Tips and Hints

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Tips and Hints

We know that the Dream Fund is a different type of funding, so we have put together some tips and hints to help you write the best possible application, and avoid some of the mistakes that occurred in the last round. A lot of the advice below applies to all applications to any funder, including our own small grants program, so it is worth reading regardless.

Click on the topics below to find out more:

Read the Guidelines
Short and Sharp
Plaing English
Make Your Case
Present Yourself
Read the Question
Check Your Figures
Make It Legible
Proof Read
Bare Minimum
Email
Contact
Think Big!
Partner Up


Read the Guidelines

Make sure you are eligible before sending. Don’t assume that because you were sent a link to the Trust that this automatically makes you a suitable organisation for funding. If you’re not sure, call first – we don’t want you to waste your time filling in a form if you can’t apply in the first place.

Short and Sharp

A good application should be concise, communicating as much information about the organisation and project as possible in a succinct manner. An application that waffles on for pages will send assessors to sleep, and will almost certainly be overlooked. However, an application that provide one line answers is also likely to be unsuccessful as we do need sufficient information to make a decision on whether it is a good use of funding. 

Plain English

Don’t use jargon. If abbreviations and acronyms are necessary, use them sparingly. The best way to ensure your application is read thoroughly is to write in plain and understandable English. 

Make Your Case

Be sure that you make a clear case for your project – the most important information is what you intend to do and why it’s necessary. 

Present Yourself

Your application is the  initial opportunity for us to find out about your organisation and your project. If you don’t follow instructions, or fail to sell yourself, this is the impression we will be left with. Think of it as a job interview – first impressions count! 

Read the Question

We were told this at school, and it still applies.  Ensure that the answer corresponds to the question, and gives the information that we require.  There is a document titled “Completing the Dream Fund Application Form” on our website – this tells you what we expect to see, so make sure you read it and follow it. 

Check Your Figures

It is confusing to read through an application where facts and figures don’t add up, so make sure the information is consistent throughout. 

Make It Legible

Avoid handwriting your application where possible – you may be familiar with your handwriting, but if we can’t read it, your application won’t be accepted. If you have no other option than to handwrite the form, please keep it neat and use block capitals.

If you are completing your form on your PC, please DO NOT write in block capitals.  We copy and paste from your forms and it makes our job more administration-heavy if we have to convert everything. 

Proof Read

Always, always proof read your application before sending it. Incorrect information wastes time and is easily avoidable. 

Bare Minimum

At the very least, ensure you have done the bare minimum for your application. To send in information over and above what is requested is fine (as long as it does not equate to War and Peace). But to fail to meet even the minimum requirements is the quickest way to ensuring an unsuccessful application. 

Email

Please email your form to us. Unless you do not have any other option, please don’t post it to us. We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and we’re also running out of filing space. If you have emailed your form, we do NOT need an additional hard copy.

If you really do not have any other option than to post, then we will accept a hard copy. 

Contact

Please make sure you enter our email address right.  This may sound simple, but a number of applications in every round go astray because the email address was entered incorrectly. If posting (see above for reasons why we’d like you to avoid this), please put the correct postage on. 

Think Big!

The feedback from the judges during the last Dream Fund round was that a number of applications were essentially over-grown small grants projects that weren’t big enough to warrant £250,000. Make sure your project is innovative, very creative, and above all, something that will interest us and the general public. Think big – this project should be your dream! 

Partner Up

Your partner is vital to your application.  Choose your collaborative partner carefully, as you will have to work with them for at least 24 months. They can either be someone you have worked with before, or a new partner, but we would recommend that you do not join simply for sake of securing funding, but that the partnership is meaningful and relevant.