Hands holding up a sign that says "What now?"

So you didn’t get CRF, what now?

First of all I am really sorry that you did not get the vital funding you need for your organisation and your work. We know that there is not enough funding which makes the process competitive.

In normal times Trust Fundraisers are aiming for 1 in 10 success rate so that is nine nos for every yes. We have to learn to build that resilience and understand that the rejection is it’s not personal. It has taken me a long time to learn that. Even though my success rate is generally a 1 in 3 I still get knocked back more than I don’t. Moving on is key as you need to have the energy for the next one.

So, you didn’t get the Culture Recovery Fund – now what? What do you need to be thinking about, reflecting on and planning to do next?

Looking after yourself

I have talked to a lot of fundraisers in organisations and freelancers who are feeling the pressure more now than ever before. There is so much uncertainty and we are missing the normal every day. 

Please takes look at my article about mental health here – ‘How are you today?’

It includes some ideas on managing your mental health and self care.

Drawing of a question mark

What did you learn in the process?

No funding application is a complete waste of time because you learn about you and the funder. 

To develop we need to learn.

Every bid 

  • teaches you something about your work
  • refines how you talk about your work
  • helps you understand the funder a little more
  • shows you what you could do to improve your bids
Drawing of a thought bubble containing a lightbulb

What could you do differently next time?

It is important not to regret what you did not do in the application but to ensure that you apply what you know now to the next application or set of bis.

Use your energy to move forward.

Ask yourself

  • What do I know now I did not know before?
  • Now you read the application again – were you clear enough in your narrative and finance information? 
  • CRF was a bid written in short timelines and under pressure, on reflection, what could improve the application?
  • What can I learn from others who were successful?
  • Is there any feedback that will help me write better in the future?
  • Did you fall into any of the common pitfalls? Check out my blog ‘5 common mistakes that annoy funders – what are funders pet peeves? here

Does your case for support need a refresh? I will be sharing a FREE Case For Support Canvas soon so email me at lucy@nostoneunturned.uk and I can make sure you receive it when it’s ready.

Are there other funders out there for you?

Fundraisers often re-purpose their applications for other funders so can you think about applying to other trusts, foundations or lottery sources for this or similar work?

Hand which says "OK?" on it

Some useful places to look for funds are below

  • Directory of Social Change (DSC) . Printed Directories – available to buy or FREE in the library. Online is Funds Online – (£432/ year)
  • NCVO Funding Central.FREE for charities under £100k or £120 + VAT per year.
  • 360 Degree Giving. Grant giving data from 142 funders
  • Charity Commission has a register of all charities, You can search by charities which ‘Makes grants to organisations’. Download to CSV when search is under 5000 entries
  • Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) produces an annual publication reviewing top 300 grant makers called ACF Foundation Giving Trends
  • Charity Excellence Framework FREE COVID Funder Database which also includes a range of non Covid specific funds as well.
  • Competitors websites and accounts are a great source of information about where they are getting their funds from.

Before applying to other funders – check out my blog What is on the mind of funders right now? here

Are there other ways that you could raise funds?

Trust and Foundation fundraising is one of a range of ways that you can raise funds for your work and organisation. I love this blog Giles Pegram CBE here ‘How many different types of fundraising are there?’

Start with people. Your existing supporters and potential supporters. Then decide, from the myriad of possibilities, how best to reach them. But don’t structure your fundraising plan by starting with a list of types/disciplines of fundraising.

You are you. You are unique. You are addressing a specific need. People and organisations will want to engage with you, and support you.

Start there.”

Have a think about

  • Have you thought about all of the people and stakeholders you work with who might want to help you? There are lots of great stakeholder mapping tools out there – give it a go.
  • Have you asked the people who love you for help? And not just financial help – have you asked them to help you with ideas for raising funds and spreading your message?
  • Have you talked to all of the people who have supported you in the past? Have you kept them up to date with what you are doing? If not, do that right away. 
  • Being honest about the challenges you face with your supporters, there is nothing worse than seeing an organisation is closing who did not ask for help and seeing their social media filled with messages that say ‘I wish you’d asked for help’

I will be sharing a FREE Fundraising Audit Template soon so email me at lucy@nostoneunturned.uk and I can make sure you receive it when it’s ready.

Light up sign on a desk which says "You Got This"

Final Thoughts

I want to come back to your mental health. As someone who has had mental health issues in the past I can not stress enough how important I think it is to look after yourself and get support.

Please takes look at my article about mental health here – ‘How are you today?