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Getting ready to apply for a grant

THE TAKEAWAY: If you can confidently articulate a problem, and can demonstrate that it is fixable with adequate financial support, then you shouldn’t be lacking any confidence. You are ready to apply for a grant.

Tens of billions of dollars in grants funding are provided to Australian organisations each year. Is your organisation worthy to get some of it? These are the three big questions you should ask yourself, and know how to answer, before you take the plunge.

Question 1: Does the problem really exist?

Each grant application will ask you to articulate a problem that you want to use the grantmaker’s money to solve. Your project is your passion, so obviously you know that the problem exists, but grantmakers may not be so sure. It’s up to you to convince them.

In order to apply for a grant you must be able to answer this question and you need to provide evidence. It’s more than just a simple yes or no.

The Funding Centre help sheet, Using evidence: How to ask for a grant, is a useful tool that can help you understand the types of evidence that will be required in most grant applications. Use it to help you to answer this vital first question.

Question 2: Is the problem fixable?

The grantmaker doesn't want to waste their money on a guaranteed loser, so you will need to prove that it is possible to fix the problem. There are a number of ways that you can do this, including but not limited to:

Question 3: How will the grant money help fix the problem?

It is important to convince the grantmaker why their money is so vital to your project. You'll need to show them that you have the knowledge and people-power required to undertake the task, and that the grant will provide the financial capacity to see the program through.

Map out your project plans and goals to identify the amount of money that will be needed at each stage. Make sure you are realistic from the start, as it will save time justifying the sum when the application process begins.

If all three of these questions can be answered, and you have a passion and a vision for what you want done, you’re ready to go. It's time to start that application.