5 Top Tips for a strong Bright Ideas Fund application

Power to Change has suspended all current funding programmes, including the Bright Ideas programme, as it is focusing its attention on supporting community businesses affected by COVID-19. All future rounds of this programme are currently paused.

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Any applicant part way through the application process will be considered for Power to Change support. Please contact: brightideas@locality.org.uk to discuss your application.

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5 Top Tips for a strong Bright Ideas Fund application

The Bright Ideas Fund receives hundreds of applications, and there are certain characteristics which most successful applications share.

These 5 top-tips can help strengthen and improve your application, giving it a better chance of success.

1. Be clear and realistic about your Community Business Idea

Be clear about the business model that you’re describing. It’s really important to focus on income and customers (rather than just beneficiaries).

  • How has demand for the business idea been established?
  • What are the future indicators?

Use the opportunity to flag anything different or innovative about your idea.

Demonstrate that others have confidence in your idea, e.g. through partnership working.

Most of all – keep your plans realistic.

2. Demonstrate your Community Business’s accountability

Go beyond basic consultation. Take it one step further and consider how the community can hold the organisation to account and can exercise control.

Demonstrate this through a combination of governance structures, culture and practice. For example, tell us how local residents can have a say in your business as trustees, staff, volunteers and as customers.

Aspire to achieving a ‘gold’ standard through community membership and democratic processes.

Remember that consultation and methods that support ongoing beneficiary involvement are always good!

3. Shine a light on your social purpose

When describing your social purpose, make sure to focus on outcomes and the wider impact your community business will achieve for local people in the long term.

State the obvious; even new community businesses can deliver broad social impact. Focus on the benefits for individuals, families, communities, the environment or other stakeholders.

4. Be locally rooted

Describe the local origins of your organisation; how and why was it created?

Make sure to link to a specific geographical area and community, while emphasising local beneficiaries.

Explain how your organisation is embedding community involvement in its culture and practice on an ongoing basis and how this links to your accountability plans.

5. Stay balanced on community needs and strengths

Provide some context about your community that is relevant to your community business idea.

Stats are good to use as evidence – but be choosy! Don’t flood your application with irrelevant stats.

Survey feedback can be good to include but quotes and personal stories can make it feel interesting and lively.

It’s as important to talk about community strengths as it is to describe their needs – so stay balanced.

If you get stuck, we’re here to help – and it’s free of charge.

Email us at brightideas@locality.org.uk or for more information and ideas watch the Bright Ideas webinar.

Are you from one of an area of interest?

We are genuinely wanting as many applications as possible to succeed and are particularly interested in receiving applications from:

  • Hartlepool
  • Grimsby
  • Wigan
  • Leicester
  • Plymouth
  • Bradford
Apply to the Bright Ideas fund now