Helping organisations to improve their bid writing

When we launched Bedrock Basics in February 2021, one of the first activities we carried out was sending out a needs assessment survey to community groups across Allerdale and Copeland. Funding and fundraising was the single biggest support need identified by respondees from the not-for-profit groups and organisations.

The issue

Raising funds takes up a huge amount of time, energy, effort and expense for many voluntary sector not-for-profit community groups and organisations. Fundraising is often an “add-on” to the many other tasks and duties for paid staff and volunteers. It is vital that individuals and organisations work smarter – not just longer and harder – on raising essential funding for the services that they deliver.

What we did

Bedrock Basics arranged “Successful Bid Writing” training sessions in September and October 2021. We ran a 4-hour course over 2 x 2 hour sessions and a 2-hour introductory session, delivered by Get Grants Ltd.

What we hoped to achieve

The Successful Bid Writing training aimed to help organisations to:

  • Find funding opportunities
  • Identify funds that are right for their organisation
  • Make their case for need
  • Understand what makes a good budget
  • Know why applications are rejected
  • Understand how applications are assessed
  • Consider what an application looks like from the perspective of the funder
  • Provide top tips for increasing success rates of their application

Numbers attending the training sessions

  • 6 organisations attended to 2 x2 hour sessions
  • 11 organisations attended the introductory session

What people told us as about training sessions

Overall, how would you rate the course (9 respondents)?

  • 6 rated it as ‘Excellent’
  • 3 rated it as ‘Very Good’

How did you feel about the amount of practical exercises across the training course (8 respondents)?

  • 7 rated this as ‘The right amount’
  • 1 rated this as ‘Too little’

After attending the course, do you feel inspired to be a more confident grant fundraiser (9 respondents)?

  • All 9 answered ‘Yes’

How well did the course meet your needs (9 respondents)?

  • 5 rated this as ‘Very well’
  • 4 rated this as ‘Extremely well’

Gordon Henry, Bedrock Basics Development Officer, said of the programme:

“The Successful Bid Writing training highlighted the importance of taking time to research funders and funding pots to match ones that exist to fund objectives that are similar to the ones that your organisation wants to achieve. It stressed the importance of evidencing need for your work, demonstrating the ability of your organisation to deliver and clearly set out what you will achieve with the funding if you are successful. It also provided opportunities to view funding applications through the eyes of a funder and consider what makes a powerful and successful funding application. It was a great example of training that emphasised the importance of getting the basics right!”