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How to Write a Successful Funding Bid

Posted by Melissa Quinney on Feb 19, 2024 12:55:45 PM

So... you've got a project which sets out to improve your educational institution. Now you just need that all-important funding! Writing a successful grant or funding bid can seem like a daunting task, especially when you're fighting against the clock with other tasks and responsibilities. We have put together our tips to help your school's application get accepted. Read on... 

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writing a successful grant bid

What to do before writing your funding bid



The successful grant bids are the ones which have been considered in great detail. You should do your research into both your project to gather evidence and statistics to support your case, as well as into the funding organisation which you're applying for a grant from. This will help you to better understand their goals and priorities when granting funds. Take the time to thoroughly assess your options and select the right grant to support your project. Make sure you understand the funding organisation's priorities and that your project is eligible before you begin. 


While there are things which would be lovely to have at your school, these lovely extras rarely get accepted for grant funding. Your project should aim to solve a current problem in your educational setting. Planning ahead can really help you to consider the issue you're trying to solve and how receiving the grant to fund your project will provide the solution. Do remember to be specific and think about your institution, rather than about vague or generalised issues within the education sector as a whole. 

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Tips for Writing a Funding Bid

One of the most essential things to remember is to highlight the positive impact that your project will have on your students, staff and the community. Your chosen funding organisation will want to know how their donation will make a difference to people's lives, so really take the time to think about how the lives of those involved will be improved. What skills will your students develop? How will your project improve access to new experiences? What new opportunities will it create for your school? 


Tell the Story

Don't assume that the funding organisation already knows about your school/nursery! You should provide them with all of the necessary information about your institution and it's context. It might help you to think about approaching it as 'telling the story' of your school and why their grant will help to solve the existing issue at your school. To support your story, you can include photos, statements of support, testimonials, graphs, case studies, etc. 


Define your project & budget

Be concise and specific when outlining your project. State your objectives and expected outcomes and describe how your project aligns with the funding organisation's overall mission. Remember to provide a clear and considered budget, as it will show funders that you have thought about all aspects of the project carefully. Be transparent about both income and expenditure with a breakdown of how the funding will be used.


Focus on the outcome

The successful funding bids focus on the outcomes, not on the resources their institutions need to achieve such outcomes. Essentially, you should write about the impact that your project will have and the difference it will make. If for example you are applying for funding for one of our log cabins, you might wish to detail how you can implement accessible forest school or outdoor learning experiences to improve access to opportunities for certain students, rather than just stating that your grant will provide funding for a new log cabin. 

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Talk about your successes

You want to establish credibility. You can do this by showcasing your school's previous successful projects or initiatives, no matter how small scale they are! Use case studies or testimonials to show the funding organisation the positive impact that your previous projects have had. This will hopefully prove that you can deliver on your promises, which ultimately is something they will be looking to confirm before awarding a grant. 


Show how you have involved your beneficiaries 

Demonstrate how you have involved the students and staff in the development of your project, such as consulting them in decisions throughout the process. Give your students a say and show this! We've heard from schools having class votes or brainstorming activities in the early stages of their projects. You want to improve your institution and solve an existing issue, so make your beneficiaries a part of the process. 


Links to the community

It's a good idea to highlight the ways in which your project involves groups other than your pupils, such as the parents or local community organisations. Additionally, grant funders tend to look more favourably on applications from schools that can demonstrate a coordinated approach to fundraising. So, get involved with your community and try some fundraising activities or initiatives to garner part of the project costs. Show what you're doing to make it possible!

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 Our experts are here to help. We also have finance options available for schools looking to pay for their new log cabin or outdoor classroom over time. 

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Topics: schools, outdoorlearning, forestschools, cabins for schools, Multi-Function Space For Schools, Log Cabin, Inclusive Spaces, library, Funding