Why should you involve your community in your funding application?

We believe that people understand what’s needed in their communities better than anyone else. We want to ask what matters to communities, not what’s the matter with them. By tapping into the strengths, talents and energy already in your community, you can make your project stronger and more likely to succeed. It’s also great evidence that the work you want to do really is important to the people you’re supporting. 

Here are our answers to your top questions on involving your community in your application. 

  • What do you mean “your community”? 

In most cases we mean people living in your local area, but it could also be a community of people based around a common interest or issue – for example people in the LGBT+ community, people with dementia, or young carers. 

  • How should we involve our community in planning and running our work? 

We’re flexible about what involving the community looks like for different groups and different communities. Some groups send out surveys, some run open days – others set up steering groups or bring more community members onto their board or committee. Others just make sure they have regular chats with community members, either in person or on social media. 

Whatever method works best for your community, we just want to see that your project is based on what your community thinks is important. It should include their suggestions and ideas, and they should be able to stay involved as the project goes on.

Find ways of talking to people that work for your community
  • Do we need to involve the community in planning the specific thing we are asking you to fund? 

In most cases, yes, we want to know how you’ve involved the community in planning the activities we’ll be funding. For example, if you were running healthy eating classes for families, we’d expect you to have talked to families about whether this is something they’d want, and how you’d deliver the activities. 

  • What if we just need to fix the village hall roof / buy a new piece of equipment? 

We don’t expect you to have asked the community about the nitty gritty details of fixing the roof! But your application should show us why the hall is important for your community and how you know this. Maybe your committee or membership includes a wide range of community members, and this issue constantly comes up at meetings and open days. Or perhaps most of the community groups in your area are run from the hall, making it vital for the area. If so, tell us! 

The same applies equally to a piece of equipment, or anything else that might sound difficult to justify in isolation. Let us know why the things this will let you do are important to your community and how you know this. 

As ever, if you have any questions at all then just drop us a line. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about getting your community involved in your project. 

Email us at enquiries.ni@tnlcommunityfund.org.uk or phone us on 028 9055 1455. 

You can also talk to us on social media: @TNLCommunityFundNI on Facebook and @TNLComFundNI on Twitter. 

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