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Grants for Small Groups and Businesses

           

March 3, 2022 / fbcadmin

Kerrie Sheaves
Foundational Business

Grants Writing and Planning

Grants For Small Groups & Businesses

About Grants for Non-Profit groups

Using Grants as a funding strategy can help your business or organisation grow. Most granting /funding bodies seek to fund organisations and groups to enable those organisations to deliver valuable ‘seed’ projects to their communities.
They do not, in most cases, fund the group to deliver all its day to day services and operating costs (like insurances and admin).

The project must have a start and end date.
Therefore, you need to identify the various activities, current and future projects, that your organisation will run that help you deliver your mission.

Common Grants for Non-Profit Organisations

Matching Grants

Matching grants are where the granted amount needs to be matched by other sources of income by the grant recipient – Usually up to $100,000 funding.

Event Grants

Event Grants can only be used to fund one-off events or celebrations – Usually up to $5000 funding.

Community Grants

These grants are related to specific issues that the granting body is trying to address in its community such as Multi-culturalism, Youth, Disability, Environmental issues, arts, sports, mental health, DV – Usually up to $50,000.

Equipment Grants

Equipment Grants fund organisations for non-capital equipment less than a $5,000 in general e.g. Box trailer, computer, portable sports equipment or uniforms.

Capital Project Grants

Capital Project Grants fund only larger or fixed equipment – non-portable, construction or repair of venues such as parks and sport fields/club houses that facilitate programs for the community – Generally greater than $10,000.

Volunteer and Employment Grants

These grants generally need to be used to train and equip volunteer/new staff (youth) resources – usually up to $5,000. Job Grants can be more but you usually need to employ for 12 months before claiming.

Volunteer and Employment Grants

Volunteer and Employment Grants are generally used to cover or subsidize the one off cost or reducing the cost of using venues owned by the community /councils. (available only to NFP’s).

About Grants for Businesses

Most funding for businesses comes from state or federal government agencies, and follow a similar set of strict rules about what type of business operating costs they will and wont fund.
Generally they are ‘Matching Grants’ which means you need to be able to confirm you can fund 50% (or a set percentage) of the costs.

Stimulus (eg COVID) grants are designed to fund employment. This is because employment drives economic stability and spending cycles. The 2020 Recovery Grant, for example, was unusual as any small business that qualified for JobKeeper was permitted to use the grant funds for marketing, IT and other growth activities.

Business grants are also provided to businesses creating innovative products and technologies, that support export capabilities and jobs growth in key growth sectors.

Regular Business grant eligibility is usually tiered and/or attached to tax offsets, in that they are only open to businesses with a specific turnover threshold, or are claimed through the ATO. E.g. Export, Research & Development, AusIndustry commercialization.
These grants are funneled through programs such as the Entrepreneurs programme, which assesses your eligibility, before allowing you to apply for the grant.

Business Grants are usually focused on driving outcomes such as job growth, export, R&D, infrastructure, recovery from disaster or technology advancement.

Some examples of Grants for business include:

Accelerating Commercialization which provides small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers with access to expert advice and funding to help get a novel product, process or service to market. Export Grants are also like this. You need to be able to match 50%, and meet other criteria.
Growth Grants like the Entrepreneurs’ Programme grants help your business grow. Businesses that have received a roadmap under one of the Growth services, and access funding of between $2500 (ex GST) and $20,000 (ex GST), covering up to 50% of eligible project costs (Matching Grant).

Australian businesses can access free advisory and facilitation services to improve their business capabilities, extend networks and take advantage of opportunities in the Defense Sector.
You can find grants from NSW Government here: https://invest.nsw.gov.au/assistance/programs-and-initiatives

Planning your project/activity to prepare for grant writing

When approaching grants, you need to break all your activities into mini-projects.
Drawing a tree diagram like the one shown here for your own group/business and its activities is an easy way to list your projects/activities under the different key services or programs you provide.
FBC-Core-Business-Resources-LinkedIn-FB-1024x536-1

What information do you need to prepare and clearly define in your Project Information:

  • What you do,
  • Who you do it for,
  • Where/How you do it,
  • and the Benefit it gives your participants/target audience

 

Break your programs into activities and smaller activities within the program by:

  • type of activity
  • different audiences
  • outcomes to achieve

To be ready to apply for a grant you need to have a detailed project plan before you answer all the questions in the application.
Before you start you need to define the requirements and scope (boundaries) of your project. You also need to create a full and realistic budget for your project.

You may find that you potentially have more than one project that needs to be funded, or more than your organisations skills are needed to deliver the grant. (Eg subcontractors might be required). There’s always a lot more to delivering your projects than you think there is.
You may decide to apply for funding for each mini-project activity separately or partner with another organisation to submit the response.

When does the response need to be submitted by?

