It is great to take advantage of funding opportunities, especially in scenarios where a business can’t fund their own project. There are lots of opportunities on the market right now to get funding for your business. For example, Green Deal First are offering ongoing funding opportunities for suppliers needing to fulfill their energy company obligation.
Below are a few ways you can guarantee making the most out of funding opportunities in your local area.
Be specific and concise
When you’re applying for funding, make sure you are specific about the question you are answering and you have actually answered it! When a funder is reading your application, they should feel confident that they know exactly how their money will be spent.
Rather than giving long winded explanations of exactly how each pound will be used, consider using bullet points and brief facts to get your point across. A good starting point would be to write a draft that includes every detail you can think of, then work on cutting it down from there, keeping the bare essentials.
Research and contact
Do some research into the company you’re applying for funding from. Firstly, you need to know whether or not that particular funding body will be interested in the activities of your business. If they have a website, be sure to read through it. Do some reading elsewhere online or in local publications to see what kind of projects they have funded previously.
Never be afraid to contact a funding body you’re interested in working with. Finding out whether or not they would be interested in your project first hand, means that you don’t waste your time on the application. A phone call is also a great opportunity to find out any basic criteria the team looks for, like a minimum number of directors. Most funders are able to sniff out blanket emails, no matter how professional they seem, and they don’t like them, so avoid these at all costs.
Funding proposals are often rejected on the first attempt. Do not interpret a rejection as someone saying your idea isn’t good enough! In fact, they are a chance to revise your proposal and submit to that body again, or go to a different funder. If you are left with no feedback or don’t hear back from the body, get in touch with them. Take any criticism seriously, address them then move forward.
Being polite and persistent can pay off endlessly. Investors don’t always have time to follow up on every project they come across, so popping up again after a few days of silence can work in your favour. However, there is a fine line between persistence and being pushy. Take care not to cross it. If after reaching out several times you still haven’t received a response, it’s time to move on.
Although the above tips should be considered when applying for funding, it is important to avoid the temptation to mould your project to fit the funding requirements. Apply for grants that suit your project, rather than forcing your project to fit and you will be able to take full advantage of funding opportunities in your area.