What is the need?

You need to be clear about the social issue you are addressing and what difference you want to make. This means you can focus on what matters most, measure your success, and make a case for funding. Funders will want evidence of need, so do your research.

If you want to support the needs of a specific group of people, e.g. unemployed people, young people, etc. you need to demonstrate your expertise either through your own lived experience or by involving people from that community in running your group.

Is another group already doing something similar?

You may have a great idea, but if it’s already being provided by another group you might struggle to get funding. It’s better to offer something that fills a gap, or to join forces with a partner in the area, than duplicate something that is already happening.

Who is doing this already?
Search our member directory

Do you want to earn a living?

It’s fine to get paid for what you do, but community benefit comes before personal gain. You can earn a wage and lead a group if you set up under one of the ‘social enterprise’ structures. However, if you want to apply for grant funding you generally need to set up a volunteer management committee which can apply for funding and employ paid staff. This is because funders prefer to give money to groups with clear lines of accountability rather than for personal gain, e.g. people who apply for grants and keep the money for themselves.

There’s so much information out there. Here are some good places to start:

Great places to find advice

Regional and national