  • The first thing to check when you begin reviewing a possible grant is the Date and the Time that the grant must be submitted by.
  • There are NO extensions.
  • If you miss the time and date that the grant must be submitted by, the grant will close, and the grant organisation cannot accept late submissions as this is a key part of their criteria for considering everyone’s submissions.

Reading the Grant Carefully

  • Be careful to read the grant submission deadline information in detail – not all grants close at 5pm many close at 2pm for example.
  • If you are submitting your grant application manually (not via the grant website) be sure to send it to the advised postal address with enough time for it to arrive before the deadline. Postal services can take 3-5days or more in some instances.
  • Always save a copy of your submission (even if you’ve submitted it online).
  • Read thoroughly the grant information as it can be very detailed and lengthy. If you not clear on anything in the grant guidelines, call the granting body and get answers to your questions before you begin the submission.

Reading the Grant Criteria, Priorities and Objectives is critical to your success.

How will your project support the key outcomes that the grant body is looking to achieve?

Before you decide to write your grant application you need to read the grant criteria and information very carefully to ensure that the project you are looking to fund is a match for the type of projects the grant can fund, especially when the project needs to be run/started or completed by.
Each granting body will have some important objectives they are trying to achieve, and therefore the type of projects they can support need to be consistent with these objectives, and you need to clearly explain how your project will contribute directly to these objectives being achieved.
Your grant submission needs to address the grant priorities, therefore a simple way to ensure you do that well is to start your response to questions with sentences that include the specific objective your program addresses.

Information to Attach to Your Grant

If you intend to include grant writing as part of your organisations business plan you’ll need to have the following documents easily accessible so they can be appended to your applications.

  • Your Annual financial statements from the last financial year or Audited Financial statement for the organisations previous year financials

 

  • Legal registration documents for the organisation (eg Incorporation certificate, ABN Certificate)

 

  • Current Public liability and Personal Accident Insurance, Volunteers Insurance and/or Workers Compensation Insurance Certificates

 

  • Annual Report for the organisation (if you have one other than your Annual Financial Report)

 

  • Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

 

  • List of your board/management committee members with bios and contact information

 

  • If you are requesting funding for purchasing any single item costing $500 or more, be prepare to provide two quotes for the item.

Budgeting for your project

A budget is simply a list of all the costs you’ll need to cover (both cash and time) to deliver your activity in a way that meets your goal outcomes, and all the income and resources you have to cover those costs.
Don’t set the “total grant amount requested” figure in your submission until you’ve done your budget. In almost all cases, the amount you’ve guessed you’ll need, is too small.

If you are submitting a Matching Grant, make sure that the granted money will be allocated to eligible expenses in your budget and the other costs will be covered by your own funding.
Make sure your totals balance, and you include: In-Kind Contributions. Sponsorship (Secured/Unsecured) and Participant Fees.

Measuring Success

  • Did the project run on time and on budget?
    You’ll need to explain how you’ll monitor and report on whether it runs on time and on budget, and what tools will you use to manage that measurement process and keep the project on track.
  • Did you achieve your key outcomes?
    You’ll need to provide information on how you’ll know if you succeeded or not, what milestones will be achieved during the project, and what success looks like.
  • What was the impact of the project?
    How many people participated or have been changed/impacted by your project,. Running a survey before and after your activity to measure the problem your trying to solve is a good way to begin.

Managing the Project Delivery & Budget

Your project plan you can be used as a task list to check off how you are tracking against the timeline of actions that need to be completed for a successful project.
Monitoring your grant budget against actual spend is critical. Within your grant writing process you need explain how you’ll do this.

Budget Keys:

  • Get a Receipt every time
  • Use the groups bank account for incoming and outgoing money
  • Record all expenses and income received in a simple log
  • Sort your financial reports by project.
  • Quarantine grant funding in separate ‘accounts’ or cost centres

Acquitting – What reporting do we need to do during the project and at the end?

Grant writing isn’t finished when you’ve submitted the grant. Often there is a interview process or another set of questions asked by the funding bodies review committee to clarify your proposed project, which you’ll need to respond very quickly to. Additionally you need to be prepare for completing an acquittal report by a set date after the project period ends. This acquittal report will include;

  • Information on what was successfully completed.
  • Whether you used all the grant funding (Copy of budget vs actuals).
  • Did you have to deviate (change) from the original planning activity, why?
  • Could you use the funding for the project you were granted for?
  • Was the funding used in the location your grant was for?
  • How did the grant support make a difference to your organisation?
  • What would you do differently in future (lessons learnt from this project that can be used to be more effective)?
  • Describe the outcomes (measured) were achieved by the project?

 

Writing grants and preparing your organisation to be strategic in funding and growing your ideas and activities is hard work. We can help you.

Find out more about our strategic planning support services here.

or Download our EBook Grant Writing Basics for Small NFP’s.

Call us to find out more today!

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