Top Ten tips for Grant Readiness
Businesses should be grant-ready for fast turn-around grants in our changing funding environment. Grants can reduce budget pressures and effect business change.
Recent COVID grants have been over-subscribed in just three days! These grants were a race from start to finish. Usually, grants open with a four week application period.
We’re expecting substantial grant announcements next month after the Qld state elections. These grants might be due just as Christmas breaks commence. The key take-home message is that businesses need to be GRANT-READY; on the starting blocks and prepared for a winning application.
Some grants are an easy DIY – they just need a time commitment and some forward planning. Others are a bit more complicated, with many attachments.
Here are our top ten tips:
- PLAN a project, or a register of projects. Understand each project’s scope. Think about the What, When, How, Where and Why. Remember that the grant funder knows nothing about your business or your project - explain it in easy-to-understand terms. Think about the project outputs, outcomes, objectives and risks. You will probably be asked to explain each of these.
- MATCH the project to grant opportunities. Use Council and RDA free grant searches.
- CHECK the grant eligibility before you proceed - your team could spend up to 50 hours on a grant- it’s important to pick the right one.
- READ the grant guidelines. Then read them again. Listen to what the funder wants and ensure your project can fit. READ the application form – sometimes it gives a different slant to the guidelines.
- Look up examples of projects that the funder has previously funded and target your application accordingly
- Be ORGANISED with your timelines.
- DRAFT project outlines and letters of support so that stakeholders can easily accept or amend them
- Collate EVIDENCE such as statistics of your area or business, or what you have achieved.
- SPEAK with the grants officer – you can learn all sorts of great hints.
- SUBMIT the grant EARLY. Sometimes it takes a while to get to know the grant portal - save often as you go!
At Successful Grants, our top three attachments for future small business applications are:
- 2019 or 2020 financials – your accountant has been working hard this year. Give them some warning
- Easy-to-understand proof of 30% loss due to COVID-19.
- Detailed project quotes from your preferred supplier – such as website upgrade or social media marketing
Of course, all grants have different eligibility criteria, and we customise checklists for every grant.
Don't miss out on funding. Contact me if you need a hand to get grant-ready or to work out which grants are right for your business.
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