Funding Evaluation Criteria

Many funding bodies specify the criteria against which an application will be judged.  To ensure that you directly address these criteria, thoroughly familiarise yourself with them before you start writing your proposal.

If the funding body has not identified the evaluation criteria in the funding guidelines, contact the nominated officer to ascertain the evaluation criteria. Do not be reluctant to do this.

You may contact funders to seek such information. They will let you know what they are allowed to tell you and in what form this information can be provided to you and other potential applicants.

How Are Funding Applications Evaluated?

Funding bodies generally use the following criteria to assess funding applications:

  1. Is the application clear and concise?
  2. Does it:
    • Address the urgency or scale of the identified problem?
    • Respond to the identified problem or need?
    • Propose an appropriate solution?
  3. Does it clearly demonstrate your organisation's capacity to undertake the proposed work including:
    • Experience and skills of key personnel?
    • Proposed project costs?
    • Previous track record?

The following table details criteria that funding bodies may use to assess funding applications. It is not an exhausitive list. You are advised to carefully examine any evaluation criteria supplied by the funding body when developing your proposal and application.

Use this list to help you check your application against the funding application guidelines.

Funding Evaluation Criteria Checklist

Evaluation Criteria Issues You Need to Address

Is your application, clear, concise and easy to read?

  • Information is presented in a logical, clear, concise manner, addresses the funder's questions, is accurate, and grammatically correct.
  • The application clearly explains the:
    • Work to be undertaken
    • Time frame
    • Anticipated results/key performance indicators including how the results will be evaluated.
  • The application is presented in a confident, interesting, enthusiastic and original manner.
Does your application meet the funder's requirements?
  • The application aligns with the funder's goals and priorities.
  • The application responds directly to the identified problem.
  • The concept and program plan are clearly explained, evidence-based, match the funding body's values and objectives, and benefits the community.
  • The proposed methodology:
    • Has scientific, theoretical or technical merit
    • Is novel and innovative
    • Complements similar programs/services.
Is your organisation's capacity to conduct the proposed work clearly outlined?
  • Describe your organisation's capacity to provide the necessary infrastructure including your existing resources.
  • Describe the expertise and commitment of the staff to deliver the services to the desired outcomes.
  • Outline the qualifications of the team/organisation/individuals who will conduct the project.
  • Highlight the strategies for identifying and minimising potential problem areas and associated risks.
Is your organisation's track record clearly explained?
  • Highlight your track record in delivering effective, efficient, and appropriate services in a timely manner and within budget.
  • Demonstrate your experience in collaborating with complementary services to enhance program and/or service effectiveness.
  • Demonstrate the quality of your previous work.
Are the project costs, appropriate, accurate and justified?
  • Include an accurate, reasonable and cost-effective budget in your application.
  • Itemise individual costs.
  • Provide clear justifications for major staff and equipment costs.

It is not enough to identify a wish-list of desirable goals or to just describe a problem. The proposal must contain appropriate and relevant information about the proposed activity and must address all of the funder's requirements.


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
  • Print this page: Users may print the page
  • 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 3.1. Have You Met the Funding Evaluation Criteria?

Answer the questions below and use the Common Funding Application Evaluation Criteria Checklist attached to assess previous and current funding applications. Identify the areas which need improvement and the areas in which you performed well.

If you are developing a proposal for a current funding round, check the funding application guidelines for an indication about how applications may be evaluated.

You may want to construct a checklist prior to submitting your application (see Activity 6.1.1 Develop a Checklist).

Section_3_Activity.pdf (199 KB)

More info
Export these answer Print this page