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Hopeful Towns: BID-BUILDER

5. Create a clear narrative - and engage

The narrative around a bid is vital. Obviously, it is in the interests of key stakeholders and local residents to bring more funding into the area. But there might be strong views about where this should be spent, or about whether a certain form of support is needed. The proposal clearly needs to align with the priorities of the council and the concerns of residents.

By developing a simple narrative for your proposal, even just 1-2 sides, you can clarify the needs the area has and the opportunity which the bid represents. This will allow you to  build support and enthusiasm

The creation of a narrative will often involve preliminary engagement with the community. This should not be a box-ticking exercise, but rather it should create a genuinely open process, through which residents are able to shape a proposed bid. The findings can be used in the proposal itself, and can help to demonstrate community support to the funder. And the process can also help to build internal support, if needed.

By looking in detail at the organisation’s corporate or strategic plan, meanwhile, you can identify the language and emphasis when it comes to issues around your bid. For example, if you are accessing funds to support a refugee services, you might look for elements which commit to being a “safe and welcoming place” for those arriving.

The resources in the National Data Library may also assist with internal engagement – helping to make the case for why the proposal matters.


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