Funding Toolkit: Finding partners

Finding partners

Build a Partnership (if necessary)

Very few initiatives operate in isolation. The process of reaching out and engaging people, delivering a holistic package of support, with progression opportunities and sustained help is complex and almost always involves a variety of organisations.

Discuss your proposal with partner organisations at an early stage to understand how it fits with their work and how they can contribute to your success.

Whether you need to bring any of these external agencies in as formal or funded partners will be a careful decision. It should mainly depend on whether they are able to provide the support you require from their existing resources.

However, there may be other factors. Some funders take comfort in receiving applications from formal partnerships. Others require matched-funding (where you have to bring your own money as well as spending theirs) and a partner that is able to support your project from their existing resources can be a valuable source of such funds.

In all cases, try to make sure that your partners are genuinely on-board. It is best to avoid the temptation to beef up a bid by signing up a whole series of impressive sounding partners with small or ill-defined roles. There is a danger that you will end up disappointing or alienating them later.

Next: Develop the bid
Previous: Determine the need