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Standing alone

Shining the Spotlight on Yeomans Services - Trust Fundraising (Part 2)

By Claire Fuller | Fundraising | 03 June 2016

Equipped with the knowledge that fundraising doesn’t have to be a lonely, uphill battle as it may be possible to unlock funds from Trusts or Foundations, many organisations make their initial grant applications (guidance can be found in our previous blog), but this isn’t where the process ends.

The Institute of Fundraising provides clear guidance on what to do after making your application.  We’ve summarised their guidance in the following basic steps (full detail can be found on the IoF website) with the aim of equipping organisations to develop and maintain strong relationships with Grant making Trusts.

8 steps to take if your grant application is accepted:

  1. Write to the Trust to advise them that you have received their notification of the grant awarded – Always be sure to thank the Trust and Trustees for awarding you the grant and confirm to them what it will be used for
  2. Advise appropriate members of your team that the award has been made – Not only is it helpful for necessary members of the team to know current income, but keeping the team informed will reduce any risk of Trusts/Foundations being approached again
  3. Check and agree terms of the grant – Before formally accepting a grant, both parties should check and agree any conditions that are attached to it.  These could include stipulations around when/how the grant will be paid; whether the trust will have any direct input into the work as a result of making the grant and whether members of the public must be made aware of the Trust’s involvement
  4. Ensure that whoever will be administering the grant is fully aware of any conditions attached to it – It is vital to maintain excellent relationships with Grant-making Trusts throughout the time spent working together.  This will help to ensure the smooth administration of the grant as well as potentially unlocking future/continued support from this Trust
  5. Keep the awarding Trust aware of the progress of your project– According to the terms agreed at point 3 (above) keep the Trust informed of all progress, using the following guidelines:
    1. Keep interim reports brief and concise
    2. Provide a full report when the grant period has ended
    3. Invite members of the Trust to become involved in the project (and/or to come and see progress) if appropriate
    4. Build confidence with the Trust by being open to questions and discussions about the project
    5. Keep the Trust informed of any problems or delays with the work they are funding and ensure there is clear understanding about what will happen in the event of failure
  6. Inform the Trust before making any changes to the use of their grant – If (for any reason) you don’t intend to spend the grant in the way initially agreed, or the project doesn’t go ahead, it is vital to seek the Trust’s agreement in writing before altering the way that funds are allocated.  You may need to return the grant, so it’s important to ensure you’re aware of this process from the outset
  7. Follow all necessary accounting requirements – Both for your own organisational accounting procedure and according to the Trust’s grant conditions
  8. Be aware of the action to take if your grant applications are too successful – If your applications to various Trusts are all successful and more money is pledged in total than you can actually allocate to your project be aware that excess grants must be returned, unless the Trust(s) agrees in writing to a change of use of the money

3 steps to take if your grant application is rejected:

  1. Accept the decision – Unless your application contained mistakes of fact, or the Trust has a clear published method of appeal, it’s advisable to accept their decision
  2. Follow the guidance of the Trust regarding future applications for Grants – Some Trusts will indicate that no further applications will be considered (or not until a specified time has passed), it is advisable to accept and follow this guidance
  3. Don’t be disheartened – Review your application and consider any feedback you have received from the Trust/Foundation. Make any necessary amends to your application and then look for other relevant Trusts/Foundations to approach.

We hope this information is helpful as you consider whether Trust Fundraising is an appropriate fundraising method for your next project.  For further advice and help on Trust Fundraising please contact us, talk to Phil and don’t forget, as we started this series “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” (Helen Keller)

Image courtesy of istock

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