Alan’s consultancy services include:

Checklists and resources

Some checklists and articles on different aspects of managing voluntary organisations.

Ten reasons why bids fail

Producing a bid to a commissioner or funder can be a demanding and complex task. Here are ten reasons bids fail:

  1. Not doing your research. The problem or need hasn’t been studied. We jump straight into what we would do without checking that we understand what is needed.
  2. Assuming prior knowledge. Don’t assume that just because you have been around for ages that commissioners understand your organisation’s role and range of expertise and activities.
  3. Bidding for what you want to do not what the commissioner wants. Selective reading of the specification. Bidding for the bits that you like and sidestepping the rest.
  4. Not having evidence. It’s no longer enough to do good work that makes a difference. Now you have to prove it. How can you show the outcomes and the difference that you make?
  5. Not paying attention to detail. Failing to follow the commissioner’s processes and systems can be grounds for a perfectly good bid to be excluded.
  6. Watch out for complacency. Not thinking a fresh about what you do. Failing to see how needs, trends and expectations have changed. Bidding for what you have always done.
  7. Being too close to it. You are so involved in the organisation that it is difficult to be objective about it or make the case.
  8. Underselling yourself. Being reluctant to show your expertise, skills and understanding.
  9. Not showing that you can manage it. Funders need to know that you have the experience, systems and structure to properly manage the activity. A good business plan should spell this out.
  10. Seeing it a funding request. It is now more than asking for money. It’s about building a relationship and agreeing a business relationship.

Contact me to discuss way in which I can help and support you in producing effective bids.