How to be an effective Trust Fundraiser

Trust fundraising


In my work as a fundraising consultant, I come across many charities asking for help with their trust fundraising. In fact, I’ve just started a project with the Trussell Trust to help some of their foodbanks fundraise more effectively, and I know grant funding is going to be an area many of them are going to be asking about. 

Charitable trusts are organisations that exist to give money away to non-profits, charities, and other good causes, and they are an essential source of funding for many organisations.

But writing funding applications to charitable trusts can be daunting and time-consuming. However, with the right approach, you can dramatically improve your chances of success.

Do you want to write stronger, more compelling funding applications to grant-making foundations? Are you wondering how you might improve your success rate with trusts? If so, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Read the guidelines carefully: Before you start writing your application, read the guidelines provided by the charitable trust. Make sure you understand the eligibility criteria, funding priorities, and any specific instructions or requirements for the application. This sounds obvious, but it is an area many organisations slip up on. Having an ‘essentials’ checklist by the side of your desk, can help ensure you are answering all the right questions.
  1. Tell a compelling story: Most trusts receive hundreds of funding applications each month, so making yours stand out is essential. One way to do this is by telling a compelling story about your organisation and its impact on the community. Use real-life examples, images, statistics and anecdotes to illustrate the need for your project and demonstrate how it will make a difference to people’s lives.
  1. Be clear and concise: While telling a powerful story is essential, it’s also important to be clear and concise in your application. Use simple language and avoid jargon or technical terms that may confuse the reader. Make sure you explain any acronyms or abbreviations you use and break down complex ideas into simple concepts that anyone can understand.
  2. Focus on outcomes: Grant-makers want to support projects and activities that positively impact the community. Make sure your application focuses on the outcomes or results you hope to achieve through your project and demonstrates how they align with the funding priorities of the charitable trust.
  3. Work smarter: With funders becoming increasingly rigorous in terms of application writing and reporting requirements, trust fundraising has never been more time consuming. Working smarter and ruthless time management are therefore more important than ever. Adapt and recycle strong content and paragraphs, images and case studies in a shared space so that you can reuse these in future applications.
Trust fundraising

As any fundraiser, freelance fundraiser or fundraising consultant will tell you, writing a funding application to a charitable trust is no mean feat. But with the right approach, some careful recycling of content and a clear focus on the five areas outlined above, you can increase your chances of success.

Good luck!

For help or advice regarding trust fundraising, or any aspect of fundraising, please get in touch.