Bid Writing FAQs – Everything you ever wanted to know about bid writing.
Updated 12th June 2017.
However, a word of warning: this area of full cost recovery can be the trickiest to calculate so always check with the funder what they will or will not allow before you submit the bid.
You will find some useful information about full cost recovery on the Big Lottery Fund website.
For larger pots of funding, you may wish to use a commercial database, such as, Funding Central.
The Directory of Social Change (DSC) offer specialised databases as well as hard copy funding directories.
Seek out your local voluntary sector umbrella organisation and become a member, if you are not already. You may find they have bought a database licence for their members to use.
However, a word of warning: do not contact the funder with some nebulous question. Do your homework first. Thoroughly research their website and make sure you understand where they are coming from before you ring them up to discuss your project.
Once you have (hopefully) got the funding, you need to continue to build and develop the relationship.
In all cases, you must be absolutely open and transparent with all the funders you are applying to.
Please be aware of double-funding: You are not allowed to be funded for the same project by two different funders at the same time.
What level of reserves should a charity like ours have and what amount of reserves would be considered too high to obtain grant funding? Our aim is to have 6 months’ running costs at any time so would anything above that be considered too much?
I’m afraid I can’t answer that question. That is for your trustees to answer. The amount of reserves that you hold is part of your charity’s strategic business planning and risk management. Bidding for grant funding should not skew the whole financial structures and governance of your organisation. A useful source of information and advice would be the Charity Commission.
Grant funders tend to give specific thresholds for reserves as part of their eligibility criteria. One funder may, for example, state that they will only fund organisations with less than £50K reserves whereas other funders will only fund organisations with, say, more than £100K of reserves. The thresholds can work in your favour or not, depending on your own charity’s situation.
If in doubt, contact the funder and ask for their advice, particularly if you are just under or just over a particular reserve threshold.
When you are considering a particular funder, always check the eligibility criteria to see if there are any restrictions on the amount they will fund.