Funding Support

VANEL staff have a wide range of experience and expertise in all matters related to fundraising, funding applications, bid writing and so on.   This expertise is available to our Member and Friend organisations in order to help you improve your chances of success in funding applications.

These days we have no dedicated Funding Officer so all of our funding support is tailored to your specific requirements through an initial conversation after which a member of staff will be available to work with you.

A summary of what we can offer…

Scheduled “Funding Surgeries” throughout the year.  We bring in either a general funding officer or a representative from a fund making body for 1:1 appointments in order to assist you with your funding applications or to explore options.

Updates on possible funding that might be relevant to you through our website news, our Friday e-bulletin and in particular through the “Funding Focus” column on the blog.

VANEL uses the GrantsOnline funding database and can carry out specific grant searches for Members or Friends to try and find appropriate funding options.

VANEL occasionally manages ‘funding pots’ on behalf of others, or act as intermediaries to collect, collate or sift applications.  In these cases we offer detailed advice and support to groups to help them maximise their chances of submissions to the funds available.  Keep an eye on our website for regular news about these funds.

We can also work with you to help you prepare for your funding applications, understand your options and approach.  We’ll provide each member organisation up to one hour of our time initially after which we need to charge for additional support time spent with you.

Specifically we offer a “Critical Friend” service where we can critique your funding applications, give advice, make suggestions and help with your approach.  This is charged for on an hourly basis and we can discuss pricings with you.  Importantly though, we do not write your funding applications for you.  You are the experts on your projects, your needs, your costs, your research and so on.  It is important that you and your team take responsibility for writing and submitting applications.  However, we are here to help – talk to us.

One barrier we come across is when technology gets in the way.  With most funding applications now requiring online submission or a digital approach we offer a workshop, “Effective Online Funding Applications” designed to help you plan to overcome any potential technical issues.  The course is scheduled occasionally or is run on demand from groups as a small workshop.

From 2016-2019 we are running our IGNITE Young Leaders Programme.  This has a specific aspect of supporting younger people who want to lead on projects and apply for funding.  Our IGNITE team will work very closely and in depth with any young people eligible to the programme in order to help them to identify funding and apply.  Contact the IGNITE team direct.

In reality, making a funding application is usually the very last step.  Your project needs should be clear and you should have evidence to hand that your funding is necessary.  So VANEL can also support you with research should this be helpful.  Take a look at our Community Research Service.

And VANEL can also help you with other aspects of ‘preparation’ for funding.  We provide governance support which can help you to prove to funders that you are well managed and governed.  We can help with all technology aspects too – many funders expect groups to have an up to date website which describes what they do.  If you don’t have a decent website, we can help with that.

In short – if you have a question about funding or fundraising, contact us and have a conversation.  We should be able to find someway to help or advise you.  (Call 01472 231123, email, or ask for Karl).


For further information, here’s a list we prepared earlier which contains many of the funding bodies and websites you could be investigating.  Have a look.  You can always start with Funding Central (which is still free for smaller groups).

And if you need more information about funding types, how to fundraise and more, then read through the pages on KnowHowNonProfit which has a lot of resources.

(Not a member of VANEL and need funding support? You can find out more about Membership here).