Who You Are and What You Are About

Who You Are

An important initial step in the fund seeking process is to:

  1. Define, map, and inform your staff, funders, community, and consumers about your organisation's past, present, future
  2. Identify, measure, and highlight your organisation's critical success factors
  3. Develop and cultivate relationships with community, funders, and clients to ensure your organisation's continued relevance and success.

These processes are not dependent upon advertised funding rounds. They are processes which should be undertaken and reviewed on a routine basis.

The following sections provide suggestions about how to:

  • Develop this information
  • Organise and store information so it can be readily retrieved to develop the organisational capacity section of your funding application.

What Funders Need to Know

It is not enough for you to know about your organisation. You need to TELL OTHERS (staff and volunteers, funders, community members, policy makers and clients) about the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, HOW and WHY of your organisation.

Details of the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, HOW, and WHY of your organisation should be used in all communications with potential funders, as well as when writing a funding application.

Potential funders need to know:

  • What your organisation does
  • Why your organisation matters
  • How its achievements and successes are measured
  • Why your organisation's resources, programs and services should be funded.

NEVER ASSUME this key information is known, no matter how long you have had a relationship with the group or organisation from which you are seeking support or funding.

Why do Funders Need this Information?

This information is needed to persuade funders that your organisation:

  1. Has the knowledge, experience and capacity required to meet the community's needs
  2. Holds values and goals that are aligned with theirs
  3. Is uniquely placed to meet the funder's requirements.

Do not only tell funders about the features of your organisation; tell them about the benefits of your organisation.

Your Organisation's Track Record shows you how to develop this information and Demonstrating Your Organisation's Strengths shows you how to use it in your funding application. 

TIPS: Who You Are and What You Are About

  • Before you start to write a funding application, make sure you can clearly and succinctly tell a funding body about your organisation.
  • Describing your organisation is a crucial part of your funding application. Organisations often overlook this part and undersell their importance to the community.
  • Define, map, and publicise your organisation's past, present and future successes to help you:
    • Obtain funding
    • Demonstrate community relevance
    • Demonstrate sustainability
    • Promote organisational strengths and uniqueness
    • Ensure planned development and quality services and programs
    • Address any organisational limitations.
  • ALWAYS carefully read the funding application guidelines to make sure that you have addressed the funder’s requirements and that you have appropriately described your organisation.
  • It does not matter if you have a long standing relationship or have submitted many funding applications, NEVER ASSUME that funding bodies know anything about your organisation.
  • As a general rule, when you tell a funder about your organisation you will need to:
    • State who your organisation is
    • What it does
    • Highlight who comprises your organisation
    • Describe how it delivers its existing programs/services.


Why should I define, map, and publicise my organisation's vision, mission, plans, and achievements?

Even if you are a large, well known organisation, always assume the funder has no idea about who you are and what you do. Funding applications are generally reviewed and assessed by at least some people who know nothing about your organisation.

      Always provide a  comprehensive description of your organisation with sufficient detail to convince the funding body that your organisation:

  • Is reputable
  • Is financially solvent
  • Has a strong organisational structure
  • Delivers on its contractual obligations
  • Has suitable data tracking methods.

How do I define, map and publicise my organisation's vision, mission, plans, and achievements?

Information that should be routinely collected and reviewed is outlined in the following sections. It will help you provide potential funders with an accurate, succinct, and convincing description of what your organisation does, why it matters, how it is measured, and why your organisation's resources, programs and services should be funded.


Complete the activities below by en​tering text into the fields provided and/or completing the attached documents. If you download and complete an attached document, you will have to save this to your personal file. 

You may also:

  • Export these answers: You may export your answers to the activities to a word document without saving to Your Funding Portfolio. Responses can then be saved in your personal files
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  • Save and continue to next step: Users may save their responses to a secure server before continuing to another section of the resource. Users may then export and print all their saved responses from Your Funding Portfolio
  • Save progress: Users may save their responses as they work on the page.

Activity 2.1 At First Glance

Section_2.1_Activities.pdf (79 KB)

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