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How using a strong evidence base can boost your grant funding opportunities

More than meets the eye: Strategic Relationship Manager Lorna Leach and Specialist Advisor for Funding Mel Antao explain how to seek funding to build on existing research or evidence base.

LL: There’s a prevailing assumption that grant funding is only available for new activities that reaches new people, but the fact is that’s not true.

Using your existing insight and data along with our London Sport Consultancy funding specialist can help you identify options for investment.

It is easy to assume that a funding specialist is just for bid writing, and of course this is one of the ways they support organisations big and small, but they are capable of doing so much more.

Let's consider a couple of scenarios:

Scenario One: Your organisation has been running a programme or series of programmes, and through a test and learn approach you’ve refined the work to the point where it’s achieving the most bang for its buck. You’re ready to grow!

In this instance the funding specialist can be used to analyse opportunities, seeking to understand the most viable routes for growth of the organisation against the current grant funding and investment landscape conditions. 

They do this by digging deeper into what you know and pulling out the key points that align to investment outcomes and showing off your track record and experience.

MA: London Sport were commissioned by Volunteer It Yourself (VIY), a national volunteering programme supporting disadvantaged young people to develop vocational skills, to identify new funding streams to replace lapsing investment and create scalable opportunities for growth.

London Sport undertook an assessment of the existing client programme to identify alignment opportunities with sport sector policy priorities, proposed a repositioning of services to build connections with leisure facility operators, and identified funding opportunities for programme partners.

As a result, VIY secured over £300,000 investment from new funding partners, a new commission of a research project to assess countrywide expansion opportunities and new partnerships brokered with a national facility operator to allow UK-wide delivery.

LL: Scenario Two: In reviewing the data on who engages with your programme you notice that there’s large segments of the population not accessing your offer. 

You consult to further explore the issue and identify testable innovations to your programme that should lead to increased engagement from different audiences making it more inclusive.

Alternatively, in reviewing the data you become aware of your ability to create positive change across societal or health outcomes. 

You’re confident applying for funding but you’ve never deliberately worked in that sector before, and you aren’t sure where to look or who funds those kinds of outcome?

A funding specialist is able to do an options review, looking across sectors, to identify viable avenues for applications.

You could extract key insight from your existing work and match it to the funders intended outcomes for their funding stream. If you decide you need support writing the application after all, the funding specialist can also undertake this work too.

MA: London Sport were commissioned by Haringey and Enfield Councils to explore rates of participation in physical activity among Turkish and Kurdish residents across the two boroughs.

London Sport developed a framework for tracking and monitoring physical activity participation rates amongst the Turkish and Kurdish communities, including collecting baseline data for comparison with Sport England Active Lives and borough trend data. 

As a result, a comprehensive evidence base was produced for ongoing decision-making through the delivery of in-depth quantitative and qualitative research that engaged over 150 residents and community stakeholders in the process. 

This established a strategic plan of action for increasing participation across the community.

Through the research three key areas of work were highlighted for the councils to target resource to increase participation: Workforce Development, Communications and Linking Community Networks. 

London Sport are currently working with both councils to secure funding to progress this work.

LL: The fact is chasing funding streams might seem like the only option, but it might not even be the most viable way to secure the investment you need for your future plans and that’s one of the reasons we provide these services.

Learn more about London Sport Consultancy here


  • research
  • consultancy
  • funding
  • lorna leach
  • london sport consultancy
  • mel antao


  • Greater London


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