How to apply for Government grants

Elevate grant proposals from the ‘too hard’ basket and include them in your overall fundraising plan to share in a small fortune being given away.
Every year, federal, state and local government agencies in Australia give away millions of dollars through grant programs.

Unlike a charitable donation, a grant is an amount of money given for a specific purpose.

For example:

  • A regional Victorian primary school received $40,000 community support funding for a stage with disabled lift access.
  • A Brisbane preschool and kindergarten secured $3000 from a gambling benefit fund to build a fence.
  • An ACT high school received a $4000 grant for its youth outreach and breakfast program.
  • A Brisbane high school secured a $10,000 grant to enable it to hire a professional writer for its commemorative book.

Typically, funding agencies will support projects that:

  • affect, or involve, many people
  • have broad public appeal
  • provide a long-term solution
  • make a difference
  • have a high likelihood of success.

A lot of research is needed before writing a grant submission

1.  Identify a grant program that best fits your goal.

The Australian Government’s GrantsLINK directory has more than 200 federal, state and local government grants and funding programs, classified by topics and subjects, and is constantly updated.The job of trawling the GrantsLINK website may suit a virtual volunteer.

2.  Once a potential grant has been identified, thoroughly read its funding guidelines. Your project needs to tick all the boxes.

3.  Research the funding agency. Read its annual report. What are its priorities? Who has it funded before?

Decide now whether your school project has a strong case for support

Grant applications take time to pull together. Do not use valuable volunteer efforts on a proposal just because a grant is there.

Grant applications need to be well written and well presented. They must address specific criteria.

Hints for successful grant applications

  • Target your application to what the funding agency is most interested in.
  • Follow the guidelines to the letter. If they wanted detailed project costings, take the time to gather them.
  • Gather endorsements from community groups that use your school facilities and local councilors or parliamentarians.
  • Promise what you can deliver.
  • Ensure your application is received before the deadline.

When the grant application is lodged

The practice of completing a Fundraising Handover Sheet applies for grants too.

Document everything.

Re-using generic information about your school will save time later. So will records of past attempts.