A lack of funding for an outdoor facility upgrade can certainly restrict an organisation’s ability to purchase desired products, with many organisations forced to resort to just the essentials or sub-standard alternatives. But what if we told you it didn’t have to be that way, with a very simple solution that could see you secure some vital extra funding to assist in achieving your dream facility upgrade. The answer – a grant!
Grants are a fantastic way to fund your next project and are available for many groups including sporting organisations and clubs, schools, community groups and not-for-profits. However, many organisations fail to apply for this type of funding due to being completely overwhelmed when it comes to the application process, but never fear, we have some great tips to simplify the process.
1. Find Your Grant
Most often, the type of organisation you are, what you’re planning to use the grant for, and who will benefit from it will determine which grants are available to you. You will need to do some basic research online to find the grants that are applicable to your unique circumstances. It is also worth signing up to newsletters to ensure you get notified when grant applications are opening.
Some popular websites to help with the research process include;
and many more…
2. Do your Research & Understand the Grant
Fully understanding the requirements of the particular grant you are applying for is an essential part of the grant application process and involves thoroughly reviewing the application procedure, paying careful attention to the following;
- Eligibility criteria
- Requirements for submission – Some grants, for example, require multiple quotes for works to be provided for the proposed project, whereas others may require a co-contribution in terms of funding from your organisation.
- Workshops and information sessions – Even if attendance at these sessions is not a requirement of submission, these workshops and sessions can provide vital information as to how to make a successful submission.
- Key dates
Paying careful attention to the grant requirements will assist in creating a project plan and timeline to ensure that you submit all that is required, and don’t overlook a closing date. Make notes, diarise, and put a plan in place.
3. Determine your ‘why’
Grant writing is no easy feat, however, when you establish the ‘why’ behind your proposal, you will find formulating responses to selection criteria a whole lot easier.
The why behind your project should take into consideration the assessable criteria for the grant, which often includes things like benefits to the organisation, benefits to the community, what the funding will mean for the organisation and the community and what this will enable you to achieve. In terms of outdoor facility upgrades, focusing on things like why the infrastructure is needed and why it doesn’t exist in the first place are also important aspects to consider.
Determining the ‘why’ behind your project should also consider your organisation’s core values and mission within the community and discuss programs and outcomes that you as an organisation are committed to providing.
4. Apply Passion
Grant applications are more likely to be successful if the grant submission comes from a place of passion. Spend time carefully drafting responses that demonstrate your organisations passion for the project and the commitment you as an organisation will provide by way of community benefit. In the competitive grant environment, generic responses won’t cut it, with the selection panel looking for creative, insightful, and sustainable project ideas that are worthy of funding.
5. Sustainability & Value For Money
Just as passion is a vital tool for grant applications, as is the elements of value for money and sustainability. In your grant submission it is important to demonstrate how your project offers value for money and makes best use of the funding available. There is no point applying for $50,000 worth of funding if your project could be achieved with $10,000. Be realistic and show how these funds will be utilised.
Sustainability is also essential. A successful grant application will ensure that funding provided will be for a long-term project that has considered factors such as growth and future needs. The last thing anyone wants to see is a project that doesn’t fit community needs in a year or two.
6. Obtain Support
Outdoor facility projects typically provide benefits to the broader community, so what better way to highlight this than through obtaining external support for your project!
Support in this form can come from other not-for-profit or community groups that will also benefit from your facility proposal should the grant application be successful and can be demonstrated through written letters of support for the project. For example, a sports club wising to install a bottle refill station would be providing a fantastic asset to other sports teams using the same facilities. Attaching these letters with your application indicate that your proposal has been considered, well-researched and that you have consulted with others.
The final, but perhaps the most important grant application tip is compliance. It is absolutely critical that your grant application is compliant with the grant requirements, including submission before the due date and with all required documentation attached.
Ready to start the grant application process? Contact the Urban+ team for product information and obligation-free quotes.