DIY guide to grant writing Part 1

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FINDING THE SOURCE

Need some support to grow your organisation or business?

Once upon a time grants were the domain of the not for profit world. Not any more. In today’s economy government grants are also available for businesses (yes, they always were to some degree but nothing on today’s offerings) and in some cases individuals (think Bushfire relief).

Grants are available at all tiers of government (Federal, State and local), they are sometimes unsolicited (better known as fundraising or donations) but are usually time-limited by official application.

Grants are NOT the only way to raise funding and you may also care to investigate philanthropic funding, fundraising, donations, bequests, social enterprise or even business activities. But for now… let’s get back to grants.

Whatever the funding form one thing is certain, you will need to be prepared before you dive headfirst into an application (or otherwise be prepared to be very, very stressed).

Within this series of grant writing articles, we’ll explore the world of grants and funding available to you, your business or your organisation and hopefully make the process more approachable for you.

FINDING THE SOURCE

It’s very easy to get lost in the piles and piles of grant opportunities. Remember this one thing… you DO NOT have to pay to source grant information. Yes, there are a few (and inexpensive i.e. under $200)  directories that make things a little easier but you’ll quickly find starting with the readily available (and free) information online you’ll have more grants to apply for than you have time.

Where to look:

  1. For Commonwealth funding go straight to Grants Connect or Community Grants Hub
  2. Visit the website of the Government (Commonwealth or State) department most relevant to your business or organisation
  3. Visit your local Council’s website and search for grants. If you can’t find anything ask
  4. Google things like government grants, grow my business, government assistance for business (careful – you will receive many and varied offers to purchase things on these sites, you should be able to get this information free of charge)
  5. Find the go-to people to share information with you. Consider your local Regional Development Australia team, AusIndustry staff and in NSW the Office of Regional Development.
  6. Subscribe to the following newsletters:
    • Your local Regional Development Australia
    • Your local MP’s newsletter (State and Commonwealth)
    • Any government agencies relevant to your business with newsletters.
    • Industry peak bodies.
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Your local Council
  7. Go social. Source the Facebook pages and Twitter handles of the above mentioned entities and keep your eyes peeled for grant information.
  8. Network with other similar businesses and your local industry sector, chances are someone will find an opportunity you can collaborate on, or maybe an information exchange will be enough.

So, now you have a swag of grants to apply for, where do you start?

In part 2 of this series, DIY guide to grant writing I will provide you with the details on how to do just that.

Kerry Grace is the founder and Director of Evolve Network.

Kerry’s work focuses on enabling economic sustainability in small regional communities. With a strong consultancy background she has worked with all levels of government, not for profits and Aboriginal corporations. She is often called upon for her facilitation skills to moderate pathways forward for contentious and complex issues.

Kerry regularly blurts words about accidental leadership, being a mum in business, self-care and adapting for an uncertain future. www.kerrygrace.com.au