Glyn Hawkes is a Grants Manager for Sport England, where he assesses and makes recommendations on funding applications submitted by sports clubs and community projects across the country.
Funding is really important because at Sport England we know that club’s have a lot of great ideas about how to get more people taking part in sport, but will sometimes just need a bit of money to help them get their ideas off the ground.
Sport England has a number of different funding programmes and below are my 5 top tips that might help your judo club when you come to apply for one of our grants:
1. Read the funding programme criteria and guidelines
The most important step, and one where a lot of clubs fall down, is to check that you are applying for the right funding programme. The simplest way to do this is by looking at the specific funding programme information on Sport England’s website. The important documents are the prospectus and Frequently Asked Questions. If after reading these documents you are still unsure or have any questions then you should contact Sport England’s dedicated funding helpline on 03458 508 508 who will be happy to help you.
2. Take time to read the supporting resources and tools available to you
Each funding programme has specific tools and resources to help you prepare your application. This information, which is available on the Sport England website, will explain the application and decision making process and help you prepare your application.
Aside from the Sport England website, there is a very useful funding resource, on the Club Matters website. This interactive tool outlines a typical application process and provides real life examples to some of the more recurring criteria within a lot funding programmes, both at Sport England and other funders.
3. Explain how you know what is important to your club and your sport
So, now you should have a good idea which is the right funding programme for your judo club. It’s really important that you can explain to us the steps you have taken to understand what is important to your judo club and local community and why. You can do this in a number of different ways, from speaking directly with members of your club to conducting surveys with the wider local community. The method will depend on what you are trying to do, but it should try and bring to life the demand for your project to happen.
4. Think and plan for the long term
Though we want to understand why your project needs to happen now, we would also like you to think about the future and how your project can continue beyond the initial funding period. This is because funding will generally be provided for a defined period of time. Therefore it’s helpful to explain to us at the time of applying how you might continue to deliver your project, or keep the benefits of it going after the funding period has ended.
5. We only know what you tell us
Once you have thought about the first four points above you are well on your way to writing a good application to support your project. However, as a final point it’s important to remember that we only know what you tell us. What may be clear to your club, sport, or your local community may not necessarily be known to us. Therefore try to explain to us the need for your project to happen, it might be worth considering whether photos of your existing sessions or facilities would bring your application to life.
You can search and apply for Sport England grants at www.sportengland.org/funding/.