10 Tips for Successful Bidding

Successful Strategic PlansAlthough EU funding has rapidly declined, there is still a wide range of funding available looking for good bids. Successful bidding is about finding the right funds.

Note that funds in the previous sentence is plural. Any project will require at least 2 sources of funds as you are very unlikely to be given all the money you need. This is known as matched funding. This is only fair as why should someone else help you if you are not prepared to risk your own resources. So successful projects may draw funds from multiple funders in addition to your own.

Successful Bidding Tips

  1. Consider what it is you are trying to achieve and why someone might want to fund part of it.
    Be clear on your own aims and those of your potential funders.
  2. Begin with a project outline then search for the potential funders. Your project is not set in stone until the funding is won.
  3. Recognise that bidding is gambling. The gamble is that through the constraints of the bidding process you can describe what you want to do in such a way that the assessors believe it is worthy of funding and should be funded.
  4. Beauty is very much in the eye of the funding beholder so the resources spent on bidding can easily be resources thrown away. Should you bid anyway or just do the project.
  5. Attend any pre-bid events. This applies even if you have been may times before. Why? Because there’s always something to learn and you might meet collaborators amongst your competitors.
  6. Read the bidding guidance in full. It tells you what they need to know and may give examples of what they want to see in your responses. If your project does not find their criteria then don’t waste time bidding.
  7. Understand what the benefits are for the funder and how they measure success. Is it more jobs, fewer disaffected youth, support for the town?
  8. Be very clear what the benefits of the bid are for the bidding organisation. If it is just money then think again as it is unlikely to win. Is it more staff; a piece of kit; reputation-building?
  9. Consider the risks. Often funding is provided as a last resort- there is no other suitable funding available or there is market failure or truly innovative. Successful bidding needs a balance of risk; high enough so that the funding is justified not so high the project is doomed to fail.
  10. Create a clear plan that looks systematically at everything that might need to be addressed to ensure a successful outcome. A clear succinct plan conveys confidence.

The final tip on successful bidding is to bid knowing that you may well fail for the first few times, but that each time you will learn more about what is needed. Or alternatively contact Aimed Business to help.