The recent announcement of the Federal Budget 2020/21has been labelled an ‘employment-boosting, business-focused budget’. It has been designed to help move the economy from support to stimulus. There are a number of funding opportunities available which are relevant to our clients and regional NSW. Some of these include:
- $200 million for a new round of the Building Better Regions Fund, with $100 million specifically for tourism infrastructure to make our tourism regions more attractive and drive visitation to those areas.
- $51 million Regional Tourism Recovery Initiative to support Australia’s most hard hit tourism regions including the north coast of NSW
Both of these funding programs aim to encourage more Australians to travel and experience a home-grown holiday, boosting regional jobs and local economies.
Other funding announcements include $100 million for new Regional Recovery Partnerships, $30 million for the Regional Connectivity Program and $5 million for a new Resilient Regional Leaders initiative.
With the Federal government opening up more opportunities under the Building Better Regions Fund and other programs, it is more important than ever to take the time to carefully craft your submission and maximise your chance of success. For many local councils and not-for- profits, a successful grant application can be the difference between a great idea getting off the ground or being shelved forever.
In this article, we share five tips on how to nail your next grant application.
1. Assume the read knows nothing
Many grant writers fall into the trap of assuming that the person sitting at the other end will understand the nuances of their industry or project. The reality is that most do not. It is always best to assume that the person sitting at the other end knows nothing. This means:
- writing your application in plain English
- taking out the jargon
- explaining your project or idea in simple terms.
2. Back up your claims
With many grant programs being highly competitive, you must back up your claims with evidence. It is always best if your evidence is from a third party rather than your own claim. For example, this means linking your application to external sources such as an independent report and verifying claims with data.
You can also bolster your application with letters of support from project partners or key beneficiaries of your project. These letters should be current and ideally tie into the specific grant criteria.
And whilst jobs and economic benefits are great – being able to clearly show how these are created and relate to the project or industry is even better
3. Consider the specific criteria
Most grant programs have specific criteria which need to be addressed in the application. This might sound like an obvious tip, but your application must address each criteria – referring to previous criteria and skipping over it is a sure fire way to have your application quickly eliminated.
4. Check your budgeted figures
More than likely you will need to prepare financial costs to support your application. Check your budgeted figures and make sure they stack up. And don’t forget to include a realistic contingency – scraping through at the grant stage doesn’t look too good.
It is also worthwhile having your figures independently verified by a qualified person such as a quantity surveyor. This helps demonstrate that the figures are robust and the grant money is going to be well spent.
5. Don’t leave it to the last minute
You will more likely than not have to submit your grant application through an online platform. Typically this involves uploading multiple documents and completing online forms which may expand as you go through them – meaning there is more than you expected. There may also be limits on the file sizes and document formats.
Do not leave this bit to the last minute! It is not uncommon to encounter technical difficulties and experiencing this 10 minutes before the closing time puts all your hard work at risk.
Do you need help with securing funding for your project?
We have a proven track record in securing grant funding for our clients both local government and not for profits. To date, we have been successful in securing over $27 million. One of our clients said:
The comprehensive process used by Locale highlighted to Council the extent of effort that is needed to be successful in obtaining substantial grant funding. This is clearly the level of detail that the State and Federal Governments are after, and we are very appreciative of Locale’s efforts in pulling together our successful application for the Woodburn Riverside project.
Please get in touch with Steve Thompson, Director – Planning & Strategy to talk about how we can help you craft a successful grant application.