If you are a grant bid writer in a charity or voluntary sector organisation, the chances are you already know about the big funders, such as The Big Lottery Fund, The Arts Council, Sport England, Comic Relief, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn and The Garfield Weston Foundation. They’re easy to find, they have lots of information on their websites and they give away large amounts of money! At some point in your career, you will end up applying to one or more of these big funders.
However, don’t dismiss the smaller funders.
If you can build up a good relationship with them and they like the work you do, you can find they want to invest in you in the long-term. A small, local trust fund offered maximum grants of £1,000. Meeting one of their trustees at a funding conference, I got chatting and discovered that they had given £30,000 of grant funding to a local youth charity the previous year! Plus they had given them quite large grants for the five years before that.
The reason is that the youth organisation had first of all made a clear match between their mission and outcomes and those of the funder and then they continued to build the relationship over the years.