External Funding Officer

Councils work in partnership with outside agencies to fund certain ventures. The person responsible for identifying potential sources of funding, securing their commitment and advising others is the external funding officer.

Work Environment
External funding officers are mainly office-based, but they also attend meetings at a variety of places outside the council.

Daily Activities
External funding officers develop applications for funding by external organisations, such as government departments or the European Union (EU). They provide up-to-date information on sources of funding and other resources - and know how to access them - in plenty of time for the council to formulate its proposals and develop funding bids. An external funding officer's main responsibilities could include:

  • researching and investigating possible sources of funding from external funding organisations and attending meetings with interested parties;
  • developing projects that might be eligible for funding;
  • gathering relevant information - such as objectives, criteria, deadlines - and presenting them to relevant council committees;
  • developing partnerships between various sectors in order to access funding for multi-agency initiatives;
  • liaising regularly with a range of departments and organisations including: other council departments, the region's Government Office, voluntary organisations working in partnership with the council, representatives of the European Union, Welsh European Funding Office, Welsh Government and Rural Inspectorate for Wales;
  • keeping and updating a comprehensive database of all external contacts and partners that relate to external funding;
  • advising council staff and partners who are looking for funding on issues such as how to submit bids;
  • setting up and running the matched funding application process;
  • monitoring the progress of applications and writing reports.

Skills & Interests
External funding officers need to be:

  • excellent communicators with good negotiation skills;
  • good at giving presentations and reports; 
  • good organisers who can plan and prioritise their workload to meet deadlines;
  • able to work well under pressure;
  • IT literate; 
  • able to interpret and present statistical analyses; 
  • able to think laterally and innovatively; 
  • able to work on their own initiative.

Entry Requirements
Most external funding officers need previous experience of making external funding applications and may require knowledge of different funding bid processes.
You would probably need a degree or equivalent in a discipline with a significant financial content and would also be likely to need a relevant professional financial qualification, for example from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).  There are also entry level posts in this area such as Claims Officer where you will be required to hold NVQ Level 3/4 in a relevant discipline.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There may be opportunities to progress to more senior financial and managerial roles in accountancy, auditing or budget monitoring within the council. There may also be chances to gain experience in other related areas of local government such as economic development and regeneration.

Further Information & Services
Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants www.cipfa.org.uk
Institute of Economic Development www.ied.co.uk

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales (www.careerswales.com/) or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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