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Grants and External Funding

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Open 4 Business Portal

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Carlisle City Council is providing local businesses with free access to its local business support and grant portal provided by Open4Business. This is tailored for the Carlisle area and includes local, regional and national schemes.

Business can also search for funding relevant to their size and sector. To use the portal, you will first need to register with Open4Business.


Grants and Funding


A Funders Top Tips

29 October 2018/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

  1. Find the right funder
    • Research
    • On-line resources
    • Word of mouth
    • Association of Charitable Funders


  1. Consider your options
  • Grants aren’t risk free (obligations to funders)
  • Is this the right route for your organisation?
  • Do you have the capacity to deliver?
  • Other options such as:
    • Social investment
    • Enterprising behaviour


  1. Get your governance in order
    • Do you meet the funders eligibility criteria?
    • Financial requirements


  1. Choosing your project
    • Led by beneficiaries needs
      • Not designed to fit funders priorities
    • Funder may fund part of your work if you fit some of their priorities
    • Always read the funders programme guidelines carefully
    • Always understand what outcomes they are looking for


  1. Ask questions
    • Contact funder for clarification
    • Applications are time-consuming
    • Ensure your project is a good fit


  1. Go for the right amount


  1. Get your budget right
  • Reasonable
  • Fully costed
  • Include core costs if applicable
  • Funders recognise that core costs are incurred in the delivery of good services and are willing to consider supporting such costs.
  • If including staff costs, make sure these include all additional costs
    • Tax, NI and pension contributions (on costs)
  • Multi-year project – consider inflation costs as project may not be fully covered for subsequent years.


  1. Provide all information
    • Provide ALL documents requested
    • If you cannot then explain why and give a timeframe of when they will follow
    • An incomplete application will delay or fail and application


  1. Make your application interesting
    • Funders receive hundreds of applications and often more ‘good’ applications than they can fund
    • Make yours stand out
    • Don’t forgot to provide information and evidence to back up your case
    • Quotes and case studies will help bring your application to life and provide the personal touch to you work.
    • If the funder accepts them, a short film or photos will also help.
    • Don’t forget hard facts and evidence that demonstrates the need for your project.
    • Keep this relevant and don’t use general statistics that a funder can access online.
    • Use plain English; do not overcomplicate with lots of jargon and buzz words.


  1. Feedback
    • If your application is unsuccessful, don’t take it personally or as a comment on the value of your work.
    • Unfortunately, with limited funding available, sometimes even good projects miss out.
    • Make sure you take up any offer of feedback as soon as possible whilst the application is fresh in the officer’s mind.
    • Funders will tell you if the project might be reconsidered at a later date and what you need to do differently next time.


Adapted from source:

Alison Gowman (City Bridge Trust Chair), Applying for funding (2018) Fundraising Magazine March edition.  


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