Finding and securing funding

The Bright Ideas Partnership facilitates charities to find and secure funding, measure their impact, demonstrate their social value and strengthen their organisation.

We also provide mentoring support to enable you to write your funding application in-house.

Bright Ideas has a success rate of 40% for funding applications submitted, significantly higher than the industry average and represents excellent value for money, delivering £40.92 for every £1 invested in us.

Over a three year period Walton Charity has funded a number of development/fundraising projects in partner organisations. With Bright Ideas' support these organisations have been successfully enabled to obtain significant funding which has helped secure their service delivery over a number of years. Jo is an extremely professional, well organised and competent consultant. She is also friendly and flexible. Her results speak for themselves.

Andrea Watson, Community Services Manager, Walton Charity.

Engaging the Bright Ideas partnership was one of the 'brightest ideas' we have had. They have been instrumental in securing us substantial funding, enabling us to continue our work with vulnerable disaffected young people.

Jackie Hooper, CEO, The Basement Project

Applying to the National Lottery Community Fund

We specialise in applications to the National Lottery Community Fund on behalf of a wide range of not-for-profits including organisations who have never before secured large amounts of grant funding.

In our 15-year experience, we have submitted 39 successful Lottery bids – securing over £11.5m in funding, with a 98% success rate at second stage.

We like the team’s approach because they focused on building our capacity and were quick to find ways to save our money rather than spend more with them. Our biggest success with Bright Ideas has been securing a three year Reaching Communities grant for our Community Hub worth £237,000. Since working with Bright Ideas we have tripled our income. We have a set of templates developed by Bright Ideas which form the basis of our applications on an ongoing basis and we primarily use Bright Ideas to ‘score’ our applications now. I regularly recommend Bright Ideas to other charities and will continue to do so.

Avril McIntyre (MBE), Director, Community Resources

When we first worked with Bright Ideas we literally had a few hundred pounds in the bank, no paid staff, no premises and no future. Now we have 25 staff, three local projects, some ground-breaking research, we own a building (debt free) and have a turnover of around £700,000 per year. We’ve secured four Reaching Communities grants from the Lottery with Bright Ideas support. Justlife is unrecognisable now to what it was when we started working with Bright Ideas.

Gary Bishop, CEO, Justlife

Bright Ideas are straight talking. Though they believe in our work they won’t get carried away with the good intentions of a project. Thus, they are good critical friends. With their support, we have secured funding from the Lottery and Comic Relief, which has, in turn, empowered us to reach and serve hundreds of beneficiaries in Sierra Leone.

Jamie Singleton, International Director, LifeLine Network International

Measuring impact

In the last 10 years, we have externally evaluated £5million worth of programmes working with over 22,000 beneficiaries. Many of these projects were receiving National Lottery Community Funding.

We also understand the on-the-ground constraints of monitoring for small charities with limited resources, so we help organisations to ‘set up’ and review monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Jo’s objective view of the project and its outcomes gives me, as Project Manager, a clearer view of where improvements can be made and where success is achieved, or not, as the case may be. As a project we have been able to implement developmental ideas and suggestions which have enabled us to be more focussed and successful.

Mary Rogan, Project Manager, Help for Carers

Since working with Bright Ideas we have grown both financially and in client numbers by about 400%. Also, we now have a better understanding of our impact, which we believe has diversified and improved.

Tom Gallagher, Director, Sydenham Garden

The end of year one report produced by Bright Ideas showed the impact of our project on service users, agencies and members of the public. It’s been a pleasure working with Bright Ideas and the feedback from staff and service users who they interviewed was very positive. We will be in touch when the final external evaluation is due!

Karen Fleet, Head of Homeless Services, Porchlight

Measuring social value

We develop Cost Benefit Analyses often as part of the external evaluations we work on. The purpose of a Cost Benefit Analysis is to place a value on the social, economic and environment outcomes of a charity or project, so that charities can understand that for every £1 spent on their service delivers £xx of ‘social value’. This allows organisations to demonstrate their social value to stakeholders, funders and supporters. The Bright Ideas Partnership is also a Social Value Pioneer with Social Value UK.

The cost benefit analysis that Bright Ideas undertook of our Targeted Referrals project was timely as it evidenced not only that the project was good value for money, but that it actually generated benefits above and beyond the amount invested in it – something that has been impactful at a time when the project was being reviewed and re-commissioned.

Ruth Cox, Regional Operations Manager (North), Justlife

We found the process with Bright Ideas to be very well-organised and much more straight-forward than expected. Seeing that what we do is good value for money has been particularly helpful and is something we hadn’t really thought much about before. We have sent the report to our key funders and will be using it in funding applications as evidence of the difference we make.

Sally Dixon, Open Doors Project Co-Ordinator, Community Resources

Understanding the true financial value of what we do puts us in a much stronger position from which to evidence the benefit of our work to funders, partners and policy makers. We already know that the health, social and community benefits are huge. The Cost Benefit Analysis carried out by Bright Ideas now gives us the proof that what we do is also great value for money.

Coralie Hopwood, Director, Sydenham Garden

Strengthening your organisation

Many small charities are facing reduced funding but increased demand; to respond, and survive, charities need to be resilient, strong and stable. We are experts at enabling clients to improve their performance and build their sustainability.

We do this through developing business plans, undertaking organisational reviews (including for successful recipients of the Reaching Communities development funding) and through mentoring senior staff.

We needed a strengths and weaknesses review following a successful National Lottery Community Fund bid. Bright Ideas provided an independent assessment of the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, and made recommendations for areas where we could invest time and money to achieve improvements. Since working with Bright Ideas we have changed in a number of ways. We now provide more activities for our members. In support of this, we have expanded the management team; we have stronger financial reporting and control systems; and we have upgraded several areas of governance.

Brian Roberts, Trustee, Elmbridge Community Link

As a party outside of your organisation, Bright Ideas is able to help you unwind your assumptions and communicate what you do and want to do to those outside.

Jamie Singleton, International Director, LifeLine Network International