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Needs Assessment for Grant Fundraising

In today’s competitive grant funding market, achieving success means demonstrating that your project has been co-designed with beneficiaries, responds to what they have said they need, and complements wider provision.

Today's successful fundraising teams are those that can demonstrate that their project has the highest priority need. Organisations with the highest success rates make consulting with service users about their needs part and parcel of these assessments.

We can work with you to devise a consultation methodology and social research plan, using the most efficient methods. We gather qualitative feedback from stakeholders, put it together with relevant quantitative data and produce an analysis which informs the development of your project and evidences need within future grants applications. From needs assessments and evaluations; to co-production of project design; to business planning and budgeting; to fundraising proposal writing - we can help you every step of the way.

Increasingly, when assessing a major funding application, grant funders – e.g. Big Lottery Fund - require evidence of need for the project in order to commit their support. Organisations with the highest success rates in grants fundraising routinely consult with service users about their needs and design project activities in line with their feedback. They are able to demonstrate that they have ‘co-produced’ their project design with service users. From the perspective of a community of people in need, a needs assessment is a systematic process for determining and addressing their needs: the "gaps" between the conditions they are currently living in and their desired conditions. The discrepancy between their current condition and the conditions needed to be in place is what must be measured to appropriately identify the need.

The needs assessment report can form part of the submission pack for major applications, with the executive summary designed in such a way as to act as a problem statement. It provides social research which evidences the need for your project to a donor and is a valuable tool for fundraising. For services teams, it provides quantitative and qualitative evidence of need from beneficiaries and wider stakeholders and can improve the targeting of resources to service gaps.

We are proficient at the whole process of needs assessment: from social research to beneficiary consultations, to ‘co-production of project design. We can support you to explore what service users need from you, what support they are receiving from others and how your project idea fits with the plans of wider stakeholders. Stakeholders may include organisations delivering similar services to you and / or organisations that might refer service users to you, as well as commissioners who may fund your project in future phases.

Project Cycle

A range of tools utilised in the process can be tailored to your needs and budget. For those with smaller budgets, we can provide you with the infrastructure and remote support: tools for running consultations, coaching (train the trainer) support to your staff in how to use them and remote coaching to support you throughout the process.

For those with larger budgets we can additionally facilitate focus groups and telephone / online consultations for you. We can provide analysis support to consolidate the results and feedback into a report for you, which can include a SWOT and PESTLE analysis. As additional options, desk research can be undertaken into the strategic environment that surrounds and shaped the problems experienced by your services users.

From needs assessments and evaluations; to co-production of project design; to business planning and budgeting; to fundraising proposal writing - we can help you every step of the way.

If you have an idea for a project and wish to conduct social research as part of a needs assessment, please contact us today on 01785 663600 to discuss your needs. 

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