What we are looking for
Developing your 'dream' project
Each funding theme represent a societal or environmental problem and the challenge for Dream Fund applicants is to come up with original solutions to these problems in the form of a 2-3 year project that meets our criteria.
If you have an idea for a project that fits with one or more of the themes take care to analyse the themes before proceeding. For instance, we suggest doing some brainstorming around the following areas when considering how you will develop your project:
- What are the main issues surrounding the funding theme?
- Who are the beneficiary groups impacted by these issues?
- What are the main social or environmental problems?
- Why do these problems persist?
- What are the obstacles to successfully challenging this problem?
- What has been tried before in this area?
- What has worked and what has failed and why?
- What does success look like?
Developing the right partnership
The partnership is a highly important part of your project and is an area that we pay great attention to when considering applications.
The best projects come from diverse partnerships of charities across different sectors that are able to combine their unique sets of skills, experiences and perspectives to develop a really original project.
If you have an idea of the areas that will improve your project then you will have a better idea of which charities to approach to help you apply.
Look into your wider network to identify possible partners and also towards charitable sectors beyond your own.
Remember the more original the combination of charity partners, the more original the project and therefore the higher the chance your project has of being successful.
Combining the strengths of your partnership
Make sure you have clearly identified the problem you are attempting to solve, what the main issues are, what success looks like and that all partners are in agreement on these.
Map the following competences for each of the partner organisations to identify how they can best collaborate on the project:
- Beneficiary groups
- Geographic location
- Networks and contacts
The challenge is then to combine these attributes in such a way as to develop a unique solution to the problem you are attempting to solve. Ask how the unique strengths of each partner organisation be brought to bear on developing your dream project.
Remember, it is often when charity partners with different skills and experiences are brought into a project that the best forms of innovation can occur. A normal project can suddenly become something very original when a charity from a different sector is added to the partnership.
We assess each project according to the following criteria. Please use these as a checklist to see where you can work on improving your project…
Originality: Is the project the first of its’ kind? Does the project try anything innovative? Is it a Dream Project?
Reach: The number of people the project will reach for the amount of money requested. Does this represent value for money?
Scope: Does the project have clear aims and objectives? Is the project mission coherent and possible to achieve? Does the project demonstrate a credible systems change plan?
Legacy: What is the tangible legacy of the project beyond the two-three year duration? Are there clear plans for continued funding after the funding period has expired?
Partnership: Has much thought been given to the project partnership? Do the partners bring complementary strengths, experience and perspectives?
Public engagement: Will the project engage the public? Will it generate media interest, profile and new supporters?