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  • Writer's pictureAli Beckett

Taking your interpretation project from good to great

So you have a great idea for an interpretation panel for your community orchard or wildlife reserve and are ready to rush ahead and look for funding. But hang on a moment, whatever you do will probably have a long lifespan so take time to sit back and think it through carefully. These would be my first steps before committing to a project:

1. Do some research

If you aren’t funding the project yourself then the first port of call is to talk to potential funders. They may have specific criteria that they want fulfilled and specific timescales. The Heritage Fund often run workshops or funding fairs and their call centre can be very helpful. Funders are there to give grants so don’t be frightened to talk to them, they need you as much as you need them!

2. Talk to and listen to the team

Your idea is probably great but could it be better? Call a team meeting of key people and volunteers involved in the project. Outline your idea and then let everyone give their opinion. Ask people to go away and think about it and perhaps bring back examples of things they have seen that could work. Write down a list of all the ideas and suggestions and when you go away and look at it something from the quiet person in the corner may really jump out that will take your project from good to great!

3. Can you do more?

Initially you may have just been thinking about one item of interpretation but producing two or three things may not actually take much more time or money. For example if you are doing a panel about a wildlife reserve, could you use some of the information for an accompanying leaflet? Could the information be enhanced and put online? Can you run some events around the launch?

4. Who is the project for?

Funders in general will want to make sure you will be engaging with various sectors of society. How can you make your information accessible to young people? People of other language groups? The elderly and infirm?

This can often be done quite simply by including a quiz question or fun fact on the panel for younger ones. Can you produce the material in multiple languages either on the panel or through QR codes to an online translation?(Make sure you include enough money for translation work - don’t rely on Google translate). If you are running associated events or workshops try to aim them at varying groups.

5. Price it up

Once you have a clear idea of the various elements of your project start getting quotes.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your ideas - We are always happy to give exact or ballpark quotes for design and print for panels, leaflets, banners, posters etc and will guarantee our prices for up to 12 months.

Useful Links

Funding Central - database of funding sources Free access for organisations with an annual income of under £100,000

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