Funding, finance and fundability

RVA works in partnership with Reading Borough Council’s Funding Information Service to provide a range of support and advice to community groups and charities seeking to develop a sustainable funding base.

RBC Funding Advice Team’s focus is on

  • collating information about the range of funding opportunities that exist, whether grants or tendering opportunities for commissioned services
  • providing a monthly Funding Digest of the upcoming grants and tendering opportunities to registered subscribers
  • hosting the online funding search site Reading 4 Community – find it via the RBC fundraising page
  • providing a funding related news feed via RVA’s channels
  • offering a service to review draft funding applications and providing confidential, ‘critical friend’ feedback to groups
  • The team welcomes direct approaches from groups who are sufficiently developed to be ‘fit for funding’ i.e. they have a basic level of structure and planning in place to fulfil the eligibility requirements of a funder. They encourage groups to use the RVA fundability healthcheck before getting in touch.

RVA’s role is to help groups to become ‘fit for funding’ with the kind of solid, appropriate governance and planning in place that funders and service commissioners are increasingly looking for. To achieve this, RVA provides:

  • a comprehensive Advice Service for charities and groups
  • a range of Employment and Management guides and resources
  • expertise in policy development appropriate to the needs and ambitions of individual groups (click to view RVA’s own policy documents )
  • help with getting signed up for RBC’s monthly Funding Digest or using the online Reading4Community grant-finding service
  • regular updates about issues relevant to the voluntary sector and publicising new opportunities in funding, training etc, via News and events pages and RVA Digests, as well as our new Funding Round-up page
  • a range of self-help resource documents and links specifically around funding and fundraising issues, which can be found below.

The information published here is for general guidance purposes to help organisations help themselves. Do contact RVA if you require advice on how to use these tools to best effect in your organisation, or to discuss specialised requirements. We will ask you to complete the RVA fundability healthcheck

Contact us on 0118 937 2273 or email advice@rva.org.uk


All the information is for guidance purposes only – please seek specialist advice if you have a particular issue to resolve.

  • Funders’ Top Ten Tips

    Gathered from key UK finding organisations and published by NCVO.

  • Funding application checklist

    Once you have drafted a funding application, you should try to step back and look at it critically. Review it against the questions contained in the checklist.

  • Funding Central

    Funding Central provide a comprehensive search engine of local and national funding opportunities. From 15 June 2016 there will be an annual servie fee for organisations with an income of £100,000 or more.

  • How to get funding and support from businesses

    Grants from companies can often involve a less rigorous application process and lighter-touch monitoring than funding through charitable trusts, but it doesn’t always mean it’s easier to access. As many of them promote their grants heavily through local branches, lots of people know about them and give it a go.

  • Planning a fundraising strategy

    A fundraising strategy sets out a group’s funding needs over a future period and outlines how the group intends to raise the money to meet those needs. Working out a strategy and then writing it down will help the group reach its goals and provide a framework against which to refresh the strategy into the future.

  • Putting together a budget

    Establishing a budget for the operating year helps you ensure that you can acheive your plans within the funds available or adapt accordingly. Follow this simple guide to budgeting and you will be able to make financial deci­sions and keep control of your costs based on a concrete set of figures.

  • RBC “Monitoring and evaluation”

    As part of any application process for funding it is increasingly common for potential funders to ask you how and when you will know your project is successful. Therefore, as part of your planning process you should always think about how you are going to monitor and evaluate your project and activities during, and beyond, the length of the funding.

  • RBC Funding Digest

    The Funding Advice Team produces a monthly electronic compilation of new or updated information on current funding opportunities. New funders, changes to existing funders, funding opportunities with imminent deadlines are contained in each publication.

  • Reading 4 Community from RBC

    Reading 4 Community is a funding search site provided by RBC. It allows you to search through over 4000 European, national and regional funding programmes, including grants and loans, to try and find potential financial support and advice for your project or organisation. Reading 4 Community is a free service available to not-for-profit groups and organisations that are working for the benefit of Reading residents.

  • Revenue fundraising (covering your costs)

    How to chunk your day to day costs into specific areas of work or projects, so that funders can clearly understand what they are paying for and its outputs and outcomes.

  • Tax-effective Fundraising

    Tax-effective fundraising is invaluable to the charity sector, allowing tens of thousands of charities to significantly boost their income. However, charities are currently missing out on over £740 million each year in Gift Aid income alone. The resources provided by the Institute of Fundraising are aimed at everyone involved in charitable giving: charities, fundraisers and donors alike.

  • Tips for applying for funding for the first time – BCF

    A short guide that tells you what the grants staff at Berkshire Community Foundation say about filling in application forms.

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