Do you have a project that needs funding but don’t know where to begin? Hopefully you will have read our first article ‘Are you funding ready?’ which provides a step-by-step guide to help you get organised and prepared to identify and apply for grants.

In this next article, GRANTfinder will take you through the steps to take to ensure your project idea is an attractive proposition for funders, giving it the best opportunity to be successful.

Are you ready make your project idea a reality?

I have a project idea – what’s my first step?

The first stage in establishing a project idea is to be clear on why you’re applying for funding. Having a transparent and strategic plan for funding will help to get buy-in from internal stakeholders, potential funders and beneficiaries.

Reasons might include:

  • Sharing the risk and cost of your project
  • Building new infrastructures and resources
  • Learning from new partners and using their expertise to improve the skillset and experience of staff within your organisation
  • Taking forward a project which would not take place without the injection of funding
  • Accessing new markets
  • Strengthening partnerships with organisations which opens up the opportunity of working on future collaborative projects
  • Establishing yourselves as market leaders or innovators in the field.

The idea should be easily explained in an ‘elevator’ pitch - a one-liner which describes your project succinctly to interested parties and can be used as a ‘hook’ in funding applications.

Is my project idea good enough?

Put together a preliminary one-pager on the project to provide a sound overview of the project which you can then use as a foundation for developing the rest of it (also to streamline the project, which will make you focus).

Interrogate your own idea. In the one-pager, ask yourself all the questions a funder might want to know about your project and be honest with your answers.

Why?
  • How does your project fit in terms of the overall political and legislative landscape for this area?
  • Which identified needs are you expecting to meet?
  • What are the objectives of the project, both in terms of the wider objectives of delivering on policy aims but also those specific to the project itself?
  • Who are the beneficiaries of the project?
How?
  • It’s useful to think of the project in terms of relevant activities that need to be undertaken to achieve the overall objectives – activities which in turn help to structure the ‘work packages’ of your project plan
  • Having an early idea on which activities the project needs to entail will provide you with a better insight into who your ideal partners might be/any gaps in the capability of your own organisation
Where?
  • There should be a direct correlation between the location(s) of the project and the target audience, project objectives, etc
  • Partnering with whom?
  • Skills required for the project?
  • Which skills exist internally/within the wider network of organisations you already know/need to be sourced in new partners?
Project outcomes
  • How will the project outcomes be measured?
  • Consider both qualitative and quantitative outcomes, eg X number of older people being trained on how to use social media (quantitative), with nadditional benefits of improving IT confidence and decreasing isolation (qualitative).

   

        

How do I know if my idea will be attractive to funders?

Does your project meet the wider policy aims of the funder? Projects that match the strategic aims of the funder are most likely to be successful.

The most effective projects are made up of:

  • Collaboration – working with a partner that is already well established in that field
  • Innovation
  • Improvement on past projects – adopting best practice.

Project idea established and wondering what next?

Would you like more support with the next step in the funding process? Read our next article 'Identifying funding' and learn the steps to simplify the process of identifying funding for your project.

Alternatively, GRANTfinder has created a Funding Toolkit which provides guidance on the 7 key steps to funding success in one document. This includes information on identifying funding, working with partners, and tips on how to write a successful application.

Download the Funding Toolkit and receive our Funding Tips emails

Download this guide by filling in your details below. We'll also send you our regular expert series emails for the next six months with our most recent whitepapers, studies and other informational content.

Or, if your project has a research focus download the Toolkit here.

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