Stuart’s Funding Blog, by Community Capacity Development Officer, Stuart Miller.
During these unprecedented times there seems to be funding coming from so many different sources. Scottish Government, UK Government, National Lottery Community Fund etc. But 1 question that I have been asked on many occasions is “What happens when that money is no longer there?” A very good question. To be honest at this point no-one really knows. The main funders are saying they will still be there, ready to help out as they have always done. So I thought what information or advice would be of use to our members once we get back to normal. Whatever that looks like. When I look over some draft applications, one of the sections that groups do not answer completely is identifying needs. Any project is always a great idea. But is it only you who thinks that or are there others who agree with you? This section is an important part of you telling your story, as the funders get to know more about your group and that you know this project is needed because you have the evidence to hand.
There are numerous ways in which to collect the evidence that this project is something that your community or beneficiaries need. A couple of methods are:-
What is happening at a local and national level. All local authorities and Scottish Government will have in place various strategies, and community plans. Is what you want to do highlighted in these as an area of priority. Is there a gap in a specific service, is there something that you believe you can do better. Or have you been approached by another organisation asking for your experience and expertise.
They give you the opportunity to ask the question “what do you want”? and to collate all that information that will be you put forward as part of your evidence. These can be carried out in so many different ways. Hold an event in a local hall which invites people into to give you their opinions, comments and thoughts, and perhaps some criticism. Have information ready to show what it is that you want to change, or help make better, use posters, leaflets, drawings, large floor maps, there are lots of examples out there. Social media is another great way to collect comments, views and opinions in one place. Set up a Facebook site, or tweet out questionnaires. Sometimes there is the old fashioned way of chapping peoples doors or setting up where you can interact with the maximum amount of people. And yes that might be the pub.
For much more information on how to consult with your community please check out these links.