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UK Coaching Team

Simple Steps to a Successful Funding Application

Follow these ten tips when applying for a project grant

In our research, 34% of coaches say they would feel more supported if they were provided with funding for continuing professional development, and this guide aims to provide that support.

  1. Read the pre-application guidance: Make sure you check that your application meets the criteria, and align your submission as closely as possible to the investors’ criteria. 
  2. Tell a story: There are so many applications for funding these days that what stands out is telling an anecdote about how your project or organisation really helps people. Detail how the funding will lead to sustainable delivery and the long-term impact the funding could have. 
  3. Think outside the box: Give your bid the ‘x factor’. How will you tackle a problem in a particularly creative or innovative way? Demonstrate how your project will tackle an old problem in a refreshingly new and effective way.
  4. Contact the investor to check over the application or ask questions: This shows you are keen and using initiative, offers the opportunity for valuable feedback and most importantly builds a relationship with the investor, which in turn gives you credibility.
  5. Leave plenty of time between submission and project start time: This allows you to troubleshoot the project if funding isn’t received and gives you time to make sure all key partnerships are in place and briefed to ensure maximum success.
  6. Make it value for money: This helps to establish the viability of the project and is also an exercise that investors will expect you to go through. Include in the bid any monetary value that voluntary hours would add as this will increase their return on investment. Think about this – if it was your money, would you invest based on the returns expected?
  7. Build relationships: Show that the funding you potentially could receive will not only impact on you/your organisation but also on the wider communities and any other partner initiative/programme. 
  8. Do your research: Do you know about other funding and organisations in your area? Can your project be linked to these initiatives? How will the funding you are applying for complement any local priorities? 
  9. How will you promote what you are doing? Think about including a brief statement in the bid about how you will promote the funding received, what the communication plan is and how you will promote the investor’s brand. 
  10. Check, recheck and check again: Make sure your spelling, grammar and maths are consistent throughout the document. Specifically reference the investor by their correct and full name throughout the bid. Keep copies of the submission, especially if it is an online application. Do not leave your application until near the closing date, try to apply in good time. Remember – your organisation may be unsuccessful with your first applications, but there’s nothing to stop you trying again, and many organisations are successful with subsequent applications.


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UK Coaching Team