Focus: Fundraising - How we got the grant - Addaction

Emily Dunbar, head of fundraising, Addaction

Why did you apply to the foundation? Earlier this year, we secured £1m from the Zurich Community Trust to develop our work to break the cycle of 'hidden harm' within families where the parents use drugs. Between 250,000 and 300,000 UK children are estimated to be at risk from parental drug misuse.

One of these pilot services is based in Cumbria, and we were anxious to provide a parallel service for families where alcohol was the problem.

The Northern Rock Foundation has a reputation for funding work that aims to overcome disadvantage and improve quality of life in the north of England.

Crucially, it is able to make significant multi-year grants.

What did the application process involve? The foundation has an excellent website and the application process was simple and transparent. Having checked the guidelines, we sent a four-page, first-stage proposal that included project activities, a budget and a work plan. As part of the second stage, we had an assessment visit to gather further information.

Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? The budget includes training for the project staff and core Addaction resources, including HR, communications and partnership liaison.

The Northern Rock Foundation raised no issues about these budget lines or the figures included within them.

Did you apply to other funders? We applied to the Francis C Scott Foundation and the Lloyds TSB Foundation. The former didn't fund the project because Addaction is not based exclusively in Cumbria, but we did get £25,000 over two years from the latter.


As a regional grant-maker, we want to fund national charities that have a strong regional presence, which Addaction does. It also had to have the support of local groups, which was also demonstrated.

The other important thing about this proposal was its focus on alcohol.

We receive many applications to do with substance abuse, young people and preventive work. We were pleased to see a project dealing with alcohol because it plays a huge part in young people's lives and, although it probably affects more young people than substance abuse does, it hasn't received many public sector grants.

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