Application Guidance Notes

The MSE Charity is dedicated to supporting UK voluntary groups deliver financial life skills, which make a lasting impact on the way people think, behave & manage their money.

All applications must demonstrate how the project they are seeking funding for has a lasting impact on the people taking part.

The September 2019 grant round is targeting and supporting groups who provide and deliver practical financial life skills to those particularly going through a life changing transition as listed above.

Essential Criteria for your Funding Proposal

We require in total up to 4 pages of A4 (font size 11 or larger) this must be submitted electronically as a single document (PDF or Word doc/docx format) as part of the online application process.

The proposal must include:

1. Covering Letter

A one page covering letter on headed paper that introduces us to your organisation and puts your application into context – this should be signed by a senior member of your organisation e.g. Chair or Chief Officer.

2. Project Proposal

Please describe your project making sure you include and address the following key points:

a) How is it innovative? We define this as breaking new ground in Approach, Delivery or in Audience & is either capable of replication to a wider audience and/or is collaborative - working with other organisations in your field, or geographical area as appropriate.

b) When will it happen? – Projects must commence from Janurary 2020 onwards.

c) Where? – location(s) for project delivery.

d) Why? Evidence of the need - this could include statistical evidence or evidence from previous activity that you have delivered.

e) Who will deliver the project? - Please advise the names of the key personnel who will be delivering and what relevant qualifications, skills, and or experience that they have to ensure successful delivery of financial life skills/capability to the group.

f) Are you collaborating with others? Please name any organisation that has agreed to working with you in the course of this project. This might include organisations that refer users to your project (referral organisations), organisations that provide training or support to your users or staff, organisations that provide in-kind support such as meeting room space. Supporting evidence of key delivery partners need to be uploaded as part of the application form process.

g) Who will benefit from the project?– for example how many service users, clients or recipients, both directly and indirectly.

h) What resources will you use to deliver the project?

i) How sustainable is your project? - How will this project continue after our grant funding has finished (unless it is a one-off event).

3. Grant Evaluation & Monitoring - what existing processes are in place? Please tell us how you plan to evaluate the project.

To support your own evaluation processes, the MSE Charity has developed a short 8 question Managing Your Money Beneficiary Survey which we now ask all our successful grantees to use before they start their activities & then to repeat at the end. The After Survey includes one extra open ended question. This simple but effective method of evaluation will enable us and you to measure quantitatively the difference and impact of your activity. This is a mandatory requirement for all grantees.

As part of the Terms & Conditions of any grant we offer, there are now from September 2019, two mandatory reports that we require to be completed, the Interim Progress Report and an End of Grant Project Feedback Report. Please make yourself aware before you apply what information we expect to receive from your organisation in return.

The final 10% of any grant agreed, is withheld until satisfactory completion of the grant reports. Future applications will not be considered if the reports have not been returned.

4. Project Budget

a) Please provide a full and detailed breakdown of the total costs associated with your project, explaining how each cost item has been calculated, see example below.

b) Please specify the amount of funding you are asking for. We have a limit of £7,500 per application. If the total cost of the project is over £7,500 please state which budget item/s you would like us to support.

c) Please indicate any income budgeted towards the cost of this project and indicate whether it has already been secured; either as an in-kind contribution or match funded.

5. Financial Health of your Organisation

a) Please outline your main sources of current and future income, including your fundraising strategy.

b) If there are any particular anomalies in your Accounts or challenges in your current financial year please state these clearly in your Covering Letter.

c) Applications are assessed over a range of factors, but particularly in the context of the financial health of the organisation.

Supplementary Application Form Guidance - Questions 26 and 27

26) What Outputs will your project deliver? (please list your top 5)

Outputs are the activities, services and products provided by your organisation

Project outputs should be outlined as SMART objectives. This means they should be,

Specific:- outline specific goals rather than general ones, detail exactly what will be delivered and how this will be done.

Measurable:- your project must include concrete criteria for measuring progress

Achievable:- the goals and outputs identified must be realistic and achievable; stretching but not unachievable.

Relevant:- outputs should matter to the project and its aims and help to meet the needs of the target community

Time Bound:- goals for outputs should be given a specific time frame with clearly defined target dates

Examples

Specific:- To deliver crisis support, advocacy support and financial literacy training using CAB approved resources to Dementia Carers living in Birmingham and Solihull who are experiencing debt/ money management issues.

Measurable:- To deliver the project to a total of up to 40 beneficiaries over a one year funding period. Of the 40: 40 will receive advice and support in crisis situations, 25 will undertake our financial literacy training courses ,up to 10 will receive more sustained advocacy support.

Achievable:- The outputs are based on numbers that can be supported using a 7 hour a week post and a volunteer.

Relevant:- Debt Advisory Agencies in Birmingham and Solihull have reported a 30% increase in enquiries in the last 6 months

Time Bound:- A one year funding period will enable us to make a positive impact on the financial literacy of people with mental illness. Due to health matters, family issues etc...we envisage some beneficiaries may need to start and stop their engagement with the project, and re-join our training sessions at a later date. Within a year, we expect to have engaged and supported 40 retired people towards greater financial literacy.

27) What are the project and beneficiary Outcomes? (please list your top 5)

Outcomes are the changes, benefits, learning or other impacts that happen as a result of services and activities provided.

Beneficiary Outcomes could be quantified by the number or percentage of beneficiaries you anticipate will realise some degree of change, benefit or impact.

Project Outcomes could relate to the impact on other work streams or the organisation’s capacity to provide evidence for future service delivery or upskilling volunteers for example.

Examples

    • 50 young people to immediately apply their learning in a practical way, as a result people will report self pride and greater confidence about managing money.
    • 90% of attendants will be able to manage their food budgets more wisely.
    • 70% of people attending will demonstrate improved communication about financial matters.
    • Participants on the training course will discuss their learning at home with their families; they are keen to pass on learning.
    • 25 participants will report improvement in emotional wellbeing around money and its wider impact;
    • 10 Volunteers will report being more confident about helping with financial learning, and be better prepared to deliver services in the future.
    • 4 community partner organisations will report improved awareness of the financial needs of people with mental health issues.

If you need more support, please refer to our FAQs page, if you can’t find an answer, please contact us via email and our Operations Manager will assist you further.