Home > Community > Grants & Funding > Applying for Funding

Applying for Funding

funding updates by email

Tips when applying for Funding

Once you’ve found the best funding opportunities for your community group, activity or event, you’ll need to complete a formal application.  Typically this is an online process. 

Applying for funding can be a time consuming process.  Application forms can appear daunting, and the level of information you are required to provide may seem excessive.  It’s important to remember that time spent on preparing a high quality application will increase your chances of success.

Most funding opportunities are highly competitive.  Funders design their application process to gain as much information as possible to help them make their decision, and to ensure that their funding is targeted at the best projects.

Think of the application form as your opportunity to sell your project and to persuade the funder why they should back it.

You will usually be expected to carry out a consultation before you apply for funding for your community group/project.  

Golden Rules

There are some golden rules to follow when writing an application for funding.

  • Make a call
    Before making a start on your application, call the funder to make sure your project meets their criteria.
  • Take time
    Don’t rush your application.  Take time to complete the application carefully, making sure you answer all the questions.  A rushed application is likely to be a rejected application. 
  • Take advice
    Often funders will provide advice and resources to help you complete the application form.  Make sure you read any guidance notes before you start your application.  Ask friends or colleagues who may have been involved with similar projects.
  • Take care
    Quality counts when it comes to writing your bid.  Ask someone to proof read your application to check for any errors.  You could also ask a ‘critical friend’ to take an independent view of your bid – would they give you the money?
  • Think ‘outcomes’
    Most funders will want to know about ‘outcomes’ – what difference will your project make?  Don’t confuse this with ‘output’ or what you will actually deliver. 
  • Evidence ‘need’
    Funders will want to see evidence that there is a need for your project.  What statistics and other information can you use to support your case?  Is your project in a deprived area?  Can you identify a gap in local services for your community?
  • Be exact
    When providing your costs on any application form, be sure to research the items/services you are applying for, and write down the exact cost (to the penny). This shows you have a clear understanding of your project costs, and potential funders know exactly what they are supporting you with.
  • Why us?
    Funders are looking for the biggest possible impact and so will often look favourably on projects that can demonstrate that no other source of funding is available to them.  You need to show why your project is the one for them.
  • Partnership working
    Funders will look to see if your project supports or compliments other projects.  Demonstrating that you are working in partnership with others will be to your advantage.
  • Make milestones
    Funders will want to see the timescale for your project.  Include the key milestones for development in your application so they can see how you intend to deliver it.
  • Think ‘future’
    You will be expected to show that you’ve thought about how you will fund the project in the future.  They will not be interested in funding a project that folds as soon as the funding ends.  Draw up plans to make your project sustainable.


If you need any support on any funding application forms, be sure to contact the Communication Services Team.

Email: community@dover.gov.uk