How to write a full application

How to present your application (pdf 149 KB):

  • Please prepare in Word.
  • No more than 6 pages in length.
  • Please use standard margins.
  • Font size – we recommend Arial 11 point.
  • Please use the questions set out below as headings to structure your application.
  • Please note the guidance as to the approx. length expected of each section

a) What is the purpose of your application? (Approx. ½ page of A4)

You should begin your application with a short statement that clearly sets out what funding from the Trust would enable you to do, over what timescale, at what cost, and to what end. Essentially, this is your top line pitch. It is important that you are able to clearly and succinctly articulate what your campaign is trying to achieve and the resources you need to do it.

State the (up to) three main outcomes of your campaign.

It is essential you bear in mind that JRRT is a political funder: we are looking to you to make the political case as to why your campaign is needed and the political opportunities you intend to exploit during your campaign. You need to be clear about the change you want to make e.g. an unjust law, policy or power that you believe needs to be challenged.

b) Who are you? (Approx. ½ page of A4)

It is important not to presume any knowledge of your organisation or aspects of your organisation’s work - even if you have applied to the Trust before, your circumstances, personnel and issue area may have changed significantly.

Under this heading, you should set out your organisation’s size (e.g. annual income, number of paid staff), legal status, governance arrangements and key figures (staff and Board/Advisory group members). If you are new to the Trust then please provide brief information on the backgrounds of key figures to demonstrate their political capability and other key skills.

If you are applying as an individual, you will be asked to upload your CV at the end of the on-line application process. So use this section to summarise why you are suitable to undertake the work.

In addition to assessing the merits of the proposal, we will also consider whether you are the right organisation/person to undertake the campaign.

c) What do you want to do? (Approx. 2 to 3 pages of A4)

This is the main part of your application and you should use it to “put flesh on the bones” of your summary under a) What is the purpose of your application?

i. What?

It is important to provide a clear framework of the activity that you will be doing and the stages of your campaign.

You should explain how you intend to utilise key points within the political process and other opportunities in the current political climate to further your campaign. Depending on your proposal, you may wish to elaborate on strategies of engagement with members and supporters, the media, other campaigners, politicians and other key stakeholders. 

ii. When?

You should set out the start date for the grant and how long you expect it to take.

You will need to explain the timescale you have applied to your campaign, including any key moments that will provide either an opportunity for you or a possible challenge. For example, if your campaign concerns legislative change, then you should look carefully at the timetabling of the legislation involved and any events which may affect it along the way.

iii. Why?

With reference to the political context, you should explain why this campaign needs to be fought and why it needs to be fought now. It is important to demonstrate there is an imperative behind your application to show it is both timely and necessary. This is your opportunity to make the case that your campaign is a ‘must do’, rather than a ‘would like to do’ or ‘could do later’.

iv. Outcome

You should briefly summarise what effect you expect this work to have with reference to your campaign outcomes i.e. tell us what success would look like at the end of your project.

d) Why JRRT? (Approx. ½ page of A4)

It is important to make the case for coming to the JRRT as opposed to other funders. Remember, JRRT is not a charitable trust and does not fund campaigns that can be undertaken by charities or equivalent work. You should set out in no more than two paragraphs how the values and concerns of the Trust are reflected in your campaign outcomes and why you are unable to source funds for your proposed work elsewhere.

e) Campaign Budget & Your Organisation’s Finances  (Approx. 1 page)

  • The budget for your campaign – please breakdown the proposed costs for your campaign in a budget table. The amount you ask for must be justified by need rather than want. Ask for what is required, but be realistic. If the grant you are seeking from JRRT will not cover the whole cost of your proposal, you must explain where the rest of the funding will come from.
  • Tell us about your current funding sources and any pending applications.
  • Set out your organisation’s total budget for the current year – the use of summary headings is fine i.e. grants, membership income, salaries, rent etc.

Once your final application is ready, please go to On-line Application Submission

Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.
The Garden House, Water End, York, YO30 6WQ
Tel: 01904 625744 | Fax: 01904 651502 | E-mail:

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