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Grant Application Tips

Applying for grant can be a daunting prospect. Here are a few tips which may help and give you some guidance when you are thinking of applying for a grant. Good luck!

Grant and Sponsorship Opportunities

Step one: Assess your project

Before you begin to prepare your application, you need to assess whether your proposed project:

• Meets all eligibility criteria
• meets all of the objectives of the Grant Program
• meets all of the assessment criteria of the Grant Program
• can be funded appropriately

Step two: Pre-Planning

If you have answered ‘yes’ to the essential factors listed under step one, consider the following:

  1. Identify the need for this project, and have documented evidence for this need.
  2. Carefully consider whether the project can proceed without funding and identify to what extent your organisation can contribute financially or ‘in-kind’ (e.g. voluntary labour or materials) to the project. Keeping in mind it is usually asked for around 1/3 to be funded by the organisation.
  3. Identify the objectives of your project, and can state clearly how the implementation of the project will result in wider community benefit, and if/how it will reduce your organisation’s costs. y.
  4. Write a letter to Council presenting your desire to apply for a grant and why. 

Step three: Consider how you will show that your project will make a difference

Demonstrate how your project will help your organisation to reduce its operational costs and/or increase revenue. Also, note how your project will be sustainable – consider how it will be maintained and where you will source additional funds from in the future.
Setting performance measures is a good way of keeping your project on track; it will let you and Council know how much the grant is needed, and how successful it may be.

Set your objectives – work out what you are trying to achieve, and by what means.

The success of your project is measured against what you are trying to do – your objectives. Your project should line up to each objective, with a way to measure if it is successful or not. Think cautiously about what information you need to gather and how you are going to collect it during the planning stages of your project.

Think about a before and after picture, and work out a before and after measure. For example, comparing electricity bills before and after the installation of solar heating.

To measure the project's value against the grant program’s objectives, you should tally up Performance measures:

• What you are doing now
• How the project will reduce and help you maintain cost reductions
• How the project will result in an increase in organisational sustainability (economic, governance, community and environmental)
• How the project result will benefit the community

Plan how you are going to collect your data to support measurable objectives. Data on the ‘before’ picture (called baseline) should be provided with the application. Data to demonstrate the results of the project can be collected during or after completion of the project, and should be submitted as part of the projects acquittal.

Step four: Completing your application

Before you commence your application, it is strongly recommended that you contact the company and ask to speak with the grant coordinator.

In order to get a community project off the ground, find out as much as you can about the local community and your target audience. For example, you could run a survey in that community and use the feedback you get as evidence with your application. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also has a wealth of statistical data that may support your submission.

Complete the application by answering all questions and supplying all information requested. Referring back to the objectives as you go and refer to why it suits the companies “mission.” All grant applications are slightly different, and require different information as every organisation will have a different mission and request to meet specific objectives.

All applications must be certified by either the Chairperson, President or Chief Executive Officer of your organisation.
If you’re required to submit a budget with your application, make sure you:

• Are accurate and realistic – the funding organisation will spot the inconsistencies and this will reflect badly on your application.
• Don’t cut corners to be more competitive, or you will have to pay more out of the organisations pocket.
• Find out appropriate rates of pay.
• Don’t forget overheads you might need (like WorkCover, insurances, office supplies, rent, etc.).
• Get more than one quote for any equipment you will have to buy. Three is generally a good number.
• Relate any necessary equipment purchases to the aims of the project.
• Note your own contribution to the project, both your financial input and time commitment

Documentation to support your application

  1. Name, position, phone numbers, postal and email addresses of the best contact person.
  2. Provide a letter of support from the following types of people: 
    • The land owner – if the applicant does not own the land/facility (this includes land owned by the shire).
    • Endorsement from the sponsoring organisation agreeing to be the project sponsor (if applicable).
    • Community groups that see benefit in the project
    • A local Councillor.
  3. Inclusion of a minimum of two (recent) quotes for proposed works, if relevant to the project proposal.
  4. Provide sketch/concept designs and scope of works, if relevant to the project proposal.
  5. Provide relevant approvals from Council or State Government. e.g. building approval, and include details of development assessment proposal/status where relevant.
  6. Check that all budget items are eligible, as per the guidelines.
  7. Provide approved and pending alternative funding documentation.
  8. ABN number.

Step five: Submitting your application

Before you submit your application, ensure you have read all information carefully. Double check through your application, to ensure that you have addressed all the objectives for the grant.
Find out if you need development approval for your project by getting planning and development advice from the Shire.

Lastly: Ensure

• you keep a copy of your application for your records.
• If it is an online submission note your login and password for future applications and for the acquittal of the grant.

Click here to view a Grants Directory to help your business, community or sporting groups find funding opportunities.