Essex 2020: Fundraising Guidance

This guide has been produced to help community and non-profit organisations to maximise success when applying for funding for Essex 2020 activity.

This guide will provide some useful tips and suggestions on where to look for funding and things to consider when making an application



Planning your project and getting ready for funding

Useful questions to consider:

  • Aim, mission, vision: What is your organisation set up to do? What are the aims of this project?
  • Need: What is the need for your work? How do you know it is needed? What evidence do you have?
  • Beneficiaries/ participants/ service users: who do you work with? What data do you have about them?
  • Problem: What is the problem or issue that you are trying to tackle? How big is the problem and where is it happening?
  • Solution: project and methods. How do you plan to tackle the problem? What are your objectives and what methods will you use to solve the problem? How do you know your solution will work?
  • Impact: What is the impact of your work or project? What outcomes will you achieve?
  • Reach: How will you reach the people you want to benefit from your project? What marketing will you do?
  • Partnerships: Who will you work with and why? What is their expertise? What will they bring to the project?
  • Your team: What are your achievements and previous work? Who is in your team and what experience do they have of similar projects?
  • Evaluation: How will you know if you have achieved what you set out to do? How will you know if you achieved your outcomes?
  • Budget: How much do you need? What have you already raised? What in-kind support do you have?
  • Evidence: What evidence do you already have about your work? Do you have quotes, case studies, evaluation data or photos from previous projects?

What information do you need?

All funding bodies will read thousands of applications and cannot support everything that they want to. They’ll be looking for clear project plans with tangible outputs and outcomes.

As a first step, gather together all the information you have about your organisation and project. Many funders will ask similar questions about what you plan to do, why you plan to do it, how you will manage the project and how you will evaluate the work.


How do you stand out?

Do think your work and your project is unique, hard to imitate or substitute? How can you highlight these areas to ensure that your application stands out?

You may find it useful to use a ‘story canvas’ to frame the main areas. The ‘What’s the big idea?’ document from Eden Project Communities provides some useful guidance on making your own Fundraising Story Canvas. Alternatively search for a ‘story canvas’ online and find one which has a layout that works for you.

You’ll also find tops tips for the style and tone of your application in the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO) ‘Writing a Fantastic Funding Bid’. This also includes some useful dos and don’ts such as:

  • Avoid jargon and acronyms – there is no special language for funding bids – just be clear
  • Be precise when you can be – don’t say ‘many people will benefit’ say ‘30 children under 5 will visit the weekly sessions’
  • Don’t use sweeping statements – again, be clear about what it is you will do and what the impact will be

How does your project align with Essex 2020?

Funders often want to know what local strategies, policies, agenda and activities your project aligns with. They want to ensure that you know what others are doing locally so that you work in partnership and do not duplicate provision.

Essex 2020 is a programme that you can highlight in your application. Essex 2020: A Year of Science and Creativity, is an Essex-wide, year-long programme for every part of the county. The events, exhibitions, projects and curated opportunities will be themed around Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Essex 2020 will celebrate Essex’s rich past in innovation to inspire the future.

You can emphasise how your work and project will support the Essex 2020 priorities:

  • Increasing participation amongst children, young people and learners of all ages in STEAM subjects.
  • Exploiting opportunities for growth in the local economy, local businesses and ideas and innovations.
  • Promoting community engagement and achieving participation across all groups in society.

A helpful glossary

Here are NCVO’s definitions for a range of terms:

Impact: broad or longer-term effects of a project or organisation’s work. This can include effects on people who are direct users of a project or organisation’s work, effects on those who are not direct users, or effects on a wider field such as government policy.

Outcomes: the changes, benefits, learning or other effects that happen as a result of a project or organisation’s work.

Outputs: products, services or facilities that result from an organisation’s or project’s activities.

Monitoring: the routine, systematic collection and recording of data about a project, mainly for the purpose of checking its progress against its plans.

Evaluation: using monitoring and other data you collect to make judgements about your project or organisation.

Useful reading

Who?Document (click link)
NCVO Writing a Fantastic Funding Bid
NVCO Knowhow Knowledge and e-learning for charities, social enterprises and community groups
Eden Project Communities What’s the big idea? (and how to explain it to a funder)
Small Charities Coalition Various resources including fundraising and evaluation
Institute of Fundraising Various resources
Inspiring Impact Free online resources, peer learning networks, and grant funding, to plan, understand, and improve impact

Where to go for support

Community and Voluntary Support organisations work in different ways in each local area. Some are paid membership organisations and others are free networks. They support organisations with a range of areas including information, advice and guidance, training and networking, governance, organisation development, resources and funding.

If you are not sure which is your local organisation the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action has a searchable list here.

