Writing a Winning Grant Application

Bidding for grants and funding can be a frustrating, tiresome and demoralising process. Hours can be wasted putting pen to paper, just for your hard work to be torn apart. Of course, this is all part of the democratic process required to justify the investment of public money. Truthfully, there is no quick-fix or magic formulae to winning grants. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure the funding you are bidding for is right for your organisation and that you put forward the most competitive proposal possible. RedKnight’s 5 step self-assessment is an internal process we undertake on behalf of every client before we begin writing any funding application. This includes:


Before even considering funding options, it is imperative that you have a clear understanding of exactly what it is you want to do. Clearly identify your aims and objectives and the tasks you need to undertake to achieve these.


Once you have a clear project idea, you can then review the funding opportunities available and determine whether your project fits within the funding call scope. There is no substitute for sitting down and reading, but most importantly understanding, what the funding call is looking to fund. Remember, square pegs do not fit round holes!


Do you have the in-house skills to achieve what you are setting out to do? And be honest with yourself. If not, you may have to consider working in collaboration.


Are you able to convince the evaluators that you can deliver the project? As with point 3, if not, you may want to consider teaming up with a more experienced partner who is used to running projects.


If you’ve answered ‘No’ to points 3 or 4, you will likely need the support of a project partner, but even if you do have the capacity and track-record, some funding programmes insist on collaboration. It is essential that you understand the eligibility criteria of the call you are applying to, and what types of organisations are eligible.

We encourage all organisations to consider the above points before they waste valuable time and money on a grant application that they aren’t quite ready for.

It is also important to remember that even excellent proposals aren’t always successful. RedKnight has supported many applications that have passed the threshold but haven’t received funding. The critical point is to learn from the feedback you receive and to persevere.