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COVID-19 funding: Writing your application

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting charities and community organisations up and down the country.

As the virus spreads, increasing pressure and uncertainty is unfolding as organisations clamour to do all they can to support those dependent upon them – both staff and the people that they serve.

This localised support is critical. As a result of the pandemic, a growing number of UK families are struggling physically, mentally and economically.

Emergency grant funding.

If you are a UK-based small charity or community organisation you can access funding. Several sources are coming forward in the recent days to pledge sums of money in grants to help charities like you, continue to deliver services.

For charities working with Muslims in the UK, an up-to-date list of suggested funding and further support can be found by visiting:

Writing your COVID-19 funding application

Whilst there are still further details to be released by central and local government as well as funders themselves, applying for funding could be the lifeline that you need to stay afloat.

Although greater flexibility in application is expected at this stage, what this exactly means is currently vague and the competitiveness of the usual market, remains the same.

8 top tips:

It is imperative that your application is both viable, realistic and credible in order to be considered.

Here are some top tips to remember when writing your application:

1. Are you eligible?

Guidelines and criteria will be flexible and may change but it won’t be an open market. Do not apply if you are not eligible. If they are pledging £10,000 for community outreach for the elderly and this is not your area, don’t apply – leave it for another organisation who needs it. Funders will be inundated with applications so do not overload them with ineligible applications.

2. Read the brief.

Once you have established your eligibility, each funder will have criteria which they are very specific about. Even with COVID-19 and this new environment, there will be clear instructions laid down as to what the funder expects and wants to see in an application.

3. Information gathering.

Get your ducks in a row. Gather data on your beneficiary community both prior to COVID-19 and how they have been affected since the pandemic broke. Is there research out there already to help you? Do you have data monitoring in place? If not, now is the time to address that as an issue.

4. Concise and relevant.

Short is not necessarily sweeter but you will not be able to ramble on for pages and pages. There will be a set format for most applications. Keep within the word limit and keep it relevant to the funder’s motivations.

5. Case studies.

If you have human stories and the application allows, add these to your application, add them in. Show the need that is out there and that you can serve this.

6. Monitoring.

This one may be a bit uncertain going forward but support will be available for you going forward. How will you monitor the effectiveness of your services should you receive the funding?

7. Risk management.

Again, not easy at this time. But in the event of more staff falling ill or self-isolating do you have any procedures in place that you could fall on to ensure service continuity?

8. Proof-read.

Read it, read it again and read it again. Get someone else to read it. Does it pass the “So what?” test?

If you need support with your funding application, where to look or what to do, please reach out. These are challenging times and help is available for you and for the people that you serve. Please contact me at:

We are in this together and we are stronger together! *

* Except when we are too close to one another! Please observe social distancing for the sake of all.

Information accurate as of 20th March 2020.

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