Deb Writing a Bid

Successful Funding Applications

I'm an experienced bid-writer with a good track record of successful bids. I've written countless funding applications and proposals over the last 20 years for a range of Third Sector organisations.

I've applied to so many different funding streams and types of funder over that years that it is hard to keep count, eg ESF; the Lottery in its many evolutions; the FEFC, LSC and College Business Development units; regional and local Regeneration funds; Charitable Trusts and Community Foundations; Companies and the Chamber of Commerce; Arts funds; Local Authorities and local area partnership boards and commissioning partnerships. I've also applied for many grants for individuals in need, from sources appropriate to that category.

I know how to write tailored, targeted bids that match the requirements and priorities of the funder.

For the last 15 years I've been teaching these skills to others too through a range of courses:

  • Developing a Fundraising Strategy
  • Making Successful Funding Applications
  • Effective Writing for Funding Applications.

I successfully obtained substantial ESF funding for an innovative training project (no mean feat, as those of you who have done this will know!); I also managed to secure core funding from the Lottery for nine years (3 successive bids) for the same infrastructure organisation (a rare occurrence).

I have exceptionally good written skills: besides 20 years of writing Funding Applications, Annual Reports, Newsletters, Publicity Materials, Reports to funders and Training materials, (and a Good Practice Guide to Working With Volunteers that sold nationally), I have written two novels and won many prizes for short stories, and had travel articles published in national newspapers. This success is due to understanding who you are writing for and adapting the style, language, content etc to the audience and also, with bids, getting the context right - understanding the particular values and ethos of the funder. I also teach Effective Writing, Public Speaking and Language for Leadership and there is no doubt that skill in being able to influence and persuade others with words are critical to bid-writing.

Besides first class writing skills, I have the oral communication skills needed to consult others and ensure the requirements of the various stakeholders are understood and catered for. Excellent communication is essential: successful bids then have to be turned into successful projects - appropriate consultation is vital to a deliverable project that can meet its targets and achieve the desired outcomes.

I understand the highly competitive nature of the climate and the need for bids to be compelling.

My motivation, besides earning my living, is the benefit to the charity's users and a sense of pride in writing skilfully to achieve money for them.

If you'd like to discuss using me to help you write funding bids, please get in touch. The level of help is up to you: it varies from writing a bid outright to commenting on and editing a draft application you have written. My rates depend on the size of your organisation and the length of the application so please don't be afraid to ask for a quote.


Debby worked in my team and got great feedback from the groups we helped with funding bids - here are some of their comments:

“Debby has been amazing to work with on funding bids. She has great insight and knowledge, empowering and mentoring us through the process of applying for trust funding including BIG lottery bids!”

“We would have no hesitation in using Debby to help again with funding bids. Her understanding and knowledge about what funders are looking for, and how to design outcomes, have really helped us. She helped us with the difficult bits like budgets and 'full cost recovery' too.”

“Deborah has helped immensely by working with the board to develop our funding strategy. We now feel confident in moving forward with our fund-raising. She thinks strategically and opened up some new avenues of funding to us.”

“Easy to work with, understands the sector and has a way of helping develop ideas into action plans!”

Chris Shepherd, Manager of the Funding Advice Service for Voluntary Action North Somerset

“Thanks for draft application - once again, you have pulled out all the stops …… you are more than a fundraiser! You have definitely gone the extra mile for WDGB”

Maggie Lyons, Manager - WDGB Ltd, Helping the Homeless of North Somerset