In a previous blog we discussed the six parts of all funding applications. In this edition, we want to expand on one of those parts, Defining the need for your project and evidence. All applications will require you to tell the funder why your project is needed and provide some evidence to corroborate this. There are plenty of different ways you could do this and below are a few suggestions that you could choose.

  • Outcomes from your previous projects

Perhaps you are applying to a funder for funding for one of your existing projects they have not funded previously or your are now applying for funding following a successful pilot project. You can use the information, data and statistics from these previous projects as part of new applications.

There is no better way to show that you the need for your project than by showing the benefit that your project had on past participants. This information should also be easy to find as you will be collecting it as part of your project and for your previous funders. So, no extra work and lots of evidence of how needed your project is.

  • Case studies

Data from your past project will be good, but how about providing a more detailed case study of how your project helped someone in their own words. By allowing someone you supported explain how the project has helped them, it makes it easier for the prospective funder to see the benefits it brought and to encourage them to give you funding to support more people.

Case studies can be tricky for some people, so have a chat with the CVS if you want some support on how to write engaging and impactful case studies.

  • Data, trends and statistics

Perhaps the funding application you are completing wants you to use statistics/data to show the need for your project. Did you know that there is lots of information available which you can use as part of your application. For example, Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessments are a great way to find out information about different communities in Hertfordshire on a wide range of issues.

These reports have all been commissioned by the County Council using data from Hertfordshire residents so these will be an excellent place to start to find information about the communities you support or those groups of individuals you want to support.

Additionally, have you reviewed documents, local plans and strategies produced by local authorities. Not only do these documents highlight key priorities for their council districts/boroughs, they may also lead you to supportive evidence which you can use as part of applications. For example, did you know that Hertfordshire County Council has dedicated strategies for Health and Wellbeing, Adult Mental Health as well as for Children and Young People. Consider reviewing these documents next time you are considering applying for funding as it will be easier to be consider for funding if your plans link to overarching plans from local authorities.

  • Newspaper articles/local media

Have you seen any stories in the local press than might give you evidence. For example, in 2021, the Watford Observer published a story that ‘One in ten people in Watford suffer from depression’.  Not only did the article provide a link to where they found these figures (House of Commons Public Libraries) but a breakdown of the numbers based on individual wards. So keep an eye on your local newspapers as you never know what information 

So those are just a few ways you can define you need and show the funder that your need is evidence-based. If this blog has been useful to you let us know! However, if you are still struggling, do not hesitate to get in touch via email or call 07908 209908 and we can discuss this further with you.

Alex Murray


Lead for W3RT CVS, work for Watford and Three Rivers Trust. Helping to strengthen and support the local voluntary sector in #Watford.