Putting the ‘Fun’ Back into Funding Applications

Grant funding is the lifeblood of many of our community Landcare and grower groups.

The issue with this is that competition for funding is fierce and, as much as agencies want to give you their money, they need to be confident that your project will successfully meet their objectives. So how can you convince a funder that you have a winning project?

The answer is – with a clear and achievable proposal that demonstrates good planning, rigorous assessment and community support. That’s according to Becci Clarke of Tuna Blue Facilitation who facilitated a Grant Writing workshop hosted by NACC NRM in May. 

We did things a little different this year with the workshop taking place online. Participants were able to dial in from all over Western Australia! A model we will be re-using for future opportunities into the future.

The best funding applications are started well before the due date and are often already in the pipeline before the Grant is released. They start with community consultation and engagement that clearly identifies a relatively common need and leads to a well prepared and bounded project plan. Bounding or putting limits on the project was one of the first tips Ms Clarke had, because this provides funders with a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Other aspirations that might introduce a sense of uncertainty or risk should probably be left out, but can be mentioned as a future step that your project will build towards. 

Finally, when you’ve completed your writing, ask somebody else to read it and check that it sounds like good value for money. That depends as much on your budget as it does on your words.  So get quotes for large expenses and show your workings rather than just writing down rounded figures. And don’t think the assessors won’t double check your calculations!

So getting funding isn’t easy. It takes good consultation, planning, bounding (scoping),  writing, evidencing, clarifying, editing, budgeting and testing. Funders want to know they can trust you to use their money to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, and the only way to build trust is with a convincing application.

See here the tips we compiled from last year’s workshop-

Top Ten Tips for Tip Top Applications!

Where to Access Grants:

  1. Go to ourcommunity.com.au and subscribe to their free newsletter
  2. Consider signing up to the Easygrants newsletter (fundingcentre.com.au/easygrants )

Preparation:

  • Compile your key organisational data for easy access (e.g. ABN, TFN, Website, Business name, trading name, banking details etc…)

Read the guidelines!  Make sure your project fits with the grant criteria.

  • Inform yourself about the funder you are applying to: Look at their website, their values and the types of projects they have funded previously.

Writing the Application:

  • Incorporate the language on the funder’s website and the grant guidelines into your application (i.e use their terms)
  • Write clearly and concisely; assume the assessor knows nothing about who you are and what you/your organisation does.
  • Ask somebody who has not been involved in your project to read through the application before you submit it
  • Save a copy of your application before you submit it!
  • Keep a record of your answers. As you apply for more grants, you will end up building a database of information to refer to which you can sort by question type. This can be a great time saver for future applications.

This workshop was supported by NACC NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

If you or your organisation are developing projects to improve the sustainability, productivity and profitability of agriculture and natural resource management in the NAR and would like support to do this, please contact our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators:

Annabelle Garratt (E) [email protected] or (P) 0448 986 879

Lizzie King (E) [email protected] or (P) 0447 361 335

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