Fundraising: How we got the grant - The Stoke on Trent Gingerbread Centre


Why did you apply to this fund? We needed staff to run projects for homeless lone-parent families and single, pregnant women. We have a successful funding relationship with the Community Fund. It financed staffing to enable us to run our hostel during evenings, nights and weekends in 1999.

because of that past work, we applied to the fund's large grants stream while it was rebranding last year.

What did the application process involve? The fund put its form online in June, which proved easier to complete. However, I still had to send in a copy on disc and paper - the printout ran to 39 pages. A month later, I had to provide extra information and in October, I had an intensive 90-minute telephone interview, which combed over the details of the application.

The whole process took about one month of our time, but it was well worth it. The form was much better than the Community Fund forms of old, with their unclear and endless repetitive questions.

Is part of the money for training? It is for the total cost of two jobs, including training and management. Money for salary costs is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, partly because the Government's Supporting People scheme no longer pays for salary costs. Other funders still assume that it does.

Did you apply to other funders? Not for this project, as we knew the likelihood of getting it elsewhere was very low. In the past six months, we have applied for staff to run two other projects, but have yet to have any success. I have been particularly disappointed with the Sylvia Adams Trust, which didn't respond.

We have also had huge arguments with the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation about our status. We are no longer affiliated to National Gingerbread, which aids lone-parent support groups. We gained independence some years ago when our work became radically different - we now specialise in emergency housing. But the Lloyds TSB Foundation is always extremely helpful.

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