Writing a successful grant proposal can make or break your club’s next project. If you’ve put your hand up to be grants coordinator for the first time, it can be daunting to work out where to start and what’s important. But you can feel confident in knowing many first time grant coordinators write and submit successful grant applications.
There are few steps that will make your proposal more likely to be successful, and we’ve outlined some of the important ones below.
1. Scope your project
Before applying for your grant, make sure you have your proposed project scoped and costed properly. This isn’t always a requirement for grant applications (you can often still apply if your project isn’t finalised), but clubs that show they are prepared and serious about the project are more likely to be considered positively by grant assessors.
Having your project pre-scoped and costed can also be really important if you need to react quickly to a new grant opportunity that comes up with a short application timeframe.
There are always lots of projects that would be great for the club, and your committee members might have different priorities. That’s completely normal, but if your club has several projects in focus, it is definitely worthwhile to agree a priority list with the committee. Focusing your limited time on one project at a time, and one grant at a time may give your application a better chance of success.
Don’t forget to make sure the purpose of your project aligns with the purpose of the grant. For example, the Brisbane City Council’s Access and Inclusion Community Partnership Program is designed to remove barriers to inclusion and increase accessibility within an organisation. If you are seeking to create accessible facilities for disabled athletes, that would be an appropriate grant to focus on. If you need to build new women’s locker rooms, then the Female Facilities Program offered by the Queensland State government would be a good one to target.
Don't forget to get in touch the relevant contacts within the grant body before your submit. Having a discussion with the organisation issuing the grants will help you get clear on what they want to see in applications, and the purpose of the grant.
Now you have your project scoped and costed, know the grant you’re after and are ready to complete an application. Start early: most submitting an application can be more complicated than it sounds. Grant application portals can be cumbersome to use and require a lot of information to be submitted.
Make sure you have everything you need before submitting your application, and allocate enough time to get it done properly. But, most portals allow you to save applications as you go, so most of the time you don't need to finish an application all in one sitting.
What else is there to know?
If your club or organisation is operating on a Brisbane City Council site, then all development work needs to be approved by the council before a grant is submitted.
Many grants require co-contributions from the club, either in funds or ‘in kind’ (volunteer work). Required contributions can range from 0% up to 50%. It’s a good idea to include into your budget a club contribution of 25% on proposed projects. Look carefully at the rules of each grant because they all differ.
Talk to other members of your club. There’s often other members that have been involved in grant applications in the past and would be happy to share their experiences.
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