Essex Community and Voluntary Sector Support Organisations      

Basildon, Billericay and Wickford Council for Voluntary Service (BBWCVS)
Brentwood CVS
Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services
Chelmsford Volunteering Centre
Commmunity360 (Colchester and Braintree)
Community Services Tendring (Clacton and Hadwich)
CVS Uttlesford
Maldon and District CVS
Rainbow Services Harlow
Rayleigh, Rochford and District Association of Voluntary Services and Volunteer Centre Rochford
Southend Association of Voluntary Services and Volunteer Centre Southend
Thurrock CVS and Volunteer Centre Thurrock
Voluntary Action Epping Forest and Volunteer Centre Epping Forest
Volunteer Centre Harlow
Volunteer Centre Maldon
Volunteer Centre Tendring
Volunteer Essex

National Community and Voluntary Sector Support Organisations      

Support Organisation Information
NCVO The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in England. It is a registered charity and NCVO works to support the voluntary and community sector and to create an environment in which an independent civil society can flourish. Membership is on a sliding scale with free membership for organisations with a turnover under £30k. There are lots of free resources and training for non-members is also available.  
Small Charities Coalition The Small Charities Coalition is a free membership organisation for charities with an income of under £1 million. There are 168,000 registered charities in the UK and countless micro charities that don’t qualify to register. 97% of these have less than £1 million annual income, sharing less than 20% of the money that goes to the charity sector. They provide mentoring, training, advice and guidance and help to fund trustees.  
Institute of Fundraising The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. They support fundraisers through leadership and representation; best practice and compliance; education and networking; and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice. Organisation and individual membership costs are on a sliding scale. There are lots of free resources and training for non-members also available.  
The Foundation for Social Improvement The FSI provides a range of free and affordable services for small charities. These include training, online learning, conferences, advice and fundraising resources. It is free for charities with a turnover of under £1 million.  
Directory of Social Change DSC provides training courses, publications, online funding databases, research, conferences, a bookshop and lots of free resources on their website such as top tips and best-practice articles.  

Where to go for funding – local

Each borough and district in Essex distribute funds to support the work of community and voluntary sector organisations. Some have annual deadlines and others distribute funds on a rolling basis. They have their own requirements, guidelines and application forms.

Click the name of your relevant local authority to find out more.

Chelmsford City Council Braintree District Council
Brentwood Borough Council Tendring District Council
Rochford District Council Basildon Borough Council
Epping Forest District Council Colchester Borough Council
Harlow Council Uttlesford District Council
Thurrock Council   Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Small grants          In-year grants

Where to go for funding – regional

Organisation Information
Essex Community Foundation Essex Community Foundation is an independent charitable trust improving the quality of life of people in Essex by investing and distributing funds on behalf of a wide range of donors.  
Essex Cultural Diversity Project Essex Cultural Diversity Project breaks down barriers and promotes cultural harmony in Essex and the wider region. Through arts, cultural and heritage projects they raise awareness of race equality and cultural diversity.  
EIRA EIRA offer a range of majority-funded grants to help develop new products and services, as well as opportunities to work collaboratively with partners on important topics and issues. Innovation vouchers can provide your small or medium-sized business with up to £6k to engage with EIRA expertise, with the opportunity to foster a long-term partnership. Research and Development grants can provide companies of all sizes with £20-50k of funded support for collaborative R&D activity for projects. Innovation Internship for SME businesses based in the East of England
Rural Community Council of Essex Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) is an independent charity working to help rural communities achieve a thriving and sustainable future.. They manage delivery of the Essex Rivers LEADER Programme, which provides support to businesses and other organisations who can help to create economic growth in their local area.
Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) The Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) is a member led Association of Essex Local Councils. EALC provides training and support for its members and administers the Community Initiative Fund from Essex County Council.
South East Creatives, SECEN and SECCADS South East Creatives is a creative business development programme offering workshops, financial support, mentoring and more. The South East Creative Economy Network (SECEN) works to accelerate growth in the digital, creative and cultural sector. It is a working partnership between local authorities, creative businesses and education bodies across the South East LEP area.
South East Creative, Cultural and Digital Support (SECCADS) is a programme of support for the creative, cultural and digital sectors across Thurrock, Essex, Kent, and East Sussex. It will work with SMEs in the Creative and Cultural and Digital sector (CC&D) to: -Encourage new business start-ups -Increase the sustainability of micro businesses – Promote business growth This is funded by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and with further investment from the local authorities.

