10 top tips to submit a grant application

10 top tips to submit a grant application

The Fine & Country Foundation grant programme has seen hundreds of applications flood in every March and October, all with different project types, writing styles and additional information. But, when there are hundreds of applications to consider, how can you make your grant application stand out?

We’re here to help you tweak your sentences, refine your proposals and make an impact to both our Trustees and other grant programmes. So, here are our 10 top tips to submit a grant application.


1. Housekeeping

Before you begin your Application Form, pay attention to what it asks you. Read the questions carefully and don’t rush your answers. Keep your form neat and tidy. If possible, always type your application, don’t handwrite it. 


2. Repetition: good, bad or both?

It is good to repeat important words or the gist of a point. However, if a form has word limits be careful not to waste your precious space by repeating too much. For example, our Application Form has two boxes: ‘Summary of Charity’ and ‘Please describe the project’. The Foundation Trustees look for a clear explanation of two separate points. There is no need to talk about your charity structure or values in the project description as this should have been covered in your charity summary section.

Top tip: If you don’t have enough to say to fill the word limits, don’t waffle. Short and sweet answers are great too.


3. Name your project

Most grant applications will ask you to add your project name. If you don’t have a project name, speak with your team to create one. Try and keep it short, easy to remember and relevant to the topic. 


4. Additional documents: what should I include?

High quality photos (1MB or higher), videos and case studies under 100 words are all useful. Try not to distract from your project’s key needs with too many additional documents. Videos should be less than two minutes long and you should not provide more than five photos. Only use one case study if it is relevant to demonstrate the impact of your project in both the short and the long-term. 

Top tip: The Fine & Country Foundation grant programme does not want your annual account reports and financial statements. If we need these, we will directly request them from you.


5. Do your research

On The Fine & Country Foundation website, we have written short summaries of each of the grants distributed since the grant programme launched in March 2018. Some of these summaries link to larger articles with more detail about the project and its impact. Look to see which projects are successful and if there are any trends. You can tailor your project around these patterns to help your chances of success. Find out our grant history here.


6. Which projects should I apply for?

There is no right or wrong answer for this question as every grant programme will differ. The Fine & Country Foundation prefers material goods, food and shelter provisions. The Trustees also like to see skills workshops and accredited courses as well as physical and mental wellbeing programmes. These projects demonstrate a lasting impact for both the service users and the charity structure, while addressing short-term needs such as emergency food/ shelter, and long-term needs such as gaining skills for employment and independent living. 

Items that the Trustees prefer to avoid are: salaries, office rent (compared to service user rent programmes), utility bills, bursaries, funding pots and contributions to large budgets. This is not an exhaustive list and the Trustees will continue to base their assessments on the priorities and needs of charities.


7. Proof reading

Everyone makes silly mistakes. Spelling errors, punctuation and grammar often catch a lot of us out. Once you have finished writing your Application Form and any relevant additional information, step away from it and don’t return until the next day. Re-read your work and make tweaks where necessary. Once you have finished, give it to a colleague to proof-read. A second pair of eyes is always useful as many of us cannot spot our own errors. 


8. Double-check before clicking “send”

Create a short and simple email to submit your grant request and remember to re-read their requirements. Make sure you have included all their forms and your additional information in one neat email. 

Top tip: Don’t forget your Terms & Conditions! With hundreds of applications to process, it is easier for The Fine & Country Foundation team to process your application quickly if all your information is in one email.


9. Calendar reminders 

Our grant programmes run throughout March and October each year. For both the spring and the autumn periods, you are given the entire month to submit your grant request. Don’t leave it until the last minute. There is a strict cut-off date, specific to the UK time zone (GMT). 

Stay up to date with all the latest forms and criteria here.

Top tip: Try and submit your grant request within the first two weeks of the month to allow enough time to process your information and request further details, if required.


10. If you are unsure, just ask

If you aren’t sure if your project is suitable or don’t know how to fill in a section of the Application Form, get in touch and ask for help. The Fine & Country Foundation Trustees are happy to answer your questions so you can submit your best applications.

Email us at grants@fineandcountry.com or call +44 (0)20 3368 8221.


31st Jul 2019

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