Writing grant proposals seems to strike fear into the heart of many volunteers and community organisations. However, if you can overcome your fear and approach it as a system, you will probably find that it isn’t as scary as you thought. All grant proposals are based on simply filling out a form, so it’s not as if you have to write an essay in a freestyle form. Instead, it’s all about filling in the boxes. In this article, you will find a few tips on writing successful grant proposals and links to several other authoritative sites with further information.
Where to Start
If you are looking to find a grant for your community organisation, then there are many resources you can use. These references are Australian based.
- Business Portal – A government site that is a portal to all things business. They have an extensive listing of available grants that includes Federal and States. Probably your first port of call to search for grants.
- Grant Connect – This is the Federal Government site that lists all available grants available through the various Departments.
- Community Grants Hub – Another Federal Government site run by the Department of Social Security that also has information on how to write a good grant application.
- Grants Hub – A commercial site that provides information on grants, grant writing and other information. Subscription based so you will need to compare whether it’s worth it for your organisation.
- Other Grant Sites – If you click on the link it will take you to a Google search for Grant Information. You will find listings of many other sites that provide information. In particular, you should look for ones in your own State and subscribe to their newsletters.
It would take way too long to list all the sites where information is available, so it’s best to do your research. However, the links above will give you a good start.
Writing Grant Proposals
Although it is a matter of filling out a form, you are still in a situation where you are selling your proposal to the organisation providing the Grant. Therefore, you need to do your research and write a compelling argument to make your application stand out above the others.
- Grant Name – Give your grant a catchy name, particularly one that might make people smile. One example I have seen was “Poo to Plate”, an application for a community vegetable garden. It was successful too!
- Develop and Ask Questions – Make sure you are clear on the Grant requirements. Read the requirements thoroughly and make sure you are eligible for a start. Organisations providing grants have a contact person. Ring them and establish a working relationship. Ask your questions and you will be better placed to include quality answers in your application.
- Photos, Videos & Concept Drawings – The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is very true when you are applying for a Grant. Include quality photos and imagary with your application. Do a video and put it on Youtube with a link in the application to explain what you’re all about.
- Project Fit with Grant Purposes – Clearly articulate how the project you are working on fulfils the goals of the Grant.
- Identify Who Will Benefit – Include full details of your target group for your Grant and how they will benefit. Make sure you answer the “why” in your comments. Don’t just say, “this will benefit the youth of the community”, you must explain why. If your submission doesn’t answer this essential question you won’t get anywhere.
The above tips are just a start. One of the best organisations to deal with regarding Grants is the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). Below is a video they recently put out on grant writing that may be of assistance to your organisation.
Learning the skills to write quality Grant Applications will be of great benefit to your organisation. Winning grants can propel your organisation to a leading impact organisation within your community because there is visible evidence of you getting things done. If you need assistance with grant writing, there are professionals you can engage to walk you through the process or complete the application for you. Here at Dynamic Community Leadership, we have considerable experience with the process of writing grant applications and proposals. Contact us for details of how we can work together.