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Writing a funding bid Alan Lawrie Mellor & Lawrie Management.

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1 Writing a funding bid Alan Lawrie Mellor & Lawrie Management

2 Writing a funding bid Aims To develop skills, knowledge and expertise in bid writing skills. To highlight new trends and developments and their implications.

3 Writing a funding bid Aims To develop skills, knowledge and expertise in bid writing skills. To highlight new trends and developments and their implications. Programme Context Key issues Your project Putting the bid together Bid writing What works

4 Key issues

5 Need to be strategic

6 Key issues Need to be strategic A lot of fund raising effort is wasted

7 Key issues Need to be strategic A lot of fund raising effort is wasted Its getting tougher!

8 Key issues Need to be strategic A lot of fund raising effort is wasted Its getting tougher! Relationship building rather than grabbing funding.

9 Key issues Need to be strategic A lot of fund raising effort is wasted Its getting tougher! Relationship building rather than grabbing funding. “Funders” are changing how they operate.

10 Trends in funding…

11 Funders operating to clearer and transparent criteria.

12 Trends in funding… Funders operating to clearer and transparent criteria. Concerns about the boundary between statutory and charitable.

13 Trends in funding… Funders operating to clearer and transparent criteria. Concerns about the boundary between statutory and charitable. More project funding… concerns about sustainability.

14 Trends in funding… Funders operating to clearer and transparent criteria. Concerns about the boundary between statutory and charitable. More project funding… concerns about sustainability. Interest in outcomes and evidence.

15 Trends in funding… Funders operating to clearer and transparent criteria. Concerns about the boundary between statutory and charitable. More project funding… concerns about sustainability. Interest in outcomes and evidence. Shift from being a donor to being an investor.

16 Two types of bids Needs ledFunder led

17 Two types of bids Needs led Organisation spots need or gap. Organisation develops the idea for the project. Organisation aims to persuade the funder to recognise the need and back the idea. Funder led

18 Two types of bids Needs led Organisation spots need or gap. Organisation develops the idea for the project. Organisation aims to persuade the funder to recognise the need and back the idea. Funder led Funder has identified need Funder looks for an organisation that can meet the need. Funder has a clear idea of what they want or need.

19 Learning the Language Added value Additionality Approved list Business case Business plan Best value Commissioning Evaluation Inputs Indicators Milestones Monitoring Outputs Outcomes Procurement Project exit strategies Performance measures Quality assurance Service level agreement Specification Strategy Targets Tender Value for money

20 Planning your project

21 Aim

22 Planning your project Aim Intended outcomes

23 Planning your project Aim Intended outcomes Activities

24 The bid as a project. Think of the bid as a project. See it as a new and fresh piece of work. Create a project team. Clarify roles and responsibilities. Identify key tasks and decisions. Plan and manage time. Not a one person show!

25 Developing a bid 4 stages: StageKey tasks/decisions Analysing the bid Deciding to bid Should we bid? Criteria for bidding? Does it fit with us? Work involved? Research and bid development Why do they want it? Past record? Our USP? Outcomes? Drafting and costing the bid Putting the bid together. Evidence? What’s the full cost? Styling the bid. Final checks and submission Edit and final check. Bid approval. Submit within bid rules.

26 Developing a bid 4 stages: StageKey tasks/decisions Analysing the bid Deciding to bid Should we bid? Criteria for bidding? Does it fit with us? Work involved? Research and bid development Why do they want it? Past record? Our USP? Outcomes? Drafting and costing the bid Putting the bid together. Evidence? What’s the full cost? Styling the bid. Final checks and submission Edit and final check. Bid approval. Submit within bid rules.

27 Developing a bid 4 stages: StageKey tasks/decisions Analysing the bid Deciding to bid Should we bid? Criteria for bidding? Does it fit with us? Work involved? Research and bid development Why do they want it? Past record? Our USP? Outcomes? Drafting and costing the bid Putting the bid together. Evidence? What’s the full cost? Styling the bid. Final checks and submission Edit and final check. Bid approval. Submit within bid rules.

28 Developing a bid 4 stages: StageKey tasks/decisions Analysing the bid Deciding to bid Should we bid? Criteria for bidding? Does it fit with us? Work involved? Research and bid development Why do they want it? Past record? Our USP? Outcomes? Drafting and costing the bid Putting the bid together. Evidence? What’s the full cost? Styling the bid. Final checks and submission Edit and final check. Bid approval. Submit within bid rules.

29 Developing a bid 4 stages: StageKey tasks/decisions Analysing the bid Deciding to bid Should we bid? Criteria for bidding? Does it fit with us? Work involved? Research and bid development Why do they want it? Past record? Our USP? Outcomes? Drafting and costing the bid Putting the bid together. Evidence? What’s the full cost? Styling the bid. Final checks and submission Edit and final check. Bid approval. Submit within bid rules.

30 Skills needed to write bids Ability to sell an idea or concept. Ability to use their language. Ability to think objectively about your project. Ability to be solution or outcomes orientated. Ability to accurately cost and price bids. Ability to highlight your success Attention to detail and deadlines.

31 Common mistakes in bid writing

32 Not fully reading the material

33 Common mistakes in bid writing Not fully reading the material Bidding for what you want to do rather than what is being commissioned.

