On 16th October, over 100 of the UK’s brightest and best Arts Fundraisers gathered at the Tower of London for an annual conference focusing on all things Trusts. David Burgess,Director at Apollo Fundraising summarises some of the common strengths and issues delegates identified.
The conference included a Peer Review session which aimed to give delegates the chance to experience life from the perspective of a trustee. In their role as trustees, delegates were asked to review and assess real-life funding applications from four arts organisations from across the UK.
What do Trusts look for?
Firstly, it is important to remember what Trusts are looking for when they are reviewing proposals. Put simply, they are trying to answer one question – “Why should we fund this?”.
Of those five words, one is infinitely more important than the others. “Why should we fund this”.
A funding proposal should be about the Trust, not about you. Its purpose is to show how you can help the Trust to achieve their mission.
The second thing to remember is that, while we spend ages finely crafting a proposal, most Trusts only have a short amount of time to read them. (We gave delegates ten minutes to read the whole proposal and write a short summary). In writing your proposal you need to be sure that your key points come across clearly, even when the proposal is being read quickly.
Delegates were asked to consider both of these points in reviewing the real-life proposals. Their comments have inspired the tips within this document.