Funding, finance and fundability

Is your group or charity looking for funding support? This page provides a range of resources and tools to help you get started. RVA works in partnership with Reading Borough Council’s Funding Information Service to support groups as follows:

RBC Funding Information Service focuses on:
  • collating information about the range of funding opportunities that exist, whether grants or tendering opportunities for commissioned services.
  • hosting the online funding search site Reading 4 Community. You can register via the website for regular email updates.
  • 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 helps groups with governance support that funders and commissioners are increasingly looking for, by providing the following:

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

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

  • Free fundraising tool for small charities and groups

    The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) have developed ‘Fundraising Fundamentals‘, a free fundraising tool to help small charities and groups to develop a fundraising strategy. It includes four sections: Getting started Including where you are now and where you would like to get too, and a very simple SWOT analysis to help you; Know your donors This covers knowing who to approach and to how to keep your fundraising closely linked to your vision, mission and purpose, aswell as tips on demonstrating impact. Multi-channel fundraising The most effective fundraising strategies are those that rely on more than one ...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Reserves Calculator from the Wise Owl Partnership

    This FREE Reserves Calculator from the Wise Owl Partnership will guide you through the steps required for setting a reserves policy using a risk based approach. It takes into account all the factors set out in the Charity Commission’s guidance (CC19) and helps you to work out the amount or range of reserves needed for your charity.

  • Reserves Policies made simple – Sayer Vincent

    A simple guide from Sayer Vincent on understanding charity reserves and setting a reserves policy

  • Reserves: Building Resilience – Charity Commission CC19

    Full guidance from the Charity Commission on how to ensure your charity has set the right level of reserves, including a simple approach for small charities.

  • 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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