Evolve Network | Funding Strategies

Want more funding? And other ideas to support your not for profit into the future

So you’d like more funding for your Not for Profit (community) organisation. You’d love to feel your service will be able to exist and deliver valuable services into the future, give your staff (and yourself) reason to strive for long service leave and your stakeholders (be they board members, clients or broader community) the confidence to invest for the long term.

Here are some killer funding strategies related to the planning process which will save you time and give you more solid results as you articulate your application.


Take some time to put together a funding kit and store it somewhere very accessible.  If you’re moving into a funding frenzy get some help to produce several hard copies of the kit.  Include in your kit as a bare minimum:

  • Business card and brochure
  • Client images and testimonials
  • Partner images and testimonials
  • Something snazzy to present it in – a folder for hard copy and consider a Blog or another online storage device to share your e-copy (or at least a nice image to put into an email message so you’re not sending plain text)
  • Base statistics that relate to your organisation, geography and client group (and keep them updated)
  • If you have the capacity results of a recent customer / client satisfaction survey and update this at least every 6 months (or as your policy dictates – you have one, right? PS don’t worry most orgs. don’t unless it’s regulated)
  • Current pics. of your staff and board of directors
  • An easy to access what, when, where, who and how about your organisation

Know what’s out there – ah yes, I know that you often write funding applications on the go but it doesn’t always have to be like that.  A lot have lead time that with a little bit of planning you can keep up to date with – try using a scheduling tool or electronic diary to set reminders (I know you have a lot to do in your every day)

Know what you need and if relevant have quotations pre-prepared to include in applications – there’s nothing quite as sexy as a funding application that asks for what is actually needed, as opposed to a whole lot of icing on the cake. (OK, so that’s an opinion, however it’s a strategy that’s worked for me)

Further to the former point, go through your procurement process BEFORE you apply for funding so you can deal with the suppliers that align with your organisation (rather than having to spend wads of cash all at once and missing out on bulk saving or good deal opportunities – or worse, having to spend the money with the supplier with the quickest draw, rather than one that matters to you)

Start talking your organisation up – talk to everyone from clients to partners to your local member and beyond.  Make sure people KNOW you’re applying for this, you’ll be surprised who will jump in to help you (and how)

Lock out time in your diary for writing (or engage someone else to do it if you can) – as a bare minimum you’ll need to lock out time to check the application.  Don’t think you can do it at midnight (I know you can but the result at 10am is OH so different)

Know your concept – invest in time working through your concept – understand what you need and why, know how it links to client outcomes and the broader community.  Get creative and source new ideas to address the things you need (i.e. if you need money for administration – don’t we all) can you apply for a trainee?  Can you consider calling your admin role an ‘information project’?  Can your admin. funding link to other job and training outcomes?  Could you cost share administration with other orgs?  Similarly, if you need money for kids play equipment look at the massive variety of angles to explore – community building, health and fitness, connectedness, learning (refer back to the point of what is current)


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