Funding and Income > Fundraising support, guidance and resources
Fundraising support, guidance and resources
Clinks provides information, training, guidance and resources to support criminal justice voluntary organisations to identify and raise the funds they need to transform lives and communities. Browse the topics below for overview information on key stages of the fundraising process.
Finding sources of funding
Finding suitable funding opportunities for your organisation can be a daunting task. Clinks is here to help.
There are over 12,400 trusts and foundations in the United Kingdom, therefore we recommend starting your search for charitable funding using an online database of funders. These will help you identify trusts and foundations that are currently accepting applications and match your needs.
The Directory of Social Change hosts the Funds Online platform, a comprehensive directory of funders. To access the Funds Online directory, you will need to buy a subscription. Clinks members can receive a 20% discount on the cost of their subscription. For more information about this and other Clinks membership benefits, click here.
My Funding Central is another database of grant funding and social investment sources. It is designed for organisations with an annual income below £1million and it is free for organisations with an annual income below £30k. Both of these databases are a good place to start.
Alongside conducting online searches, we recommend that you sign up to at least one online notification service that will email you information about new grant funds that match your criteria. Several online databases, including Funds Online and My Funding Central provide regular email updates as part of their subscription service.
Make sure you also sign up to receive Light Lunch, Clinks’ weekly ebulletin. Light Lunch contains news and opportunities for people working in the voluntary sector in criminal justice, including statutory and charitable funding opportunities.
Applying for statutory funding
This page focusses on providing support, guidance and resources to organisations applying to charitable grant funders. While much of this content also applies to statutory funding applications, for specific information on applying for statutory grants and bidding for statutory contracts, see our guide to statutory funding.
Applying for charitable funding - getting the basics right
Plan ahead – grant applications take time. Understanding what you need to include in your application, and putting together the best team to do this will set you up for success.
There is usually an application form to fill out. Make sure you tailor your application to the funder, and provide all the required information.
If there is no application form, you may be expected to submit an application letter or video. Check the funder’s guidelines on content and length.
You will also normally be expected to submit a budget, setting out how you intend to use the funding. Prepare your budget alongside the application, shaping your proposed plans and costings with reference to each other.
Ensure you understand exactly what further information or documents you need to provide, and prepare these in good time. You may need to provide an activity timeline with key milestones, a set of measurable outputs and/or outcomes, and detailed information about how you intend to deliver these, as well as a risk register.
Check the exact deadline (for example, midday, 16:00 or 23:59). With online forms and portals in particular, submit your application well in advance, so that you don’t run out of time if you encounter a technical issue.
For more guidance on the basics, the NCVO website provides excellent advice on the application process (including mistakes to avoid).
Strengthening your application
Beyond the essentials, there are many ways organisations can strengthen their funding applications:
Demonstrate your effectiveness by articulating your offer
Along with Candour Collaborations and Acevo, Clinks has produced a two-page guide, with a number of hints and tips to demonstrate your effectiveness. This concise infographic from the Clinks archive provides timeless advice.
Demonstrate a methodical approach to achieving your aims
This toolkit provides guidance to help voluntary organisations use a theory of change approach to help design, evaluate and communicate about their projects. Another resources from the Clinks archive, Developing a theory of change, will help your organisation to design effective projects that attract funders.
Showing your impact
Clinks is hosting a tool which aims to help voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system show their impact. Designed and built by Optimity Advisors, with support from the Monument Trust, the tool supports organisations to develop a business case report. The tool also has guidance and key considerations on how to show impact. Click here to get started.
Watch this space - more coming soon.
Additional support and resources
There is a huge amount of excellent advice and guidance available online, both from organisations supporting the wider voluntary sector, as well as those focused on more specialist services or specific communities:
Look for organisations in your local area that can support you to find fundraising opportunities. They are likely to be knowledgeable about local commissioning, contracts and tenders. Clinks also hosts regular, regional criminal justice forums, providing opportunities for local organisations to meet and learn about new developments in their regions, including funding opportunities. Visit Clinks events page for information about upcoming forums and other events. Clinks’ area development team also provides one-to-one support to organisations working in criminal justice.
You can find your closest Community Foundation here. They will usually have at least one local grant fund available, and may also distribute other small funds from national programmes within your area.
The funding and income pages in the help and guidance section of the NCVO website provide practical tips and step-by-step guides to support voluntary organisations to find and apply for funding.
The guidance and resources pages on the Chartered Institute of Fundraising website contain a wealth of useful information, including specific resources for small charities, guidance on approaching trusts and legal considerations when making a funding application.
The funding pages on the J4BCommunity website offer a straightforward guide for organisations preparing to apply for funding.
The Association of Charitable Foundations is a membership organisation for foundations and independent grant-makers in the UK. It publishes key facts, figures and giving trends for the top 300 UK independent charitable foundations.
The Directory of Social Change publishes a range of guides and resources to support organisations’ fundraising technique and strategy. You may also be able to access free copies of these publications at a library or through your local infrastructure organisation.
NAVCA (the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) publishes information about funds and funding strategy. It also has a search tool you can use to locate local infrastructure organisations in England.
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation website offers useful guidance on alternative sources of funding and signposts a range of funding directories and helpful websites.
The Resource Centre is a Brighton & Hove based infrastructure organisation that offers a wealth of general guidance on all aspects of fundraising, relevant to any small voluntary organisation.
- More coming soon