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Grant fundraising


9 5 Should your school


budget cover this? Some grant programmes


are designed especially for schools, to help them achieve more during curriculum time or expand curriculum- related provision outside the normal school day. This could include grants for literacy projects, science activities or field trips. Other grants will only be given to schools for activities that are clearly beyond their statutory remit. This distinction is an important one to note. Some funders expect that statutory activities should be covered by school budgets, but will consider giving grants to schools that want to expand their work into new areas and respond to needs within the wider community. This could include family welfare projects, community sports provision or adult skills development.


6 Always check the


eligibility criteria Once you have found a grant


programme of interest, do not underestimate the importance of checking the eligibility criteria and reading the guidance notes. This will help you to assess your school’s eligibility and the suitability of your project for securing grant funding. It saves you valuable time in the long run, ensuring that you do not apply for a grant that you have no chance of winning, and it avoids wasting the funder’s time.


36 SPRING 2016 FundEd 7 Having a clear


purpose is vital It is difficult, if not impossible,


to secure grants for general or unspecified purposes, or to cover retrospective costs. Instead, you should be applying for grants for well-defined projects, events or activities that have a clear purpose and identifiable need. You should be clear about what funding you require, how you are going to use it, and the tangible impact it will have.


8 The Devil is in the


[budget] detail Grants can be used to cover


all kinds of costs – equipment purchase, classroom resources, new buildings or refurbishment, staff development, project running costs and salaries. Good budgets are planned, researched and detailed. Keep a record of how you have worked out your costs, including any quotes received, as funders may ask to see them. Also, make sure that you have the necessary legal and policy documentation in place, such as planning permission and insurance. If your project has ongoing costs, explain how you will meet them. If you are asking the funder to make a contribution towards a much larger total project cost, it is important to provide details of how you will fund the work, including any money secured so far and any pending or planned grant applications.


Allocate time for


grant fundraising Grant fundraising can be a


time-consuming activity, so it is important that you plan your time effectively. Dedicate at least weekly hour-long blocks in your diary for bid writing and related activities. This should help you to keep focused and maintain momentum. Don’t forget that a lot of grant programmes have application deadlines. You don’t want to miss a deadline, so work out how long it is going to take you to research and write an application, and allocate time accordingly. Remember to include enough time to plan, draft, edit and proofread your work, which could take longer than first anticipated.


10


Build relationships with grant givers Some funders like to


hear from prospective applicants and speak to them about their project. They may give you initial feedback on your ideas before you begin the application process. Others may wish to visit your school to learn more about your circumstances and the challenges you face. Over time, it is possible to foster a long-lasting funding relationship where you repeatedly receive support from them. Keep in touch with funders and let them know about the difference you are making with their grant funding.


Rachel Gordon heads up the School Funding Service, which helps schools across the UK win grants for a wide range of projects, from playgrounds and sports equipment, to after-school clubs and extended services. She writes bids for schools and advises them on how to maximise their funding potential. Visit schoolfundingservice.co.uk


Coming up next issue… Bid-writing DOs and DON’Ts! Rachel shares her tips for bid-writing success and helps you avoid the most common pitfalls.


IMAGES: YULIAS07/THINKSTOCK.CO.UK, RATCH0013/THINKSTOCK.CO.UK, PIXSOOZ/THINKSTOCK.CO.UK


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