Top Tips on Writing Grant Applications

Top Tips

  • Eligibility - select the right funders for your project- find out about previous giving and read all the guidance on their website. If it's a grant-making trust or foundation, also look at their information on the Charity Commission website, as this provides a quick overview of activity. Prove you meet their criteria and closely follow their guidance.
  • Prove the need for the project - evidence why this project is needed, why it's needed now and who are the specific beneficaries.
  • Focus on the difference the project will make, how it will add value to the life of the church, communities and/or heritage, as appropriate. Your fundraising campaign should convey a journey from the problem to address, to the solution and its impact. Aims and outcomes- The Big Lottery have useful guidance on writing aims and outcomes for a project. Aims and outcomes; Worked examples, including capital build
  • Funders are risk adverse- prove you're a capable pair of hands by explaining the project team skills, detail any track record of successful projects, and present the project professionally, for example, an accurate budget sheet.
  • Explain why you need their financial support. Also explain who's already supporting the project
  • Be ethical and legal. The Code of Fundraising Practice on the Funding Regulator website outlines the standards expected of all charitable fundraising in the country. The government's publication, 'Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties'. may be of benefit. Also, the Institute of Fundraising has a wealth of guidance, including trustee responsibilities.

Financial questions on application forms

  • Financial Statement. This is required to accompany a grant application. A funder will consider your need for financial support as well as checking if you have good financial management. If your Statement is not clear, you may like to consider arranging for it to be redrafted to make it easier to understand and/or including a covering note. For further advice, speak to the Finance team at Church House, tel: 01928 718 834.
  • Managing Reserves- this Church of England advice may also be helpful. Also, you may like to speak with the Finance team at Church House for advice.
  • VAT and procurement.  See advice on the Building Projects section of this Fundraising Guide- on the above link, scroll down to the relevent subheadings.

Legal questions on application forms

  • Charity status. As a Church of England Parish Church Council (PCC), you have charity status. For further details, see this link (first question)
  • Constitution. PCC's are charities governed by two pieces of legislation that act as a Constitution, therefore you can answer 'yes' to the question that you have a constitution. See link for more details.
  • Equal opportunities policy. It is the responsibility of the PCC to write their own policy if this is one of the conditions of a grant. A template is available as part of HR guidance on the Diocese of Chester website. See ‘Download Just Employment Part 2’, p71
  • Risk management. You may find this guidance helpful.