Alison Wallace, head of supporter development
Why did you apply to this fund? We have known about the Department of Trade and Industry's Partnership at Work fund since our human resources manager was invited to its launch. The two-year grant will enable us to evaluate our internal communications with staff, based on the recommendations of a specially hired consultant.
The DTI funding is to be added to £75,000 of our own money to fund the £125,000 project. It is our first DTI grant for almost a decade, since we successfully sourced money to develop our ICT systems. The DTI and Friends of the Earth don't see eye-to-eye on many things, so we don't have an ongoing relationship, but we were very happy that it was prepared to fund this work. We must submit six quarterly cost allocation reports as part of the conditions for the grant.
What did the application process involve? We had two conversations with the DTI in advance in order to get guidance on eligible costs. The 18-page application form called for a project timetable, a budget and a description of the project.
The process was relatively straightforward compared with applications for EU funding. The DTI struck the right balance as to how much it was prepared to fund for the resource we had to put into the bid.
Is part of the money for infrastructure or training? Some £15,000 is to cover the costs of a consultant, for work and time spent by the internal project team, for meetings, hiring venues and to allow staff to travel to regional offices.
Did you apply to other funders? We didn't because we were unable to identify another funder with the DTI's level of funding commitment - it has provided us with 40 per cent of the total project cost.