Funding & Tendering

Course Description

Social enterprises often have a difficult journey before they become successful and sustainable. It is difficult to achieve financial objectives with social objectives and it is sometimes a long journey before a social enterprise can rely on commercial contracts or commercially viable products. Many social enterprises, charities, associations are able to survive by successfully bidding or tendering for external funds, in turn often provided by larger charities, associations, national or local government or the EU.

A successful bid or tender can be a lifeline, it can provide you with the funds you need to achieve your objectives and to be innovative. Often your funding depends on supporting a larger organisation to meet their targets and objectives. Indeed, multi-player and multi-stakeholder projects will not always result in profit, but ‘capital’ can be measured in different ways such as personal and business development, social capital or foresight enabling (or innovation), for example.

Key Concepts

  1. Learn about the different sources of funding available to a social enterprise.
  2. Tips and advice for writing an effective bid or tender.
  3. An introduction to some useful creative, diagnostic and planning tools to help with bid and/ or tender writing.

Structure of the Module

Sources of Funding

Writing a Bid or Tender

Useful Tools

  • Sources of funding
  • Crowd-funding, social investment and business angels
  • Events
  • Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
  • What is a bid, tender, PQQ and EOI?
  • How to write a bid or tender + how to produce a successful pitch deck
  • Tools and matrices
  • Tools to successfully manage the process of bid or tender writing

Learning Objectives


At the end of this module, it is expected you will be able to:

  • Identify available funding from a range of organisations
  • Decide whether to write a bid or find another way
  • Identify a bid, a tender, a PQQ or EOI
  • Make necessary preparations to write a bid or tender
  • Write an effective bid document
  • Use a range of tools and matrices to quantify bidding decisions
  • Make decisions about whether to proceed with a bid or tender

Hopefully this module will give you the insight and some tips towards successful bid-writing or submitting an effective tender. The module will consider sources of funding (webinar 1); how to write a successful bid or tender (webinar 2) and (webinar 3); tools that may help make the decision to bid or not to bid!  UK agencies such as MSVA (Mid Sussex Voluntary Agency) and NCVO (National Council of Voluntary Organisations), and the European Commission have some useful tips to share. Good luck with your future bid writing and tendering.