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Ideas for Achieving a Successful Funding Application

Prepare Your Application

  • Make sure your plans are thorough, have been costed and have an identified timescale
  • Ensure you have, and can identify, the people and resources available to you to run the project after it has been built, installed or set up
  • Where relevant, your application should outline how your plans provide for Women, People with Disabilities and other ‘minority’ groups
  • Where relevant, demonstrate how your plans have strategic relevance - refer to the RFU Strategic Plan/RFU National Facilities Strategy, Constituent Body Strategic Plans and Facility Strategies
  • Consult as widely as possible before submitting your application(s)
  • Ensure the timescale of your plan is in line with that of the funding agency(s) decision dates
  • Plan your cash flow thoroughly as some funding agencies will only release funds upon completion of works and will not fund retrospectively
  • Demonstrate the benefits of your plans to an identified local or wider community
  • Emphasise the benefit to the local community of your plans. Where necessary identify how many hours a week your facility or project will be available for community use
  • Make provisions for junior usage, coaching and supervised activity of juniors, if necessary make plans to start a junior section
  • Ensure, where necessary, you have the relevant planning permission or written confirmation that it is not required
  • Any equipment purchases or facilities you install should meet certain design and/or performance criteria. For guidance please refer to relevant Sport England Guidance Notes and RFU technical specifications (see Facilities section of community rugby)
  • Utilise all the help that is available from RFU RDOs/Constituent Body and the respective funding agency

Cost Your Plan

  • You should demonstrate how your project represents value for money
  • Emphasise your level of need for financial support (based on your annual accounts)
  • Make sure your application is honest and you request only funds you require
  • Be prepared to undergo a process of monitoring by funding agencies. Some agencies reserve the right to reclaim funding if they are not satisfied with its use
  • Demonstrate a degree of ‘self help’ - whether in cash or kind (labour, expertise etc.) Most Funding agencies set a minimum portion as self help
  • Have contingency plans in the event of a rejected application or a reduced award

Approach the Relevant Funding Organisations

  • Your application must demonstrate clear plans in accordance with the criteria or the respective funding agency
  • Where necessary forward any consultation forms as required by the funding agency
  • Submit your application ahead of deadlines set by respective funding agencies
  • Apply to the number of funding organisations you need to ensure the funding you require
  • Identify, where necessary in your application(s) other sources of partnership funding
  • Include details of other confirmed awards and, where not confirmed when you expect to hear a decision
  • Check how much you are eligible for. Some funding agencies make provision in certain urban and rural areas for additional support
  • Ensure your chosen funding organisations are complementary. Some agencies will not commit to funding if certain others have been applied to
  • Ensure the tenure of your ground is of sufficient length as set by the respective funding agency. Most funding agencies require a minimum of five to ten years lease, freehold, or other security of tenure
  • Do not start any projects or plans before you receive official written notice of award or permission to go ahead
  • Consider every possible option available including sponsorship, Sportsmatch, donations, loans, fund raising activities etc
  • You should give the funding agency full recognition for any support – letters of thanks, plaques, local publicity etc., should be considered to recognise their generosity