent sports facilities and more, yet we are not producing enough athletes. The reason is because we are busy; we are running so fast and yet we are not catching anything. We are too busy for everything. I had enough waiting for someone to do anything about it; I have taken action of starting a community project using Rugby. I have seen lots of children hanging around in the street because of social states and ignorance. I have seen talented kids getting expelled, kids getting in to fights and ends up being bullies and some even lost in the system and destroyed the potential to become somebody. We are so busy with our own lives that we don’t see the one next to us is getting destroyed. I have a plan and my time and knowledge but I haven't got the backing or help or the work force that will need to continue. I need people with drive and passion to reform the children in our society. I kindly ask for all the clubs, corporations, schools, colleges, even individuals who likes the idea and want to contribute in this journey that I have started to take these children out of the street and engage them in to sports, to educate where needed so that they can find employment. My father always told me that every child is born talented, it's our job as parents and educators to acknowledge that and guide them in the right direction if not we have failed them. It will be fantastic if I could work as a chain with all the organizations, schools and who is interested in creating better opportunities for youngsters. I will be hosting a workshop of Rugby skills and multi sports on the 1st August 2017 at Redlees Park from 4pm till 6pm. I am also hosting a 100k challenge to be completed inside of a month starting from September for all to get in to spirit of getting fit by running or walking. This you can do as fast as you want, on your own or in a group as long as each participant completes 100k. And I would like to host a multi-sport festival for children; anyone who wants to participate can do so as a club, group or individually in June 2018. I would be most great full if anybody is willing to sponsor the event, even part sponsor for the prizes or volunteering. I hope to hear from you soon even if it’s just advice or for creative criticism. Thanking you in advance Yours sincerely Christian Peter 07581038632

14th August 2017 by Mr C P Taffurelli

Please would you forward onto me grant forms so We can apply for a grant towards the costs of our parish magazine which we print each month and deliver to every house and farm in Shaugh Prior Parish free

10th September 2017 by Carol Roney

I run a community playgroup in Birmingham we are in need of some support at the moment ,issomthing you may possibly be able to help us with .

1st October 2017 by Paul Terrelonge

I have a number of inventions and innovations and looking for possible funding.Thankyou

3rd October 2017 by Dawn Hadlow Goodwin

Dear Sir /Madam,I am writing to ask if you fund individuals to be able to achieve a course which will help them back into work , or if you establishment don't offer individuals funding please could you if you know of any places I could ask ..RegardsMs Dawn Hadlow Goodwin

28th October 2017 by Dr Chief Nana Kofi Simba Leo

Need help with Grant to Study at the UWI. Jamaica. WI.. Mr C. D. Leo.. 07810818971

28th October 2017 by Dr Chief Nana Kofi Simba Leo

Need help with Grant to study .. FIU. Florida.. UWI. Kingston. Jamaica. WI.Kind regards,Dr Chief Nana Kofi Simba Leo.AMIACE............07810818971

5th March 2018 by Mohsen

Hello,We are a registered Charity providing Taekwondo training to the community.Would you be able to apply for grants on our behalf?Kind regards,Mohsen