Lottery funding

Lottery funding logos

Money raised by The National Lottery players is donated to good causes through the 12 distributors – four of which may be relevant to projects being planned for Essex 2020

  • Arts Council England
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • British Film Institute
Arts Council England Arts Council England supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. The Project Grants can be applied for under £15,000 with a 6-week response and for over £15,000 – £100,000 for a 12 week result.
National Lottery Heritage Fund The National Lottery Heritage Fund awards money to preserve and transform the heritage of the UK through innovative projects that will make a lasting impact on people and places, and bring heritage to life for generations to come. The newly launched National Lottery Grants for Heritage can be applied for at 3 levels (£3,000-£10,000, £10,000-£250,000 and £250,000 to £5,000,000) through an online portal. They are keen that people understand Heritage in its widest sense and that communities should be free to explain their own interpretations of Heritage. They stress that the mandatory outcome of ‘a wider range of people will be involved in heritage’ must be met in all projects.
National Lottery Community Fund Formerly the Big Lottery, it comprises: National Lottery Awards for All – £300 to £10,000 to support community activitiesNational Lottery Reaching Communities – over £10,000, supporting organisations with ideas that enable communities to thrive- up to £500,000 for 5 years.  National Lottery Partnerships – over £10,000 for organisations who share responsibility and influence with others, who have a shared set of goals and values, and achieve their mission by starting with the bigger picture rather than just what their organisation can do on its own- up to £500,000 for 5 years.
British Film Institute The British Film Institute (BFI) is the lead body for film in the UK tasked with creating a flourishing film environment; awarding National Lottery funding to film production, distribution, education, audience development and market intelligence and research. The BFI Film Fund uses National Lottery funds to develop and support original UK filmmakers and films, and to increase the audiences who can enjoy them.

