Do you need funding? Points to think about

Don’t assume that you will actually need funding.  It may be that your project is small enough that you can raise the funds yourself.  It can also be difficult to get funding if you are working on your own.  The Heritage Lottery Fund for example only fund organised groups that have their own bank account.  So before you apply to anyone you need to plan out how you will actually carry out your idea and how much it will all cost.

  • Decide if you need to organise yourself into a formal group.
  • Check what resources you will need to use to do your project and where they are.  You will find lots of information at the Derbyshire Record Office, Derby Local Studies and Family History Library and at your local library which you will be able to use to explore your heritage project.
  • Some subjects may be difficult to research because of the lack of surviving information, so make sure you take that into account. Be aware, too, that you may need to travel out of the county to carry out your research. We can help you to locate suitable historical sources, wherever they are.
  • Work out all your costings.  Include things you may not automatically think of such as travel costs and display equipment hire. We’ve thought of some things you should include
  • Be sure to include opportunities for people to participate throughout your project.  The Heritage Lottery Fund in particular is keen to see volunteer involvement, activities that engage people, and opportunities for people to learn new skills.
  • Think about whom you should approach for funding.  The Heritage Lottery Fund might not be suitable for your project and there are alternatives

If you do want to go ahead and apply for funding don’t make these common mistakes:

  • Don’t ignore advice – especially from the grant-making body you are applying to! They know what is likely to be funded, so ignoring their advice can jeopardise your chances of success.
  • Don’t give up.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again. It’s not uncommon to be unsuccessful at gaining funding the first time around. Find out why your bid was turned down, make improvements and resubmit it.