So now you have your funding.
This is where the extra work comes in.
So often people jump for joy when they have finally been successful in getting funding for their charity activity. The money is in the bank, the spending begins and the activities are planned and activated. It is at this point that the questions begin and you need to be ready to answer to your funders. You need to be prepared for the extra paperwork, evaluation, feedback and financial records that will expected from you. You have told these people that you can manage this money, and they want to see proof of this.
The bigger the funding, the bigger the administrative resource you are going to need. So be prepared for this and get your preparations in place when you do your funding bid. Make sure that you have considered all the actions that will are required and ensure you have resources in place to meet them. A small group may be successful in getting a large grant fund that will enable them to employ staff, buy a building or renovate a historical artifact. However once they have got their money, stopped drinking the Champaign and got down to business, they need to be aware that they have to go out and employ staff. They need to understand employment law, equality law, disability legislation etc. etc. Be prepared for this or it can come as a shock just how much work is involved. Create a plan for how you will go through this process and get help from people around you.
So lets look at the things you may well be expected to do, now that you have the funds.
- The first thing is to make sure that the money given is spent according to the bid. The funds are restricted. This means that you cannot spend it on anything that was not in the original bid. So ensure your budget is adhered to, and financial records are kept of all expenses.
- You will be expected to evaluate the project. This means that funders want to know that what you said you wanted to achieve, you have in fact achieved. Or if not, why was it not achieved. Set up your evaluation strategy at the beginning. Do not wait until the end of a 3 year project to start evaluating things, and pulling out all your paper work to find you have not recorded the correct things. Decide on an evaluation plan, create processes for capturing information and do it as part of the admin for your project.
- Your funders will want regular feedback on your activities and how it is going. They will want pictures, video's and anything else you may have done to market your project. So remember to record everything.
- You will have to comply with all legal legislation that may affect your activities, so make sure these are in place as funders will want proof.
- Full financial figures will be required for your funders as well as part of your own governance. Make sure that you understand what format the funders will need your financial figures completed in. It has been know that funders formats are completely different to the one your organisation may use.
So when putting your funding bid together, think about what will be required if you are succesful and how you will do this. It saves many headaches later.