When developing your project, speak to the people you are working with and listen to what they tell you. Ask them about what matters to them and find out what strengths they can bring to the table that would help others. You could also chat to their families, the wider community, local community groups and similar organisations you might work with. Projects tend to be more successful when communities are involved in them from the very start and remain involved during the life of the project.
Once you have an idea for a project Visit our website to find out what funding programmes we have available. Remember that we may not be the best funder to support your project idea so having a look at other funders will help you find the best funding option for you. You might want to speak to other National Lottery Funders or chat to helper organisations like NICVA or Rural Community Network to find out what other options are available.
If you feel that your idea fits with the aims of our funding programmes, give our team a call on 028 9055 1455. Our team are now out of the office more and more working in areas across Northern Ireland, so you can invite us to meet up with you and have a chat a coffee. We will work with you to explore how your project idea has been developed alongside your community, how it will utilise and build the strengths you have and how you will work with other organisations. If you plan to work in partnership with other organisations we are happy to meet with all of you.
You don’t need to have your project idea finalised before you get in touch with us, but it will help if you have an idea of what you plan to do as this will allow us to have a detailed chat with you. We will let you know if your idea is something we could consider or not. You are welcome to have a chat with us as often as you like. If your idea is something that would not meet the aims of our programme we will do our best to refer to a more suitable source of funding.
3 Develop your project budget
When you have your project idea decided, you’ll start to look at what costs will be involved in bringing it to life. It is always good to do some research into the average costs for items that will help your idea to become a reality. Make sure you include all costs relating to your project i.e. facilitators, equipment, materials, rent, salaries, publicity, merchandise… Chat to the groups you hope to work with – are there any staff, volunteer, equipment or venue resources you could share? This will help you to keep costs down and build on the strengths that people in your community have and are willing to share. Ask someone to have a read through your final budget plan to make sure everything is included and it all adds up correctly. It’s also a good idea to double check the amount requested falls within funding limit of the programme you are applying to.
We have found that it’s always better to complete the form yourself as the passion and drive you have for your project will shine through. You are the best person to tell us how your community and partners will support you in making your project a success and how you plan build on the great things that are already happening in your area. Use your own words to write about your idea – there aren’t extra points for buzz words or funding lingo. This is your opportunity to tell us all about your project and how people you work with were involved in developing it. It is always a good idea to ask someone who is not involved directly with your project to read your application form to make sure they can understand your idea fully.
5 Send your form to us
When you’re sending us your completed application form, double check that you have included any additional information that is requested. We will send you an email or letter to confirm that we have received your form. If you don’t receive anything from us please call us on 028 9055 1455 to check we have received your application. When we are assessing your application, our team will chat to the person who completes the form if they need any further information. It’s important that this person knows your project plan in detail and how the idea was developed. We want your project to be successful and wish you the very best of luck in your search for making your dream a reality.
We love to hear from you
We hope these tips will help you to get funding for your project and that you found them useful. We love to hear from you so if you have any tips you would like to share with others please get in touch with us and let us know. You can leave a comment below or feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com. You can also contact us on Facebook page or Twitter