Working in the voluntary sector
Working in the voluntary sector

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

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?

Download this video clip.Video player: volb2_week5_anna_video3-640x360.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371