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Shining the spotlight on Yeomans Services – Trust Fundraising (Part 1)

By Claire Fuller | Fundraising | 01 June 2016

Turning the page of our Yeomans desk calendar to June, after initially being amazed that we’re already into the 6th month of 2016, we then took a look at Helen Keller’s inspiring quote:

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

Fundraising can seem like an uphill struggle, especially when we hear of circumstances in which the vital work of fine charities can be “overshadowed by the careless actions of a few” (as William Shawcross, Charity Commission chair, wrote in an opinion piece for The Times newspaper in May).  To restore trust and confidence in potential supporters whilst coming up with innovative, exciting and effective ways to fundraise is a difficult task, but not one that must be faced alone.

As the DSCs 2015 Trusts Insight Report highlights, there's a massive £4.4 billion available annually from trusts and foundations so when the fundraising climate becomes challenging, many charities turn to Trust Fundraising as the “backbone of fundraising”.

As the Institute of Fundraising says, “Trust Fundraising refers to the process of asking for support from trusts and foundations that are empowered to make grants for charitable purposes.”  

This form of fundraising provides an extensive source of funding, but competition is fierce, so, no matter how good your cause is, it’s vital to submit a strong application and make yourself stand out from the crowd (for the right reasons).

To make a good Trust Fundraising application, it’s important to be properly prepared.

Completing an application

Consider these 8 tips for preparing and making your application: 

  1. Identify the nature of your need – Knowing exactly what you are fundraising for will undoubtedly help you to complete your application but will also enable you to determine which prospective funders you could approach
  2. Do your background research - Find out which (if any) Trusts you have previously received funding from and any stipulations they made when providing these funds (ie must a certain length of time pass before you can submit additional applications). Research to find out which Trusts and Foundations have aims and policies that agree with the need you are looking to fundraise for.  If it looks like a Trust doesn’t fund projects that you’re working on, it’s advisable not to approach them
  3. Do specific research when you have identified which Trusts/Foundations you will approach – Trusts change their guidelines regularly, so even if you are approaching a trust that have previously provided you with funding you should still obtain their guidelines, application criteria and find out about the size of grants they are currently awarding
  4. Make contact with the Trustees (if appropriate) – Trusts vary widely in their application processes and requirements, so unless stated otherwise, it’s usually acceptable to make contact with any known trustees to find out how best to apply
  5. Read and take note of the Trust’s guidance on making applications– Always ensure that you approach Trusts in their preferred ways and that you follow and adhere to any rules they have set.  These could include:
    1. Presenting your application in a specified format
    2. Providing specific information required
    3. Ensuring that your application falls with the Trust’s remit
    4. Only applying for an appropriate amount
    5. Ensuring that you submit your application within a specified time frame
    6. Ensuring that only 1 application is made to the Trust at any one time
    7. Providing necessary contact details
    8. Providing detail about how any funds awarded will be spent and how you will monitor and evaluate the project
  6. Be specific with your application – Whilst it’s important to ensure that your application matches the interests and objectives of the Trust, it’s also important that it fits your own organisational strategies and objectives
  7. Don’t be misleading – Never lead a Trust to believe their grants will be used for a certain project (or only for a specific project) if this isn’t the case.  It’s important that the Trust knows how the grant will be used
  8. Make your applications clear, accurate and honest – This extends to situations of approaching more than one Trust for support as it’s good practice to inform Trusts/Foundations when others have been approached, particularly if funding targets might be exceeded if both/all applications are successful

Applying for grant funding from Trusts and Foundations can be time-consuming but rewarding and at Yeomans we can help you with the whole process.  From initial “Discovery Workshops” identifying your specific case for support and the nature of your need, right through to writing and submitting applications.  Please contact us and Talk to Phil to find out how we can help you unlock the potential of Trust Funding for your cause.

Institute of Fundraising
Civil Society
Subscriber.co.uk blog
Know How Non Profit
Images courtesy of Istock

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