34 Common mistakes in bid writing Not fully reading the material Bidding for what you want to do rather than what is being commissioned. Assuming prior knowledge

35 Common mistakes in bid writing Not fully reading the material Bidding for what you want to do rather than what is being commissioned. Assuming prior knowledge Using a different set of language or jargon

36 Common mistakes in bid writing Not fully reading the material Bidding for what you want to do rather than what is being commissioned. Assuming prior knowledge Using a different set of language or jargon Not following the prescribed format

37 How to irritate a funder Don’t read their guidance – apply anyway. Try to make them feel guilty. Overload them with information – they can sort it out. Ignore their format Over use informal approaches Don’t follow up

38 Watch out for JUSWAG

39 Just Us Saying We Are Great

40 Making your pitch We run a debt counselling service We facilitate peer and emotional support to vulnerable people We intervene to tackle homelessness

41 Making your pitch We run a debt counselling service We facilitate peer and emotional support to vulnerable people We intervene to tackle homelessness We help people to get out of debt and to develop skills to avoid future debt We help people not to be lonely We help people to get and keep their own homes.

42 Bid style Use an active style and language Keep to the prescribed format Don’t oversell Identify key points Stress: – Fit with your aims – Shared vision and values – Partnership working – Competence and sound management – Fit with other projects – Added value Be able to back up any statements or claims.

43 Profile and background Aims – why we want to do it Introduction Context … the need Expected outcomes Understanding of the brief Deliverables Outputs to outcomes Methodology Skills, expertise and resources What we bring to it Capacity Cost base Assumptions Cost Relate it to criteria Evidence/extra information Supporting information Typical bid structure:

44 Bid writing

45 1.Follow any prescribed format  Answer each and every question  Check all points are covered

46 Bid writing 1.Follow any prescribed format  Answer each and every question  Check all points are covered 2.Use a positive style and active tone.  Make it feel lively and confident  Focus on success

47 Bid writing 1.Follow any prescribed format  Answer each and every question  Check all points are covered 2.Use a positive style and active tone.  Make it feel lively and confident  Focus on success 3.Show that you want to do this service  How does it fit with your vision and role?  Show how it fits in with your other activities

48 Bid writing 4.Don’t oversell.  Highlight key points  What’s the key message of your bid?

49 Bid writing 4.Don’t oversell.  Highlight key points  What’s the key message of your bid? 5.Don’t use jargon…unless they do…  Decode the jargon  Use plain English

50 Bid writing 4.Don’t oversell.  Highlight key points  What’s the key message of your bid? 5.Don’t use jargon…unless they do…  Decode the jargon  Use plain English 6.Show that you understand the issues  Acknowledge what is driving the bid  Start at the need

51 Bid writing 7.Avoid cut and paste bids.  Don’t use a standard bid  Start with a fresh approach

52 Bid writing 7.Avoid cut and paste bids.  Don’t use a standard bid  Start with a fresh approach 8.Be able to back up and evidence any statement  Collect evidence  Avoid generalisations

53 Bid writing 7.Avoid cut and paste bids.  Don’t use a standard bid  Start with a fresh approach 8.Be able to back up and evidence any statement  Collect evidence  Avoid generalisations 9.Do not assume prior knowledge  Bid as if you are new to them  Set out your stall

54 Bid writing 10.Keep it focused – about them not you.  Focus on the need  Relate it to the user

55 Bid writing 10.Keep it focused – about them not you.  Focus on the need  Relate it to the user 11.Check that all specific requirements are fully covered  Double check  Make sure that you comply with specific requirements

56 Bid writing 10.Keep it focused – about them not you.  Focus on the need  Relate it to the user 11.Check that all specific requirements are fully covered  Double check  Make sure that you comply with specific requirements 12.Highlight benefits and gains  Focus on results not just process  Link it into key targets or requirements

57 Bid writing 13.Stress added value  What do you contribute to it?  Focus on your knowledge, expertise and access to resources

58 Bid writing 13.Stress added value  What do you contribute to it?  Focus on your knowledge, expertise and access to resources 14.Try to understand their marking system ensure that key issues are covered  What is essential?  What is desirable?

59 Bid writing 13.Stress added value  What do you contribute to it?  Focus on your knowledge, expertise and access to resources 14.Try to understand their marking system ensure that key issues are covered  What is essential?  What is desirable? 15.Check any contractual issues  Are there any implicit or implied terms  Are expectations clear?

60 Bid writing 16.Show that you have the organisational capacity to deliver the project  Evidence of sound management  Evidence of similar projects

61 Bid writing 16.Show that you have the organisational capacity to deliver the project  Evidence of sound management  Evidence of similar projects 17.Highlight the organisation’s experience  Show your track record  Competence in this area

62 Bid writing 16.Show that you have the organisational capacity to deliver the project  Evidence of sound management  Evidence of similar projects 17.Highlight the organisation’s experience  Show your track record  Competence in this area · 18. Be able to explain cost structure · Logical basis · Use a business plan

63 Bid writing 19.Proof read it -Ask someone else to read it and check for clarity of message.  Does it read well?  Spot any errors or unproved statements.

64 Bid writing 19.Proof read it -Ask someone else to read it and check for clarity of message.  Does it read well?  Spot any errors or unproved statements.  20. Ask for feedback  What worked or did not work  Learn for next time

65 What works! Ask for help and advice before bidding. Analyse the funders guidance and criteria. See the bid as a project –manage it! Be able to show how it has been costed. Identify your key points. Be able to evidence and back up claims. Use plain English. Keep it positive, active and solution focused. Double check it. Get someone else to read it – critical friend. Always ask for feedback

66 ALAN LAWRIE Mellor & Lawrie Management


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