In order to secure core funding from funders, the steering group will need to prepare a bid making the case for the Trust, setting out its work programme, and providing some financial forecasts.
The bid document should be, in effect, an early version of the Trust business plan. In order to prepare the bid the steering group may need to carry out a feasibility assessment assisted by a consultant and/or a development officer.
The bid document should cover the following issues:
A summary of the case for a Development Trust contained in the document as a whole.
A description of the area, the problems and opportunities. How and why the idea of a Trust developed.
A statement of aims and how they will be carried out. Why the Trust is needed, what it aims to achieve, and broadly the means by which it will do this.
The types of projects the Trust will tackle. For example:
The legal form, likely arrangements with main sponsors, steering committee/Board, and staffing proposed.
An annual budget and projections over three years showing how far project income will cover core costs and how the deficit will be made up.
The criteria to be used in evaluating the Trust's performance.
A statement of the support required from funders.
It is important that the bid is:
If the bid is out of touch with reality, or is the work of only a few individuals, there is a danger that the Trust will face problems if the bid is accepted.
The way to avoid these problems is to follow a start up process in which the key local interests - public, private and residential community - all contribute project ideas, so they feel some ownership of the programme. This must be done, however, in the knowledge of any rules and criteria funders will apply. There is no point in encouraging people to develop unrealistic 'wish lists'. Preparation of the bid can be a valuable team building exercise for the steering group/Board, and in helping key local interests understand how a Trust must operate. The steering group may feel it is appropriate to gain approval for the bid at an open seminar - again to ensure that the Trust's agenda for the area has widespread support. This could be done by running the business planning exercise with bid data.
In preparing the bid consider: