Advice from former winners

Advice from former winners

The Dream Fund exists to rewards innovation and collaboration within the charity sector. Since 2011 the maximum award has increased from £100,000 to £1 million and the total award fund has increased from £300,000 to £2.5 million.

The Dream Fund is always highly competitive and it can be challenging to make your application stand out from the crowd and impress the Dream Fund judges.

We asked some of the previous winners of the Dream Fund what advice they had for future applicants…..

 

Missing People; Ross Miller; winner in 2014 for Child Rescue Project

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to develop the best innovative ‘dream’ project?

Gut instinct is important! If your ‘dream’ project feels ‘forced’ it’s probably not going to core well during the application process. Remember to keep your beneficiaries at the heart of your project – and ask yourself the ‘tough questions’; does this create a new way to help them or is this simply an idea your charity feels like doing?!

CRA fry

What are the most important things to consider when developing the right partnership for your Dream Fund project?

Successful partnerships can bring together organisations from many different worlds. The key is to ensure the values you will share as partners are defined and to agree expectations for the outset.

What other advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of applying to the Dream Fund?

Listen to the advice form the Trust Manager and selection committee – they want to help ensure lots of great projects get selected. Sometimes this may mean you need to be flexible and willing to change to achieve your dream.

 

Groundwork London; Ben Coles; winner in 2015 for Energy Gardens

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to develop the best innovative ‘dream’ project?

Think big, think about multiple programme benefits and think about how you can maximise beneficiary engagement throughout the programme to give sustainability in the longer term.

EG3

What are the most important things to consider when developing the right partnership for your Dream Fund project?

Shared and aligned visions and objectives. Strong organisational and individual relationships to tackle the more difficult challenges which will come when you're trying to get something really big and new off the ground. Frequency of contact - we're now meeting face to face fortnightly. And having a strong delivery team, with others focusing on strategic development, programme evolution and promotion.

What other advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of applying to the Dream Fund?

If you have a big, exciting and much needed project idea then you'd be silly to not consider an application to the Dream Fund. It’s a straightforward application process and the support given once awarded has been really valuable.

 

Canal & River Trust; Wendy Hawk; winner in 2016 for Heritage Heroes

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to develop the best innovative ‘dream’ project? 

Think about what will help your organisation make a step change in what it wants to achieve by increasing the impact of your charitable objectives. This will enable you to think about how you do things, how you can do them differently and who is your best partner to deliver your aspirations.

CRT 1

What are the most important things to consider when developing the right partnership for your Dream Fund project? 

Ensure you both buy into the aspirations and impact you want to achieve and are fully committed to go the extra mile to make this happen. It takes time to get the partnership right but doing that right from the beginning will enable you to work quickly, efficiently and effectively to get the partnership up and running if you win! Ensure you set up a meeting of the minds sessions with core teams within your charity, including CEO’s, fundraising, operational delivery, PR, finance, legal, volunteering to ensure that the all key stakeholders are bought into the vision.

What other advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of applying to the Dream Fund? 

This is a chance to pilot and test something new and innovative that you haven’t had the chance to do before. And although delivery has to happen quickly there are opportunities to test and shape your dream project over the 2 year period which provides invaluable evaluation and evidence for the longer term sustainability of your charity. Plus a partner like PPL is an inspiration to work for, opportunities to share best practice with other charity partners and work amongst the PPL family!

 

CTC Scotland; Polly Jarman; winner in 2014 for Play on Pedals

What advice do you have for anyone who wants to develop the best innovative ‘dream’ project?

Dream big! Our project was ambitious, with hopes to reach thousands of children. We have had fantastic support from the People's Postcode Lottery to reach our dream; the Trust understands that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something that could otherwise not be achieved and therefore is very encouraging with big dreams.

Secondly, work with others to achieve this dream - find other organisations in your network who can contribute to this dream and work together.

Pedals 1

What are the most important things to consider when developing the right partnership for your Dream Fund project?
 

Our partnership has been one of the biggest strengths of our project, because each partner can bring very different skills to the project. With four different partner organisations working on this project, it could have become very complicated to deliver, but each partner has a clearly defined role and can offer unique and necessary input into the project. It also helps that we all share the same vision and have great fun creating ideas and approaches to achieving our dream.

What other advice do you have for anyone who is thinking of applying to the Dream Fund?

Take this opportunity! The People's Postcode Trust Dream Fund feels different from other funding, you will be welcomed as part of a supported 'family' of projects, given opportunities to meet other charities and invited to support each other's work; while being flexible and realistic with your project, the Trust will challenge you to do something different, to push for more and to try out your ideas.