How to write a great application

This guidance has been developed to help you to complete your application for NHS Blood and Transplant’s Community Grants Programme. It focuses on sections that have proved challenging to applicants in the past, to give greater clarity on what “great” can look like.

On this page:

If you have specific questions around any section of the application form, please contact us at community.funding@nhsbt.nhs.uk.

General tips

  • Be clear, and concise. Limit the use of abbreviations and acronyms and make sure they are defined in full the first time they appear
  • Answer every question, leaving no sections blank. Please attach your budget and project timescale before submitting the application
  • If you need to attach any other files, please do this before submitting the application and make this clear in your answer to the question they refer to
  • Use evidence and figures to back up your answers and show the impact of your project
  • Proofread your application for spelling and grammatical errors before you submit it
  • Do not assume the judging panel are familiar with your organisation, tell us about you
  • Keep the judging criteria in mind when writing your application
  • You don’t need to complete your application form in one go - you can save your progress and come back to it later

Your previous experience in raising awareness

We are looking for applications from organisations with experience of addressing health inequality in their target audience. If you have experience of challenging misinformation, building trust, and changing behaviour to achieve a positive outcome, we’d love to hear about this.

Examples from successful applicants

Example 1

An organisation looking to deliver organ donation awareness activity in barbershops discussed their previous experience of leading community projects to tackle other health inequalities.

They provided evidence of the impact of this work, using figures around reach and the number of events delivered.

Example 2

An organisation looking to engage young Black people talked about their previous experience in delivering organ donation awareness initiatives. They gave key figures that showed their impact, such as figures around organ donor registrations.

They also talked about how their previous activity had engaged their young target audience, showing their experience of working with young people in educational settings.

Example 3

Another organisation showed how they played a vital role during Covid-19 to educate their community about the virus and vaccine.

Why your organisation is best placed to deliver this work

We are looking for applications from organisations with established, proven and reputable links to their target audience. Tell us what makes you the most appropriate organisation in your area to deliver this project.

You could tell us about:

  • Your in-house expertise, such as staff with existing relationships in the community
  • The footfall in your community centre/place of worship/charity HQ
  • The representation of people from your target community on your staff team or board
  • The size and demographic of your mailing list (either email or direct mail)
  • Your links to key community figures or leaders
  • Your digital reach and engagement, such as your online following on social media platforms
  • Your understanding of your target community’s attitude to organ, blood and stem cell donation

Examples from successful applicants

Example 1

One organisation looking to engage young people talked about the connections they have already built with schools, colleges and universities in their target geographical area.

Example 2

One organisation talked about how they were best placed to deliver community work with young South Asian women. They demonstrated how they would use the services they already offer to ensure attendance at organ donation workshops, such as childcare and language support.

Your target audience and why your project is needed

Use this space to talk about the people your project will engage, and why this activity is needed in this community.

Please read the supporting information relevant to your project type:

If your project focuses on organ donation, read our Agroni survey results (Powerpoint 2.6MB) to see what motivates or prevents people from diverse communities from donating their own or their loved ones’ organs. The results show which motivators and barriers apply to each of our key groups.

Many people from Black, Asian, mixed heritage and minority ethnic communities think their religion prevents them from organ donation. Is this a barrier in your target community? If so, how can you use your activity to provide reassurance and encourage participation?

Examples from successful applicants

Example 1

One organisation delivering a project in a college discussed the ethnic diversity of their student population. It drew attention to the age of their students, and the number of students who would be reached by the project. It also acknowledged the role that young people play as changemakers in the community.

Example 2

One organisation delivering a project in a community centre talked about the demographic of the young women they already work with and discussed the key barriers to donation in this group – having consulted the women they work with. They also used our Agroni survey results (Powerpoint 2.6MB) to show the need for work in their community.

Your SMART objectives

We are looking for well-structured objectives that make it very clear what your impact will be. Your objectives should focus on how your project will positively engage local communities, address concerns, and increase support for donation among your target audience. Please avoid generic objectives.

Examples from successful applicants

One organisation provided these objectives for the first phase of their 3-strand campaign:

  • Improve people's understanding of organ donation through provision of written information and by talking to targeted people at meetings and gatherings
  • Raise awareness of the changes in the law relating to organ donation through meetings, disseminating information
  • Encourage people not to opt out of organ donation by improving their understanding of organ donation and the importance of it

 

To be achieved through:

  • 400 people attending events for BAME community where “opt out” law is promoted, by May 2020.
  • Distributing 500 NHSBT leaflets at our centre
  • Distributing 500 NHSBT leaflets at local religious and cultural organisations

Measuring your impact

Please pick at least 3 measures from the list below, along with any other measures needed to track your impact:

  • Registrations, via tracked links
  • Attitude change measures, such as pre and post-event questionnaires, surveys or polls
  • Event attendance (online or in person)
  • Resource distribution (via email/social media or hard copy)
  • Online engagement figures, such as website visits or social media engagement

This is to ensure that the impact of individual projects, and the scheme as a whole, can be evaluated robustly. Organisations will be asked to monitor and evaluate their project reach, conversations and registrations.

Examples from successful applicants

Successful applications in the past have discussed other measures including:

  • Media or TV coverage of the project launch in the national media and faith media
  • Number of in-person events and conversations about donation
  • Reach and engagement for social media posts
  • Number of experts attending events, such as specialist nurses

Your planning and timescales

You need to map out where you are now, where you want to get to and how you will achieve that. Include timescales so it’s clear what you will do in month one, month two, and so on.

Examples from successful applicants

Organisations that scored highly on this question broke down their activity month-by month. This gives the judging panel confidence that the applicant has mapped out their project in a structured way.

Some organisations split their work into separate phases where multiple strands are being delivered, which gives the project structure. This makes it clear how much time will be spent on each element of your plan.

Your budgeting

You will need to carefully consider how much you want to apply for. Your activity must represent value for money.

 

Further questions

Please email any questions relating to the application form or process to community.funding@nhsbt.nhs.uk and we will do our best to help you.