Voluntary and community organisations often find it difficult to fund their ICT project. Two of the reasons for this are:
- When applying for funding, VCOs often focus on the technology rather than the benefits it will bring to the organisation and service users.
- When assessing funding applications, funders do not always realise that investing in effective ICT will free up resources allowing better delivery of front line services.
ICT should help organisations to "do things better" and "do better things". Poor ICT due to lack of, or insufficient, funding can undermine the effectiveness of the delivery of the projects being funded. ICT done well is the key to maximising return on investment and making more of a difference with the funding.
We have been working with both VCOs and funders to try and address these issues, producing arange of useful resources along the way.
When seeking funding for your ICT project, you need to be able to articulate how the technology is going to benefit your service users. Focussing on the outcomes rather than the technology itself will help you to write your funding application.
The "How to cost and fund ICT" guide contains exercises and worksheets to help you and your colleagues develop your ICT plan into a funding application.
The cost of your ICT project is more than just the technology itself. Budgeting for total cost of ownership is vital and will contribute to the overall success or failure of your project. Total cost of ownership is a way of accounting for all the costs likely to be associated with your project, which could include:
- initial capital costs
- installation costs
- software and upgrades
- ongoing support and maintenance
- consumables such as printer cartridges and paper
Read the sources of funders research to identify funders who have funded ICT projects.
To help you make the most of your money, there are a number of discounted deals available for voluntary and community organisations covering both ICT software and hardware.
If you need further help in putting together your funding application or understanding all of the costs associated with ICT then go to the ICT support section.
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