Anglican Diocese of Wellington
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Fundraising - Module 1

Doing a funding application 

Doing a funding application
  • Grants are a worthwhile way of obtaining funds for your project. 
  • They can be time consuming and are often time bound.
  • You generally don’t get the full amount that you apply for so plan accordingly when developing a fundraising strategy.

Getting started

  • Develop a plan. Think about what you are wanting to do and why. 
    This is a good way to clarify your thinking and leads well into doing a ‘needs’ assessment.
  • A ‘needs’ assessment is important as it determines the nature and scope of your project. You will use this information in your grant application and when presenting your project to your parish. 
  • When doing your needs assessment think widely about how the project will help your local community. Including the benefits to the community will assist in obtaining funds from a wider number of providers.
  • Profile who you will be working with. Think who will make a good supporting team.
  • If you are working collaboratively with external parties be sure to include this information. 

How much do you need?

  • You need to be clear about how much money the project requires.
  • Generally a successful grant will only partially contribute to your project. You will probably need to look at other funding streams such as parish fundraisers etc.
  • If you have already raised some money towards your project, this should be stated in your application. Most funders like to see evidence of ‘self help’.
  • Read the guidelines carefully. Most funding providers are very clear about what they will and will not fund. It saves everyone’s time if you follow the guidelines. 
  • If you’re not sure you can always call the provider. Talking to the provider is also useful as they will often give you advice on the best way to frame or position your application so it aligns with their grant objectives.

Finding likely funders

  • Use Fund View (* or the Charities Commission (* to profile likely funders.
  • Look at their rules and annual reports. This helps in learning: who they fund; how much they are likely to fund; and previous projects they have funded. This can help you decide if they are likely to have an interest or will support your work. 
  • This in turn provides you with information about what is a reasonable amount to apply for. For example, if the highest grant they give is $5000 don’t ask for more.
  • Look at a range of possible funders.
  • You may need to break your ‘dollars’ required down into smaller amounts and apply to a number of funders.
  • Recognise as a church based organisation funding applications should only be made to ethical funders.

Preparing your application
  • Most applications provide a cover sheet. You often have to fill this out ‘neatly’ by hand. Use a black biro as this reproduces well when your application is photocopied.
  • You are best to provide a letter detailing the amount you want and why it is important. 
  • You should describe what you are doing and the difference it will make.
  • You should also detail the impact of the work/project will have on others.
  • It is also useful to provide any relevant statistics to support your application.
  • This can be population data – which you obtain from the Statistics NZ website ( or any relevant information you have compiled yourself.
  • In telling your story about the project you can include a relevant photograph. 
  • Be succinct. Put yourself in the place of the people who are reading large numbers of applications!

Managing your time and priorities

  • Most funders are very particular in regard to deadlines. Applications that do not meet their timeframes are usually not considered.
  • File your application in plenty of time. This allows the funder to get in touch with you if they require further information. 
  • Factor in any sign off/committee requirements when writing your application. If you know someone will be away etc organise an acceptable alternative in advance.
  • Allow yourself enough time to meet any unexpected contingencies. Remember your agenda does not always coincide with other people’s.


  • These can be very compelling for funders.
  • Try and get someone of note in the community to support your project or ask prospective users of your facility or service to provide support.

Dealing with rejection

  • You can’t always be successful in your applications. But it pays to find out why you weren’t.
  • Give the funder a quick call. They are usually very helpful. You can often use their feedback in further applications. 
  • Don’t be discouraged, you can try elsewhere or try again.

Thanking your funders

  • When you receive a grant get in touch quickly to thank your funder.
  • If you have any printed material about what’s happening with the project or your work in the community you can also pop this in with your thank you letter.
  • Send a letter on paper. This way it tends to be noted and tabled at any forthcoming meetings. You can also send a supporting email. People like to be appreciated!
  • Keep in touch, send them information on the outcome of your work/project.
  • You may need to ask them for further monies. An active dialogue will help.

A different thank you – an advertisement.

  • This is only really applicable for major amounts of money. 
  • A local sports club recently thanked their funder by taking out a $300 ad in the Dominion Post, placing it on the back sports page. Two things happened: the funder was surprised and delighted; no one had ever done this before! The club’s increased profile helped them obtain more money in the next funding round. 
  • The sports editor also noticed the ad and more stories about the club’s success appeared in the paper. There was an uptake in membership as people saw this club as being a good place to train etc.

How we can help at the Anglican Centre

  • If you’re doing a major project let us know.
  • We can provide guidance and practical assistance to help save you both time and money.
  • We can’t do all the grant applications for the Diocese but are happy to look over any drafts and provide suggestions as well as identify likely funders for your project.


A number of organisations require a report on how the money was spent. This is usually stated when you receive the funds or at the time of applying.
The best way to manage this is too:
  • Keep all your receipts together in an orderly way.
  • Document key milestones as they happen 
  • Take progress photo’s etc. Funders often like to include a photo in their annual report.

Property Projects

  • David Chapple, the Diocesan Property Manager should be involved at the start of any property project. David may also be able to save you time and money when starting your planning. 
  • The online Diocesan Handbook also provides guidance and detail relating to a range of finance queries. 

Please let me know your stories and successes and how you got there. I can be contacted by email or call 04 471 8590.
Anne Hannah, May 2011

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No reira waiho ko te aroha o Te Matua Kaha Rawa hei korowai mou.
May the love of Almighty God enfold you!