Completing a grant application

Read the Guidelines

Cumbria Community Foundation has over 60 grantmaking funds. Make sure your project meets the criteria – location, beneficiaries, amount requested etc.

Project Planning

1) What are we going to do? When? Where? What?

2) Why are we going to do it? Evidence of Need

3) Who will benefit? Target numbers and specific users e.g. 75 primary school children aged 8 to 12 will attend

4) How much time will it take?

5) How much will it cost and how much are you requesting?

6) What benefits will we see? The outcomes of the project need to relate directly back to the need you have identified

Avoid jargon

Do not assume that the reader of your application knows anything about you and your work. Don’t use abbreviations and acronyms.

Use positive language

‘We will…’ rather than ‘We hope to…’

Be specific

  • ‘We meet monthly’ not ‘We meet regularly’.
  • ‘20’ not ‘several.’
  • ‘An advice centre used by 200 people per week’ not ‘A very busy advice centre.’
  • ‘Ranked 2nd in the indices of deprivation’ not ‘A most deprived area.’

Provide evidence

Describe the problem clearly and produce evidence it exists:

  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Focus groups
  • Feedback forms
  • Photographs
  • Consultation with service users

Research and statistics you can find and use to support your case:

  • Cumbria Observatory –
  • Government Office of National Statistics –
  • University departments and specialist research centres
  • Reports
  • Expert Advice


Explain how you will know that you have made a difference (what records will you keep, how will you monitor progress and evaluate what you have achieved?)

Collect quantitative data (count the number of things/people, etc.) and qualitative data (people’s views, experience, and observable behaviour) at the start, middle and end of your project.


Don’t guess costs. Make sure the budget adds up, including any VAT. Provide quotes.

Other funders

This helps to establish your credibility and who else you have applied to. Include any fundraising as this shows you are making an effort to find the money.

Proof Read

Get someone who knows nothing about your group or project to read the application and see if it makes sense to them. Always work on the basis that those reading your application know nothing about you – it helps you to focus on answering the questions asked and not repeating or cutting and pasting general information.


Make sure the application is submitted by the deadline date; these are listed on the website.

Supporting documents

Often documents are missing or inaccurate. We need your constitution or other governance document, most recent accounts, last one months bank statement, any safeguarding policies and at least two quotes if purchasing items.