UK online centres
Grants: The Preparation
Blog posted by: Holly Bagnall-Bell, 10 Sep 2019.
As a Grants Manager I have spent numerous hours working on funding applications to enable centres in our Online Centres Network to apply for our grant funded programmes. Today I want to share the process we go through at Good Things Foundation from set-up to selection of centres for our grant funded projects.
Preparations for the funding round begins when we have our contract confirmed by the funder. I work with our Digital Social Inclusion team to collate the details needed for the application. I work to get a full Grant Description and Guidance written up including all the information centres will need to apply for the opportunity as well as preparing the Application questions. After this is completed I work with the Digital Team to build the application on the Online Centres website.
For our larger funding rounds, we aim to put on a webinar which covers the details of the funding round, making sure that everyone has an opportunity to ask questions prior to applying.
While we can’t give guidance on what should be written in applications, we do offer phone and email support for any centres relating to clarification of questions, specifics about eligibility and any other general queries. It’s important to us centres feel confident in their applications so hope to remove any barriers that we can.
As we get closer to the deadline my team keep an eye on the number of applications and will send emails out to remind anyone who has started but not submitted their application online. As a fun little game at the end of the open round we will run a quick poll in the Network Team as to how many applications have come in - we usually get quite close!
When it comes to the time to assess the applications, I gather a team of assessors from across Good Things Foundation, including the Network Specialist for that project. We get together to standardise on our criteria, ensure that all the scoring will be fair and consistent, and that our criteria is closely following the guidance provided to centres. There’s no trick questions here!
It usually takes around 2-3 weeks to assess all applications, depending on the size of the round.
After we have finalised the scores for each application, myself and the Head of Network begin assigning contracts to centres. Where possible we give the contract sizes asked for but this is not always possible due to budget restrictions. Decisions to fund are based on the amount of funding available overall, and the quality of the responses provided in the application form.
After we have assigned contracts we always offer feedback on unsuccessful applications. We want you to succeed and can only do this if you have detailed feedback.
I hope that this has been an interesting read… I’m always happy to chat about any of our funded programmes or this process if you have any questions.
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