Hundreds of grants are available right now for the business and not-for-profit (NFP) sectors. Choosing the right grants, reviewing relevant issues and submitting a winning application takes planning and preparation. Before you consider submitting a grant application here are some key tips:
- Do a search on available grants or support programs and decide which ones best fit your business or NFP. The Federal Government’s business.gov.au website allows searches by postcode and industry sector.
All levels of Government, business and philanthropic organisations advertise their grant opportunities. Register at GrantConnect to receive free updates about Federal Government grants.
- Review the criteria carefully, as grants differ widely and you must establish whether your business is eligible to apply. For example, some grant applications may only be open to NFP’s or vice versa.
- Document important details like the grant’s closing date and time because these are non-negotiable, and a missed deadline will be a waste of all your hard work
- Be prepared and keep standard information at hand, including: a short description of your organisation, key business information such as your ABN, plus full contact details of the person submitting the grant.
- If a budget or letters of support are required for the submission, contact their providers straight away, remembering your deadline.
- Some grants will relate to projects in specific industries and regions. Backing up your responses with Government statistics is a great way to demonstrate need. Websites like .idcommunity provide a wealth of information and forecasts.
- Research the reasons behind the grant proposal then craft your answers to align with the objectives of the grant.
- If your grant has word limits, lock down all the information to be conveyed in dot points then write and edit from there.
- Repeated requests for you to ‘demonstrate’ simply mean that the grant entity wants you to give specific examples or show where you have the relevant expertise or experience to do what you say you will do.
- Develop a Project Plan for your grant. This is an effective way to test your approach and fine-tune elements of your funding request before writing the grant application. It will also help with grant acquittal requirements.
If you don’t succeed the first time, it is well worth obtaining feedback on how you could strengthen your application. Start building for the next grant.
By Joanne Ryan
Joanne Ryan is Managing Director of Infodec Communications, a communications, strategy and marketing company located in Miranda. She currently works with a number of not for profit organisations on grant and sponsorship projects and she is part of the NSW Office of the Small Business Commissioner’s Procurement Reference Group.