Tools and tips

Some guidance for applying for your grant

Getting started

All grants differ in their requirements and eligibility criteria. Be prepared to be assessed in relation to all aspects of your organisation and activities, including:

  • Your management capabilities
  • Organisation structure
  • Budget and turnover
  • Tax status (if you are a not-for-profit, it is usually best to have ‘deductable gift recipient’ tax status)
  • Outcomes and achievements to date.

The four-step approach

As a basic approach to successfully applying for grants, we suggest the following:

  1. Education

Take some time to understand how grants work, and whether you can commit the time and resources to apply for and manage a grant. Don’t forget to assess alignment with the program aims and also your ability to deliver your proposed project.

  1. Grant strategy

Build a sustainable and tailored approach to finding, qualifying and applying for grants as part of your strategic planning. Work out what sort of funding providers are a good fit for your project, and make sure you are informed about when grants are available. The tools provided by GrantGuru are designed for this purpose.

  1. Grant writing

It’s important to put forward the most professional and persuasive application possible. Decide whether you need help and/or advice from an experienced professional. You will need to describe your business and activities in a clear, comprehensive and consistent manner and make a convincing case about why you should receive funding.

  1. Grant management

Once you have successfully received a grant, you will need to demonstrate to the funding provider that you are upholding your part of the program. Consider your capacity to record, report, measure and acquit grant funds.

General guidelines

Every grant is different, just as every applicant is different. There is no one approach which will guarantee success. Following a few general guidelines can help maximise your chances of success in finding and securing funding for your project.

  • Plan ahead and be strategic. Timing is a crucial element of any successful grant. Do what you can to stay informed about appropriate grants ahead of time, so you can match the funding that is available with the timing of your project. This will also help you to avoid rushing your application.
  • Match your project with the right grant. Make sure you find grants that align well with the future direction of your business or initiative. Do some research on the funding provider and what they are hoping to achieve by offering the grant. The application that best matches their needs will be the successful one.
  • Be thorough with your application. Take time to make sure you have covered all the requirements. It’s advisable to have somebody working with you on the application or to check it before you submit. This can help you to avoid making simple errors or omissions.

Common mistakes

The most common reason for an unsuccessful grant application is a lack of preparation. Often applicants will begin writing their application without doing the necessary research and planning.

Informing yourself about grants and putting a strategy in place will allow your organisation to build an ongoing grant calendar and systematically work through grant programs that are best suited to you. As you do this, your internal ability to apply for grants will increase.