Are you Ready?
So, you have a project that needs funding and you’d like a grant to make it come to fruition. Before you search for a suitable grant, you will be well placed to be able to answer the following:
- Is the purpose of the project clear and does it fit with your organisations vision and business plan?
- Is your project well scoped and planned?
How will you deliver the project?
Is the project “shovel-ready”? Many grants wont fund projects that aren’t. Is there a project budget, are designs complete, approvals in place and quotes in-hand?
- Who is going to manage the project? What relevant skills and experience do they have?
- Do you have written support of other stakeholders, partners and interested parties?
Alignment and Eligibility
The right grant is the one that your project has the best alignment with. Funding is offered by government and private corporations to help them fulfil their strategic policies, objectives and aims. When your project aligns with these aims and goals then you are more likely to be successful with funding. Grants are part of a bigger picture so ensure you consider the purpose of the funding program before you apply.
Unimaginable resources have been wasted by people trying to fit a round project into a square grant! Investigate the purpose of the grant. For example, is it to boost employment, lower carbon emissions, increase industry skill levels, purchase new equipment, grow tourism? If it isn’t clear enough to you, research the funding organisation or even give them a call.
Once you’ve found grants with the right alignment, its now time to check their eligibility criteria. Who is the grant open to? Are you in the right region or area? What can the grant funds be spent on? What are the matching funding requirements? If there is any component of the eligibility criteria that you don’t understand, or you feel you need clarification on, contact the funding body and ask.
Writing your Application
Anyone can write a grant application and practice makes perfect. However, not everybody enjoys writing applications. Its a laborious process requiring attention to detail, good writing skills, an ability to articulate well, sales skills and often an ability to manage a bunch of contributors. If your organisation or business doesn’t have someone with these abilities, you will benefit by seeking out someone with grant writing experience. If you need help, check out the Support page and also the Grant Writers page.
Supporting evidence goes a long way to elevate your proposal above the competition. Unbiased demographic (population) data and economic data can be found on the RDA website at www.rdahc.com.au/resources/regional-stats/
For large grant applications, it is often beneficial and sometimes mandatory to include economic modelling to demonstrate the benefits of your project to the community and wider region. RDA Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island are able to undertake this work and/or direct your requirements to third-party provider.