In first article in this series A DIY Guide to applying for grants: Part 1 – Finding the Funding Source, we looked at the numerous ways to locate grants and find out about rounds. In this article, we will assist you to hone your approach to grant writing (aka to get your game face ON).
A waste of your time you may ask? Well… no you’ll be amazed how much more productive you will be in your grant writing pursuits with these simple tips.
I’ll make this clear from the outset. There are two very distinct approaches you can apply as you approach your grant journey.
Approach 1 – This is the most widely applied approach
- Step 1: Open grant website.
- Step 2: Scour page for the grant specifications (also known as criteria, instructions or application form).
- Step 3: Start writing.
- Step 4: Realise that there is a bunch of missing documentation and/or waste five hours filling in the application only to realise your business is ineligible for the funds.
Approach 2 – What the smart kids are doing these days
- Step 1: Gather your funding toolkit (more about this in Part 3).
- Step 2: Carefully read the criteria to check your eligibility and gain an understanding of the desired outcomes of the funding program.
- Step 3: If there is a contact number on the grant documentation (and there usually is) contact that person and discuss your concept. You’ll be surprised how much assistance is available.
- Step 4: If that person by chance was not helpful or you feel you need further support contact your local Regional Development Australia organisation or AusIndustry and ask for someone there to provide advice and/or ideas on the viability of your concept.
- Step 5: Contact relevant stakeholders (i.e. potential partners, your local member, local council representatives, etc.) early on to ask them to support your application; don’t leave this to the last minute, it annoys everyone.
- Step 6: Plan some time to write your application and tell people around you that you need a bit of ‘shoosh time’ while you’re doing so. Grant applications require concentration.
- Step 7: Go back to the stakeholders and let them know you’ve submitted the application. You could even go one step further and send them a one-pager about what you’ve applied for.
- Step 8: As soon as you know something, good or bad, let the stakeholders know.
Sure, this method is time intensive up front; however, it is going to save you a lot of time in the long run. You might also be wondering, why we continually bang on about the importance of your stakeholders and keeping them informed. For the answer to that, you’ll need to look out for Part 8 of this series, where I will explain why it is so important.
However, we have a few more steps to go through first as we delve into this 10-part series on applying for one of the many government funding streams which are available to help you grow your organisation.
Stay tuned for Part 3 where we will be discussing the importance of having a ‘Funding Toolkit’.