Advice & Guidance

Applying for Grants

You may find that it is advantageous to demonstrate that you have done all you can to care for your building within the means available to you when you are applying for a repair grant. A well thought out maintenance plan and up to date logbook will go a considerable way to convincing funding agencies that you take the well-being of your building seriously.

Further guidance on how to plan your project and make a successful grant application can be found on the Church of England's Parish Resources website.

Top tips for making successful grant applications

Whilst the funding priorities and application processes may vary from organisation to organisation, the following general advice is applicable to most:

  • Make sure that you understand the priorities of the grant making body and can demonstrate the ways in which your project matches their priorities.
  • Organisations' priorities change over time, so don't be afraid to go back and investigate bodies you previously weren't eligible to apply to.
  • Assess your needs carefully and thoroughly so that you can explain to a potential funding agency exactly what help you need and why.
  • Keep records of your fundraising efforts so that you can show how much time your own volunteers can and will contribute to the project. Time can be as valuable as money.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most funding agencies will give you tips and advice to help you write a good application.
  • Don't underestimate the time and effort required to prepare a good application. Applying for grants is a slow and occasionally frustrating challenge that requires patience and determination.
  • Involve the community. Your application is more likely to be successful if you can demonstrate that you have support from other individuals, groups and agencies. They may also be able to share some good ideas that will benefit your project.
  • Make sure that you get the basic information correct on your application form so that the organisation you are applying to knows where your building is and who to contact if they need more details.
  • Be clear and succinct. Make sure that you have provided all the information that has been asked for, but be careful not to include lots of unnecessary detail. Too much paperwork can be off-putting.
  • Identify what makes your building important and be clear about the reasons why it deserves help. All historic places of worship are special in one way or another. Take a fresh look at your building then try capturing the essence of what it means to your community in a few sentences.
  • Presentation matters. You need to show people that you are confident, enthusiastic and professional. You also need to demonstrate that you understand the various issues involved, particularly the financial matters.
  • Don't give up if your first application is rejected. Find out why it was turned down and address any problems before you try again.

© SPAB 2010