Capacity Building

VASA offers support to organisations throughout the funding process. Whether you are new to the challenges of funding or are looking to develop your project or service, VASA are here to help you.

The Community Toolkit Simple Step Guides are here to help with some of the more common scenarios including governance, legal requirements, funding etc, that you will face as a community group or organisation. Follow the links to the relevant sections of the Toolkit below.

VASA recommend that before your organisation applies for funding, it’s worth considering the following key actions.

  • Carry out a check of your constitution document. If your governing document is out of date or fails to reflect the aims and objectives of the organisation, your application could fail. VASA can help you review your constitution.
  • Research your project needs. Ensure that you are aware of existing projects and how yours will differ/add to what is already there. Be prepared to demonstrate and provide evidence that there is a clear need for your project in the community. VASA can help you identify similar projects and work with you to identify need, through community consultation etc.
  • Ensure that your project is well planned, costs are accurate (funders know how much things cost too) and that someone from your organisation is available to communicate effectively with potential funders and answer their queries. VASA can work with you through your project plan to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify your project beneficiaries and the changes you are going to make for them. You will be asked to define your 'outcomes', and at the end of the project, you may be asked to report on your achievements against these criteria. If measuring outcomes is new to you, VASA can guide you through appropriate processes.

A quick checklist of points to consider:

  • Read the guidelines thoroughly and follow them.
  • Check eligibility::No matter how good your application, if you do not fit the funder’s eligibility criteria, your application will fail.
  • Demonstrate priorities: Show how your project meets/matches the priorities of the funder.
  • Clarify outcomes: Show what difference your project will make and to whom; how will you demonstrate and measure this?
  • Prepare supporting documentation: Identify appropriate, relevant supporting material.
  • Ensure all questions are answered in the space provided: Do not use 'see above/below/attached' etc. Often, more lengthy funding applications are split and assessed by a number of people looking at one area so, if you have not answered a question in the box given, the person reading it will have nothing to mark your application on and it will fail. This can often be why some application forms seem to ask the same question in several places.
  • Review the application prior to submission: keep a copy and make sure whoever you have designated to be a contact for the funder also has a copy of the application and all relevant documentation.

VASA can help you look for potential funders, in addition to any search facilities you may already have access to. Contact us: or call (01292) 432 661.

On our useful links page you can also access a range of further information which might help you navigate your way around the funding maze. VASA hold regular training sessions about funding, and several ‘meet the funders’ sessions during each year. See the Training Calendar for future events. For more information on social enterprise click: Trading as a Social Enterprise.

  • What is Social Enterprise
  • Volunteer Involving Organisations
  • Capacity Building
  • Training
  • Contact VASA