Tools and tips for attracting funding

Fundraising from trusts and foundations – ten top tips

  1. Research is key to successful fundraising

Target the right funders and know your stuff before you pick up the phone or write an email. Check out the Directory of Social Change’s ‘Guide to Grant Making Trusts’ and the GrantNet website

  1. Profile

the higher your profile among funders and peers, the more likely your chances of success. Build relationships with funders via networking events, social media, by inviting them to concerts, etc.

  1. Be realistic

​Only 1 in 20 applications are successful. How much time are you able to invest?

  1. Eligibility

​Up to 60% of applications are rejected because the ‘fit’ isn’t right or they don’t meet eligibility criteria. Make sure yours does

  1. Never send a generic application to a funder

​Tailor each application so it relates as much as possible to the funder’s individual aims and objectives

  1. Ask yourself: ‘so what?’

Have you communicated why your work is important? Make your case as strongly as possible; make it impossible for them to turn you down

  1. Edit the application

Look at it from the funder’s point of view. Ask a friend to read it and tell you what they think. Generally, go through three or four drafts before you finish the application

  1. Budget carefully

Make sure the numbers add up. You’d be surprised how many applications are rejected because of simple maths errors

  1. Target wisely

Not all types of fundraising are right for every type of situation or organisation so choose carefully which types you prioritise and spend your fundraising time wisely

  1. Be prepared for success!

Planning and preparation should be in place so that, if you get the go ahead, you are ready to jump into action.

Project planning template

Using a planning template is a way to order and rationalise every element of your initial idea so you can communicate your project with clarity.

This template will guide you through the important ‘stepping stone’ between inspiration and delivery: planning. The information you enter is unlikely to slide perfectly into a funding application, but it’s a great place to start from.

Get the project planning template


Making Music searchable Funding databases


This information sheet comes from a training event hosted by Making Music in February 2013 in Bristol, in partnership with the BBC Performing Arts Fund.

We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.