In Australia, approximately $10 billion in grants are offered by funding bodies annually. It is important to try and ensure your organisation is successful in attracting its share. This section aims to provide some guidance about how to find and apply for grants, in order to maximise your chances of attracting funding.
The first step when thinking about sourcing funding is to explore what sorts of projects your group or organisation would like to carry out, and particular problems or issues these projects would address. This list, along with a Strategic Plan (if you have one) can then be used to help determine which of the available grants provide the best ‘fit’ to help meet these objectives. It is also important to ensure you have the capacity to meet the terms of the contract and deliver on agreed outcomes in the stated timeframes.
Many groups are unaware of the variety of grants potentially available to them. Funding bodies range from all levels of government, to philanthropic foundations and large corporations (in Australia, government funding supports the majority of grants that are on offer). Understanding the motivations of potential funders, and targeting your application to these, can be beneficial. A good place to start looking for possible grants is the Grants Calendar on this website, which also includes links to some of the other grants directories that are available.
Grants are usually ‘tied funds’ in that they can generally only be used for projects or programs, not for core funding (such as wages, administration costs etc.). Therefore, it is recommended that you have a mix of funding sources or ‘diversified funding’ for your organisation or group. Don’t request the funder to provide 100% of your required budget – funding bodies look favourably on applications that demonstrate a mix of available sources of funding, along with in-kind contributions. Relying solely on grants can also reduce the flexibility of your organisation or group, and leave projects vulnerable to shifts in the priorities of funders. Other sources of funding may include paid membership, sale of goods or services, sponsorship, donations and fundraising activities.
How to Write a Winning Grant Application
There are questions that you will be asked every time you write a grant application. To help master the process of applying for funding, give some thought to how to best respond to the following:
Tips, Hints and Resources
This approach to funding has taken direction from the Our Community Newsletter. This valuable resource can be accessed at www.ourcommunity.com.au.
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