Learnings from the Green Communities Network

How to: win funding for your climate action projects

How can your community group unlock funding for your climate project? 

Securing support can be hard, particularly for smaller organisations. That’s why we’ve collected learnings from community groups across the UK that increased the success rate of their funding applications.

Read on below to see how you can do the same.

1. Find the right funder - and apply in partnership

  • Research funders that are a good fit your project using the Grant Finder website. Are they passionate about the type of work you want to do? Are their particular aspects of it – like engaging diverse groups, building skills for employment, or working with certain age groups – that will appeal to them? Have they supported similar projects in the past? 
  • Consider all types of funders, from charitable trusts to corporates. The BizGive app will help you find support from the private sector. Listen to BizGive founder Louise Downing discussing advice for approaching corporates for fundraising at Ashden’s Green Communities Network.  
  • Applying for funding with others can make your bid more appealing, and open up new opportunities. It might help overcome funder fears about the size, impact and governance of your organisation, or your lack of charitable status. 

2.Make sure you tick all the funder's boxes

  • Always check terms and conditions – be sure your group can meet the timescales and outcomes set by the funder.
  • A good monitoring, evaluation and learning plan will impress funders. Evaluation and learning cycles, as used by Climate Action Leeds, are a great approach.
  • Small pots of funding from parish councils, local councillors and small businesses can provide ‘concept stage’ funding, giving you the chance to develop and test your plans. 
  • Make sure your financial information is complete and up-to-date.

3.Create a clear, inspiring bid

  • Quickly explain the key points about your proposal – including what you plan to do and why, who will benefit, and how much it will cost.
  • Share the inspiring story of your organisation and the people that it supports. Bring your impact to life with images, video, case studies and quotes.
  • Write in plain English and avoid jargon.

4.Three tools to get the job done

1. Use the Grant Finder website to discover the funding opportunities that are right for your organisation

2. Use this handy step-by-step guide to monitoring, learning and evaluation

3. Get more fundraising inspiration and support by joining Ashden’s green communities network.

More resources for community groups:

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