National funding for projects

Funder Details
Children in Need Small Grants programme is open to charities and not-for-profit organisations applying for any amount up to and including £10,000 per year for up to 3 years. Main Grants programme is for larger grants – there is no upper limit but they state that they give few grants over a total of £120,000
Esmee Fairbairn The Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities in the UK both now and in the future.  It supports organisations that do charitable work in the arts, with children and young people the environment, food and social change.
Foyle Foundation Small Grants Scheme offers one-year grants of £1,000 – £10,000 to charities with an annual turnover of less than £150,000. Main Grant Scheme applicants can apply for between £10,000 and £500,000. The majority of grants will be in the range of £10,000 to £50,000.
Groundwork Manage a number of small environment grant schemes between £1,000 – £20,000 designed to create greener communities.
Henry Smith Priority is given to work with groups experiencing social and/or economic disadvantage and work that tackles problems in areas of high deprivation (those that fall within the bottom third of the National Indices of Deprivation). Improving Lives is for £20,000-£60,000 per year for 1-3 years. Grants for small and medium sized organisations in the UK to support projects and the running costs of organisations. Strengthening Communities is for £20,000-£60,000 per year for 1-3 years. Running costs grants for small community-based organisations working in the most deprived areas of the UK. Holiday Grants is for £500 -£2,000 for one off short projects. Grants towards recreational trips and holidays for groups of children aged 13 and under who are disabled or disadvantaged Christian Projects up to £10,000 per year for up to 3 years. Grants to support projects that explicitly promote the Christian faith, helping to grow faith communities and churches.
Ingenious Ingenious is an awards scheme for projects that engage the public with engineers and engineering while providing engineers with skills and opportunities in public engagement. They prioritise projects that reach diverse and underrepresented audiences including communities in the most deprived neighbourhoods and that engage with engineers and people of different genders, ages and ethnic backgrounds. Funding from £3,000 to £30,000 is available.
Lloyds Bank Foundation Enable grants provide funding of up to £15,000 across one or two years to support charities to develop or trial new approaches to service delivery. Invest grants programme reopens in November 2019.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation Paul Hamlyn Foundation works to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity. They offer a range of funding programmes under the headings: Nurturing ideas and peopleArts access and participationEducation & learning through the artsArts EvidenceInvesting in young peopleMigration and integrationEvidence and learningPlaying our part   Explore and test grants: up to £60,000 to support organisations to test, pilot and evaluate new approaches. More and Better: up to £400,000 for activities and programmes which have been successfully piloted or are already established and have a positive impact.  Ideas and Pioneers Fund: up to £10,000 to support people with unusual or radical ideas to improve the life chances and opportunities of people in the UK. Arts-based Learning Fund: support arts organisations working with schools, colleges and other education environments to improve the evidence base for their work. Teacher Development Fund: helps teachers to develop their skills to deliver arts in schools and to maximise the potential impact of the arts on young people. Each year, around five grants of up to £150,000 are made to partnerships of arts/cultural organisations and schools who work together for two academic years. Youth Fund: supports organisations whose main purpose is about helping young people (aged 14-25) in the most precarious positions, where making the transition to adult independence is most challenging. Shared Ground Fund: helps to explore new approaches to supporting young migrants in greatest need and/or communities experiencing high levels of migration. Tech for Good Fund: provides the opportunity for not-for-profit organisations who already have some technological capacity, to progress their digital innovation projects. Next round February 2020
The Dulverton Trust Supports UK charities and CIOs (charitable incorporated organisations) tackling a range of social issues, protecting the natural world, and preserving heritage crafts. Single year grants are typically between £25,000 and £35,000. Multi-year grants are usually for a period of 2-3 years and are only awarded to charities which have previously received a Dulverton grant.
Gatsby Foundation The Gatsby Foundation is one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts with a focus on Plant science: ‘to develop basic research in fundamental processes of plant growth and development and molecular plant pathology, and to encourage researchers in the field of plant science in the UK.’ Neuroscience: ‘to support world-class research in the area of neural circuits and behaviour, and theoretical neuroscience; and to support activities which enhance our understanding in these fields.’ Technical and STEM education: ‘to strengthen science and engineering skills in the UK by developing and enabling innovative programmes and informing national policy.’
Innovate UK Innovate UK is the operating name of the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency. If you have an idea for an innovative product or service, you can get help from Innovate UK to develop it and make it successful. Innovate UK can help you access expertise, specialist support and facilities. Innovate UK provides support through 2 innovation networks. These are the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). If you want to develop an innovative product, process or service, you may be able to get funding of between £25,000 and £10 million. Innovate UK runs grant funding competitions that can help you develop your idea and make it successful. They are open to innovation projects led by a UK-based business or research and technology organisation, with funding awarded to the winners. They also offer other forms of funding, including a pilot programme of innovation loans. Eligible small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to carry out late-stage innovation projects could borrow between £100,000 and £1 million.
Kirby Laing Foundation It is anticipated that most grants awarded will be in the region of £2,000 to £20,000. Education & Youth Development – STEM Education Engineering as part of STEM education in primary / secondary schools Promoting careers in engineering Performing Arts – Developing Talent Encouraging participation at grassroots level in order to identify talent Programmes supporting young professionals.
Nesta Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) is an innovation foundation. For them, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality. Their main areas of interest are currently Artificial intelligence, Collective intelligence, Data analytics, Financial inclusion and Future of work and skills. There are a range of innovation practical tools and resources online as well as specialist teams who can help you. Their funding programmes do change and are currently: ●      Cultural Impact Development Fund – A £3.7 million fund providing small-scale repayable finance to socially-driven arts, cultural and creative organisations ●      Tech to Connect Challenge – A UK-wide challenge which is looking to find ways that tech can tackle social isolation and loneliness. ●      Longitude Prize is a challenge with a £10 million prize fund, with an £8 million pay out to the winner, to help solve the global problem of antibiotic resistance.
Nuffield Foundation Grantsfor research, development, and analysis projects that seek to improve the design and operation of social policy across three broad domains of Education, Welfare and Justice. Research, development and analysis grant requests should usually be between £10,000 and £500,000. Most of the grants we award are between £50,000 and £300,000. A new strategic fund for ambitious, interdisciplinary research projects that will address challenges facing UK society and the public policy agenda open in October 2019.
The Rank Foundation Pebble Grants is a small funding stream for registered charities and recognised churches raising money for projects where the total cost is less than £1m. The average award is £1,000
The Yapp Charitable Trust Provides grants of up to £3,000 per year for running costs to registered charities with a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000
Wellcome Trust Wellcome Trust is one of the largest grant making trusts in the UK. Provides grants to scientists, researchers, innovators, educators and artists. They support individuals, teams, resources, seed ideas, places and major initiatives in these areas: biomedical science, population health, product development and applied research, humanities and social science, public engagement and creative industries and education.

Funding sources information and databases

Organisation Cost Information
Grants Online Free Essex County Council site includes Funding news, grant search and a grants director.
NCVO Funding Central Organisation income under £100,000 a year – FREE. Organisation income over £100,000 a year – £120 +VAT Individual – not part of an organisation – £60 + VAT A searchable database of grants, contracts and loan finance opportunities from local, national and international funding sources.  
FSI Free resources Free resources
FundsOnline (DSC) Costs vary from one week for one service to annual costs for 1,2,3 or 4 lists. Database with over 8,000 funders. There are 4 different lists including 1. Trusts and foundations giving to organisations
2. Trust and Foundations Giving to individuals 3. Company Giving 4. Government and Statutory sources   The databases can be searched for free at their offices in London. There are also resources available in a series of books which and be viewed in most libraries.
Charity Commission Free The Charity Commission has all charities list. Searches can be done in various ways including those which give grants to other organisations or individuals