Funding support for an historic attraction

Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust

Consultant: Lucretia Hudson-Garber​​​​​​​

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Lucretia Hudson-Garber

“Lucretia was helpful, straightforward and supportive. It was a pleasure working with her. The list she created will be very useful in enabling us to apply for other grants.”

Harriet Thresh, Assistant Estate Manager, Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust

Berkeley Castle is a visitor attraction and private home in Gloucestershire. The funds raised through the visitor business are used in maintaining the castle. Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust was set up for the purposes of the repair, maintenance and preservation of the parts of the castle that are open to visitors. Visitor numbers have increased considerably over the past 10 years and Trustees agreed there is need for a new café and facilities to cope with this. They received planning consent, obtained quotes for the work and were seeking funding opportunities. Harriet Thresh, Assistant Estate Manager, entered the Pearls of Wisdom consultancy giveaway hoping to get help with identifying relevant funding sources and bid writing, and won Lucretia Hudson-Garber’s consultancy offer. 

Pearl of Wisdom:
Grant Funding Research and Bid Writing, delivered by Lucretia Hudson-Garber, who has extensive experience in business development, fundraising and bid writing, with almost 30 years of working within the charity/voluntary sector.

Lucretia was asked to carry out funder research to provide a shortlist of potential funders and the range of grant funding they provide, and to prepare a detailed funding bid/proposal for the project to the selected funder, in line with their funding criteria.

Having agreed the brief with Harriet, Lucretia began by researching a broad range of major trusts and foundations that could potentially provide capital funding for Berkeley Castle’s Walled Garden Tearoom project. 

After reviewing over 100 funding providers and considering the funding criteria and grants available, Lucretia prepared a detailed Trusts Research spreadsheet of 24 major funding trusts and foundations, showing what they fund, their grant programmes, eligibility criteria, application process etc. She also compiled a Funding Range Table of the 24 trusts and foundations, showing their grant ranges and her suggested low, medium and high grant target amounts. The Trusts Research spreadsheet and Funding Range Table gave Harriet an idea of some of the best potential funders for her project and suggested grant amounts to apply for.  

In accordance with the brief, Harriet and the Trustees selected one major foundation from the list, offering a grant of £80,000, for Lucretia to prepare a funding proposal to.

In order to write the proposal, Lucretia read all the funder’s guidelines and, liaising with Harriet, carried out some background research to gather information about Berkeley Castle and the project. The chosen funder required a very detailed proposal, including the need that the capital funding would address, a description of the current services provided, how the project would be delivered, the impact and difference the completed project would make, the beneficiaries, case studies, a budget, fundraising plan etc. They also required a plan B in case all the required funding for the project could not be secured.

Lucretia provided a detailed funding proposal for the project, which was approved by Harriet and the Trustees, and has been submitted to the funder.  

In addition, Lucretia provided Harriet with the Trusts Research spreadsheet and the Funding Range Table, which identifies other funding sources and can be used as a starting point from which to select potential funders to apply to for this project.

Consultant’s insight:
​​​​​​​Berkeley Castle Charitable Trust had recently submitted funding applications to strategic authorities, so they only required help with identifying and writing proposals to trusts and foundations that provide grants for capital projects. However, this consultancy started just as the Covid lockdown began and many funders, including major grant-making trusts and foundations, decided to redirect their funds from their usual areas of interest to Covid-related topics, in order to provide much needed support during the pandemic. This made the funder research element of the project quite challenging initially. 

It is usual to visit clients to see the project you’re going to write about, to get a real feel of it and to build the client-consultant relationship. Unfortunately, the lockdown made that impossible in this case, but that did not present too much of a challenge and meant more desk research and telephone conversations.

Researching Berkeley Castle was very interesting. Harriet was the ideal client, providing any required additional details such as statistics, market research, photos, budget information etc. Translating the need and future plans into a funding proposal was fascinating and enjoyable, with the prospect of going some way to meeting their fundraising target.  

About Pearls of Wisdom
Pearls of Wisdom is our campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of Action Planning, for which we have given away £100,000 worth of free consultancy, spread over 56 separate packages. You can read more about it here.

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