Grants Explained

Grant funding is a way to help build thriving communities. Our aim is to empower local businesses, community groups, sporting clubs and not-for-profit organisations to easily find and successfully apply for grants to turn ideas into reality…without wasting time and effort.

The purpose of grants

Funding is offered by government and private corporations to help them fulfil their strategic policies, objectives and aims. When your project aligns with these aims and goals then you are more likely to be successful with funding. Grants are part of a bigger picture so ensure you consider the purpose of the funding program before you apply.

What are grants for?

Grants are generally provided for projects, with a beginning and end, rather than to just run your organisation. Grants are available for a broad range of activities with a business or community focus:

Business Grants

Grants are a way to start, establish or expand a business with the aim to increase productivity, jobs and economic growth in areas such as:

  • Research & Development
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability and Green Technology
  • Export
  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture
  • IT & Communication Services
  • Medical & Biotechnology

Community Grants

Grants assist groups to deliver a particular community service or address an identified need such as new community infrastructure or host an event/festival. Many community grants fall within the following categories:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Heritage
  • Community Service Initiatives

4 Steps to Grant Success

To increase your chances of success, we suggest the following approach:

What could go wrong?

Most people start and end at step 3 – grant writing. As a result, most grant applications fail, leading to lost time, effort and money.

It is important to start with steps 1 and 2. By constantly seeking and applying for grants that are best suited to you, you increase your chances of being successful. And as you apply for more grants, your internal capability will increase.

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 NFP it is usually best to have Deductable Gift Recipient tax status)
  • Outcomes and achievements to date

Are you Ready?

You have identified a project that needs funding and you’d like a grant to make it come to fruition. Before you search for a suitable grant, its best to answer the following:

  • Is the purpose of the project clear and does it fit with your organisations vision and business plan?
  • Is your project well scoped and planned?

How will you deliver the project?

Is the project “shovel-ready”? Many grants wont fund projects that aren’t. Is there a project budget, are designs complete, approvals in place and quotes in-hand?

  • Who is going to manage the project? What relevant skills and experience do they have?
  • Do you have written support of other stakeholders, partners and interested parties?

Alignment and Eligibility

The right grant is the one that your project has the best alignment with. Funding is offered by government and private corporations to help them fulfil their strategic policies, objectives and aims. When your project aligns with these aims and goals then you are more likely to be successful with funding. Grants are part of a bigger picture so ensure you consider the purpose of the funding program before you apply.

Investigate the purpose of the grant. For example, is it to boost employment, lower carbon emissions, increase industry skill levels, purchase new equipment, grow tourism? If it isn’t clear enough to you, research the funding organisation or even give them a call.

Once you’ve found grants with the right alignment, it’s now time to check their eligibility criteria. Who is the grant open to? Are you in the right region or area? What can the grant funds be spent on? What are the matching funding requirements? If there is any component of the eligibility criteria that you don’t understand, or you feel you need clarification on, contact the funding body and ask.

Writing your Application

Anyone can write a grant application and practice makes perfect. However, not everybody enjoys writing applications. It’s a laborious process requiring attention to detail, good writing skills, an ability to articulate well, sales skills and often an ability to manage a bunch of contributors. If your organisation or business doesn’t have someone with these abilities, you will benefit by seeking out someone with grant writing experience. If you need help, check out the Support page and also the Grant Writers page.

Supporting Evidence

Supporting evidence goes a long way to elevate your proposal above the competition. Unbiased demographic (population) data and economic data can be found on the RDASC website at https://economy.id.com.au/rda-sunshine-coast

For large grant applications, it is often beneficial and sometimes mandatory to include economic modelling to demonstrate the benefits of your project to the community and wider region. RDASC are able to undertake this work and/or direct your requirements to third-party provider.