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Five tips for 4-5 year continuation applications

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

With 63% of respondents in our sector survey last year identifying “short term nature of funding” as a key concern, The Robertson Trust continues to offer multi-year awards to eligible Third Sector organisations in Scotland.

While these generally cover a three year period, those that have demonstrated good grant management and continually exceeded their set activities may have scope to apply for 4-5 year continuation funding. We tend to receive more applications than we fund for such awards and that's why success requires a clear demonstration of excellence and understanding of our guidelines.

So, what do our Giving Team look for in these applications? In order to increase your likelihood of success, we recommend following the advice below and ensuring you are familiar with our guidance document, which provides a breakdown of all the key paperwork needed.

Consider when you can apply

Grant holders can enquire about funding for years 4 & 5 up to six months before current funding is set to run out, in other words, six months after we have released your year three payment. A member of the Giving Team can then advise you of the timescale for your application.

Provide the correct paperwork

To increase your chance of success for 4-5 year continuation funding, it is extremely important that you submit all relevant paperwork detailed in our guidance document. This includes a report covering the full three year donation period, highlighting impact and key achievements. Remember, we are looking for excellence here, and what is provided should not simply re-state the information provided in the individual annual reports already submitted to the Trust.

We also strongly advise that you report under the headings provided in our guidance document.

Vary how you evidence your impact

It is advisable to include a mixture of pictures, case studies, feedback and user questionnaires to evidence your impact – but don’t overdo it! Graphs, charts or tables should include information which is meaningful in the context of the report and easy to understand.

Understand how much you can expect

If successful, funding is normally granted at the same level as your original award. However, if costs have increased substantially, you must make a case for a higher level of award.

Focus on quality throughout your award

The quality of reporting and management of the award over the preceding three year period will also be taken into account and those who have continually provided high quality evidence of their impact will greatly increase their chances of success.

For full guidance on applications for 4-5 year funding, please click here.