Completing a grant application is much like writing a CV. The aim is to show – in as few words as possible – why your application is valuable and how it is different. And just as companies receive many CVs, they often also receive huge numbers of applications from non-profit groups, making it challenging to give each one the attention it deserves. Here’s a look at how to optimise applications for success, ensuring your narrative is succinct yet emotive.

What is an Opportunity?

All applications on BizGive ask you to share details about a specific opportunity you are requesting support for. An opportunity is a specific project, task or activity that your organisation is undertaking. The reason this is required is so that the company can clearly understand where their support will be used, what it will enable and the potential impact.

You can be creative about what an opportunity is, as long as it still supports the company’s criteria and objectives. For example, it could be to purchase items, equipment or materials; to run events, workshops or educational programmes; or to repair, upgrade or expand facilities and amenities.

5 Ways to Enhance Your Applications

#1 Ensure you align to programme criteria and objectives

Before starting an application, ensure you fully align to the application criteria and that your opportunity wholly supports at least one of the programme objectives. This will save wasted effort and clearly show the company how your opportunity can help them fulfil their own impact goals. For example, if a company does not support salaries, find another relevant cost. And if a company only wishes to support environmental opportunities, only put forward environmental projects. Avoid trying to dress your opportunity as something it is not, a clear fit is easy to distinguish from a muddled fit.

#2 Be specific and transparent on your needs

On BizGive, you will be asked to share a breakdown of how you plan to use the support requested. You can think of this as a shopping list. Avoid bunching costs together here and instead, be specific about how any support awarded may be used. The clearer you are, the easier it will be for the company to make a quick decision.

For example:


£1000 for 3 digital skills training programmes


£500 for 1 laptop for a digital skills training volunteer

£100 for 1 room rental costs to host the training programmes

£200 for 10 desk rental for the attendees for 3 days

£200 for 3 days of refreshments for the attendees 

#3 Use the company’s own words

As your application is being reviewed, the company will be looking for keywords that highlight how your opportunity aligns to their objectives and criteria. Make this easy for them by using their own language. 

For example, if a company wants to specifically ‘Improve digital skills’, then you could start your opportunity description with: ‘Our opportunity improves digital skills by….’. You could even include it in your opportunity name, such as ‘Improving Digital Skills for Local Children’.

#4 Define clear, tangible outputs and outcomes

An output is what you deliver using the support provided. For example a task, activity or project, such as workshops, events, training programmes, repairs and refurbishments.

An outcome is the difference the output/s will make to your beneficiaries. In other words, the overall aim and purpose of your opportunity.

Sharing clear, tangible outputs and outcomes really helps a company understand how their support will make a positive change, so make these as clear and tangible as you can. 

Output Examples:

40 workshops on interview preparation

5 events at care homes 

1 village hall roof repaired

10 book reading sessions 

Outcome Examples:

More young adults equipped with interview skills

Older people feel less isolated and lonely

Improved energy efficiency of our village hall

Improved literacy of primary school children

#5 Don’t Neglect the Opportunity Name

The name of your opportunity is the first thing a company sees in a long list of applications. Think like a journalist here and try to use an Opportunity Name that compels the company to want to open and review your application. An easy way to do this is to show how it directly links to a programme objective. 

For example, instead of ‘Northampton Repair Shop’ or ‘London Community Garden’, you could say ‘Reducing Waste by Training Young Adults to Repair’ or ‘Reducing Isolation and Loneliness by Improving our Community Garden’.


Finally, before submitting your application on BizGive you will see a preview of how it will appear to the company. Be sure to review this thoroughly and if anything looks messy or amiss, click ‘Previous’ to amend it.


The BizGive team is committed to supporting non-profit groups. If you have any questions at all on using the platform or completing applications, please reach out and we will provide support in any way we can.