Stage 1: Application form guidance notes
The following is designed to help you understand and respond to the questions on the BFSS Online Application Form. It provides guidance on selected questions where grant applicants sometimes have problems (not all questions are included below).
Section 1: Organisation description
Describe the activities of your organisation:
Use this to describe what experience your organisation has, including what your organisation does, where it works and who it works with.
Section 2: Project description
What does the project aim to achieve and how will it do this:
Be clear about what you hope your project will achieve, such as “This project aims to provide young people who have been excluded or who are at risk of exclusion with a supported and achievable pathway to vocational training or sustained employment.”
Be specific about exactly what you will be doing in order to reach your aims. For example, “we will run workshops” does not give any indication as to the depth or breadth of this activity, nor the impact of these. A clearer answer would be: “40 young people at risk of exclusion will attend 8 half day workshops covering interview skills, confidence building and working as part of a team.”
List 3 or 4 of the most significant outcomes (changes) you expect as a direct result of your project:
An outcome is the change that you hope to see as a direct result of your intervention. A good outcome is:
- Specific – saying “children will have better education” is vague and lacks meaning. Instead, “Children will have improved literacy skills” is specific and can be measured.
- Measurable – You will be expected to measure your progress towards each of your outcomes and report against this. Consider whether you are able to measure these. For example, “Teachers will have improved attendance” is only measurable if you have access to that data. If you are running a school yourself this might be fine, but if it’s a government school then it may not be possible to access this information.
- Realistic and achievable – The outcomes or changes that you hope to see must be achievable within the lifetime of the project. It would be wonderful if every young person enrolled in your project eg successfully gained a vocational qualification, but there are many factors which could prevent this. Consider whether the change can be achieved within the timeframe of your project (1 to 3 years), and whether it is a realistic expectation.
- Within your sphere of influence – You may hope that providing education to girls will reduce child marriage, but unless the intervention is directly targeting this, it is unlikely that your project will achieve this – this is outside of the sphere of your influence. However, if your project includes parent workshops, working with local infrastructure and community initiatives based explicitly on this, then a reduction could be attributable to your project.
Construction projects must be clear about the educational changes you expect the project to achieve. Eg, an increase in numbers of enrolment or retention rates, or an increase in children enjoying their education due to the specifically child friendly environment. Avoid listing the construction or building itself as an outcome.
Please see the sample logframe for examples of good outcomes, and how to measure these (note, you will not need to submit a logframe in Stage 1).
BFSS gives preference to projects with an element of matched funding, although this does not have to be £ for £. In kind contributions from local communities and local authorities are encouraged.
BFSS normally funds organisations with an annual income between £25,000 and £2.5million. Charities must have at least three years of continuous accounts submitted to the relevant UK Charity Commission or Regulator.
Annual grant payments cannot exceed 50% of an organisation’s 3-year average income.
Example: You have an average annual income of £20,000. You would like to apply for a 2 year project that costs £30,000, with costs of £15,000 in Year 1 and £15,000 in Year 2. As the annual grant amount exceeds 50% of your annual income, this project will not be eligible.
Please refer to the BFSS Budget Guidance Notes and Template documents when submitting the budget.
Grant applicants are reminded that meeting these guidelines does not of itself guarantee acceptance or invitation to submit a Stage 2 application; BFSS receives many more valuable applications than it is able to fund and it is inevitable that some good applications will be unsuccessful. Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we are unable to give feedback to Stage 1 applicants and our decision on applications is final.
If you have any further questions, please refer to our website www.bfss.org.uk or email us at [email protected]
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