Is your organisation/project eligible for funding?
One of the first questions we are asked by almost every client who contacts us is whether they are eligible for funding. In identifying if your project or organisation is eligible to access funding from a particular program, you will need to decide if the funding program is applicable by considering the following issues:
- Geographic location – is your project/organisation within a geographic area supported by the program?
- Purpose of funding – What does the program fund and why (what are their objectives/interests)?
- Who can apply for funding – which groups/organisations (eg: registered businesses, sporting groups, non-profit groups, incorporated/associations)?
- What groups are the targets of the funding program – (eg: disabled, children, women, sporting groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders etc)?
- What costs/expenditure is eligible to be funded and what sort of initiatives are funded or not funded (eg infrastructure, training programs, innovation, facilities, service delivery etc)?
- Is the funding recurrent/one-off/matched and does this suit your project needs?
- How much money is available, and on what terms?
- Is there a maximum amount of funding, or a minimum?
- How much, on average, would your sort of project attract (based on past history of successful grants)?
- Are there restrictions on what is funded, such as salaries, or buildings, or administration?
- Is the funding a subsidy for funds you already have, eg: dollar for dollar, or a set proportion?
- What is the timing for the grant – when will a decision be made and funds be available?
- Do they receive submissions and make grants all year round or an annual cycle?
- Do they have submission deadlines and decision dates?
- How many applications can you make in a certain time frame?
- Are they once-only grants, or are they made in stages or cycles?
- What sort of accounting/reporting procedures are required?
- How do they go about ensuring the effectiveness of their grant following completion of your project?
- Do they require an audit of accounts?
- How do they assess that your project has met the required objectives?
- What reporting requirements and reporting format are needed to satisfy the program managers?
If after seeking out as much information about the program as possible, you believe your project/initiative meets the requirements of the program objectives and criteria then the next step is confirming the match.
Contact the people who administer the funding program and ask them for answers to the above questions if the documents don’t have all the answers. At the same time, provided that you are clear about what you want to do, discuss your idea with them and seek their advice. Definitely do not ask their advice unless you are clear about your idea and able to present it clearly. Practice your presentation beforehand.
If you can make an appointment to see the funders, be ready to explain your project. If the grant prospects look good, then take the opportunity to discuss the details with them.
You can explain the project along the same lines as you will describe it in your formal written submission. Be clear and concise and confident. Once again, you may have to adapt and adjust your idea to fit in with their guidelines in order to be eligible for a grant.