I am often approached to help people with their funding bids. Usually, this is a charity or a voluntary group that does not have the money to pay for the help that they so desperately need. Sometimes, it is an organisation that does not have the time to undertake the task they so desperately need to be invested in. More often than not, the premise for approaching me is a combination of both.
Whether undertaken pro-bono or paid, there is one common misconception that I encounter. Desperate commissioners will want to pass the baton to me, to ‘take care of things’, without considering that writing funding bids cannot be done in a silo.
Sometimes, people will say, “how much will it cost for you to do it all for us?” and what they mean is ALL. As in, everything as a fully sub-contracted role. I am happy to oblige but it is important to establish common ground about what ‘everything’ entails.
Now, there is a lot that I CAN do and most definitely, I can ease the pressure for organisations. I can definitely bring expertise, strategic insight, advice, guidance, a range of systems to approach the task. I can also bring calm to what can sometimes be a highly stressful process. It goes without saying, that I bring my skills as a professional writer (it always amuses me that we refer to bid writing, when the writing is actually a smaller part of the process, than the organisation skills it requires – any writers out there thinking of bid writing – be prepared!).
Unless I know the organisational strategy, the ethos, the values, have a sense of the history, preferably some case studies, feedback from previous projects, typical budgetary projections, access to policies, account information, impact statistics…the list goes on…I am left without the ingredients I need to bake the ‘winning cake’.
There is no real ‘magic’ in bid writing, whether for statutory tenders, or independent or governmental funding streams, so no amount of ‘special ingredient’ from me, can replace the bridge that working in collaboration provides.
Even if you commission me to “do everything”, that ‘everything’ is dependent upon you. As a policy writer, researcher and stakeholder consultant, I can help you to develop aspects that are missing but to make it work and to compile the bid to time frames, you must be fully on board, especially with the first bid.
Are you really ready? If so, give me a call.
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