Sandra Hogg from SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) spoke to Inverness Area Sports Council members about sources of funding and left them with her 10 top tips:
- Don't be led by funding criteria - your ideas and your project should always come first.
- Build relationships - go back to your core supporters. They have already committed themselves to your cause and are likely to continue if you nurture the relationship. This applies to individuals, corporations, trusts and agencies.
- Do your homework - time spent finding out about prospective funding sources is time you will not spend writing proposals that have no chance of funding.
- Funders want winners - show that your proposal has all the necessary support, is well thought out and is ready to implement.
- Make your application stand out - well defined objectives, a good needs statement, clear budget and effective monitoring and evaluation will put your application to the top of the pile.
- Keep in touch with funders - send regular progress reports. Seek their advice if you run into problems and can't do what you were funded to do.
- Evaluate your efforts - which approaches worked? Which were not successful and why?
- Be positive - don't be afraid to sing your own praises, but back it up with facts and figures.
- Be prepared for rejection - no matter how good you think your project is.
- Don't give up - you might be successful next time around or through a different programme.
SCVO can help you find grant aid funders for sport using three tools at their disposal:
- Funder Finder
- www.trustfunding.org.uk (subscription site)
- Scottish Directory of Grant Making Trusts