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Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

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3 Asking other organisations for money

At some point, most voluntary organisations attempt to raise money from writing a grant application to funding bodies, trusts and foundations. In common with much fundraising, such applications might be done by staff, trustees or volunteers, depending on the size of the organisation and the nature of the application.

Grants usually involve large amounts of money and are for a specific project or activity. Writing an application is time consuming: there are no guarantees of success and, as you saw in Activity 2, grants are increasingly sought-after. Often, staff, volunteers and trustees in smaller organisations embark on writing an application for the first time and with no outside help. Activity 4 introduces some of the issues that might arise during this process.

Activity 4 Dealing with the process

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes

Listen to Anna Page (whom you met in Activity 1) talking about the challenges of compiling a grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. What positive and negative aspects of writing a grant application does she mention?

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In terms of positive aspects, Anna says that the process challenged them to think in different ways. They were able to involve more volunteers and they learned a lot, particularly in terms of thinking about what the funding body wanted, which made them more methodical in addressing all the questions.

Negative aspects included the paperwork being off-putting, relentless and tiring. The team undoubtedly felt downhearted when they were rejected the first time, but they turned it into a positive experience by learning from it.