Application Guidance

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.

The February 2021 grant round is targeting and supporting the younger generation who in the difficult economic climate need the help to develop and learn personal financial life skills. All applications must demonstrate how the project they are seeking funding for will have a lasting impact on the people taking part and will equip them to move forward.

Supplementary Application Form Guidance - Questions 23, 26, 27 and 28

23) How will you deliver and adapt your project in uncertain circumstances?

Currently we are living through challenging unpredictable times, and delivery of projects will not be as straight forward as it used to be. Since lockdown started in March 2020, charities have discovered innovative ways to deliver their services; whilst coping with their own challenges of financial instability, staff and volunteer shortages and crippling uncertainty. We know it is extremely difficult to plan in these circumstances, but if we know you have thought through the different scenarios it will help us assess your competency to deliver.

a) Firstly, describe what and how you will deliver in the current level of lockdown.

b) Secondly, describe what and how you will adapt your delivery if a strict local lockdown came into force.

c) Thirdly, describe what and how you will deliver if all restrictions have been lifted.

Examples

  • We will provide a flexible programme which will use a combination of online interactive small group workshops and a Whatsapp support group.

  • Not all project beneficiaries will be comfortable or have stable access to online services, we would endeavour to hold safe face to face socially distanced meetings, but if we were not able to do this we would adapt our service to 'phone only'.

  • If we went back into a strict lockdown we would postpone delivery of the project as many of our key staff and volunteers are in the vulnerable category.

  • We will use an existing online fin cap course such as Just Finance's Covid Cash Course , and will adapt content if needed for our project beneficiaries.

  • We will adapt out usual delivery by creating or using short YouTube videos, Facebook live, online quizzes to keep delivery engaging.

  • We will manage expectations of our beneficiaries by providing them with a flexible approach to learning, adding in 'screen rest breaks' whilst meeting online.

26) How will you recruit and ensure this number of people will take part in your project?

We know it can be challenging to recruit beneficiaries to attend projects even if you have a great course and trainer. Lockdown for some has created more barriers to engage, home-schooling, working from home, increased anxiety, less money coming in, the necessity of having to do things online. On the positive side programmes can be designed to be completed at peoples own time and pace, they can be as creative and engaging just in a different way. Using technology to build and maintain learning relationships is possible and it may improve commitment level. From the many projects we have funded over the years, here are some useful tips and learning points.

  • Organisations who have an existing relationship with prospective beneficiaries are more likely to engage.

  • Keeping programmes short, up to 4 sessions increases initial commitment and continued engagement.

  • Using incentives during the project and for completing the programme can increase motivation and continued participation.

  • If working with schools, make sure your activities are planned well in advance and you have a key contact who you trust will make it happen.

  • Offering free childcare whilst parents are engaging in a programme can motivate learners to attend.

  • For people with complex needs working in very small groups or 1:1 can be more successful.

27) What Outputs will your project deliver?

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.

28) What are the project and beneficiary Outcomes?

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.

Supporting Information - Project Budget

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.

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.

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.

Please note if your application is successful we reserve the right to ask for financial receipts to be provided to audit grant expenditure.

Grant Evaluation, Monitoring and Reporting

As part of the Terms & Conditions of any grant we offer, two mandatory reports are required to be completed, the Interim Progress Report (around 6 months) 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.