Shout it from the roof tops
You’ve hit send on your application. Think it ends there? WRONG !
Now is the time to get to the marketplace and tell people about what you’re doing. There are several distinct groups you should consider getting in touch with at this point:
- Your local MPs both State and Commonwealth (particularly as relevant to the funding). Let them know what you’ve applied for and the reasons. Make sure they are aware of your community support and the great work you’ve done thus far. While you’re there tell them about your funding needs and the good you hope to implement in your community as a result of the anticipated funding (or other opportunities if they may be aware of something). Not sure how to book in? Just phone and make an appointment – ideally try and lock something in a few weeks before you submit the application just in case you need the lead time.
- Media Now is a great opportunity to put forward a newsworthy story about your great work and hopes for the future. Have your elevator pitch handy and identify some interesting photo / film opportunities.
- Your local Council There are numerous people in your local council that are good for you to know; your Mayor, General Manager, Community Services Manager, Economic Development Manager and then more specific roles as relevant to your mission such as youth worker, or ageing community worker. You may also want to make yourself (and your organisation) known to relevant Councillors.
- Funding partners Have you let everyone involved in your application know that you’ve pressed send? Equip them with the information they need to assist in the promotion of your application. The more people who are engaged, the better.
- Your stakeholders and customers/clients While you may worry about getting your customer’s hopes up unnecessarily, there is merit in letting your stakeholders including the broader community and your clients know that you’ve submitted the application and what you hope to achieve if successful.
- Your committee Even if you think they should know, perhaps because you mentioned it 100 or so times, it doesn’t mean they heard you. Put it in your report and build some excitement around the announcement timeframes.
- Existing funding bodies You never know who knows who… Provided you don’t feel you’ll offend anyone have a conversation with your key funding managers and let them know what you hope to achieve with the new fund if successful. You should never underestimate how much people want to support you and your community and the more information they have about what you have quantified needs to be done, the more likely it is they will advocate on your behalf.
- Key agencies Are you connected with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, or the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet? If you work with Aboriginal communities are you connected with Aboriginal Affairs? Or does your program deliver learning programs? Seek out Department of Education connections. Build your connections across the relevant State and also Commonwealth agency. Use LinkedIn, networking meetings or just get on the phone. The information you’ll be able to provide about your community will be a valuable exchange for information and advice.
- Key networks and interagencies Are you linked with local networking groups? Don’t underestimate the importance of being networked across multiple genres of groups – for example, Business networks such as the Chamber of Commerce in your area, Family services groups, community action groups, justice interagencies. If you don’t know where to start ask someone who works in a similar organisation (to yours), or approach your Council’s community services manager.
What should you tell the above mentioned entities? Well. Ideally you’ll have a pre-existing relationship with them, but whether you do or you don’t swing back to Part 5 – the grant concept and draw out that information for handouts, media releases, presentations or speaking points.
Kerry Grace – Evolve Network Founder and CEO