Gaining Grants for Your Partnership –
Finding the Right Grant Program for your Partnership

Applying for a grant for your community business partnership can be a great way to gain extra money towards your partnership's projects or operations.

But before you begin to apply for a grant, it is crucial you find the right grant to apply for.

So prior to putting pen to paper, it is worthwhile spending some time looking for the ideal grant for your partnership or project - doing so can not only save you time in the long run, but should ensure a greater chance for grant success.

Finding Grants

One of the largest sources of frustration for grantmakers is that so many applicants don't do the basic research to check whether their application fits within what can sometimes be quite tight eligibility guidelines.

The first thing you need to do if seeking a grant is to find one which targets partnerships like yours, or projects like those being undertaken by your partnership. Simply put, it is no use even looking at grant programs which do not cover the areas in which you operate, or the types of projects you wish to foster. It is a waste of time and effort.

There are plenty of grants out there, so there are no excuses for not finding the right one. Information on grants can often be accessed through a number of sources, including:
  • The Easy Grants newsletter.
    • A monthly subscription newsletter from Our Community that details all the Federal, State, philanthropic and corporate foundation funding available to community organisations. See the Funding Centre on www.ourcommunity.com.au for more details.

  • Your local council.
    • Most local councils have grant programs of some description, with many having specific grants targeting local community, sporting or other smaller groups.
    • The best way to find out about grants available in your municipality, or the areas in which your program is operating, is to simply contact the relevant council and ask for a list of them, and any eligibility criteria or relevant supporting material.

  • Your area's State or Federal Member of Parliament.
    • Your State or Federal MP's office would also have information on any government grant programs that could be relevant or suitable for you.
    • Again, ask office staff or your MP about any extra information or criteria you have to fulfil for the grants you are interested in.

  • Industry bodies.
    • Your business partner may be able to pinpoint some grants programs through industry bodies, their Chamber of Commerce or other business groups which are relevant to their industry.

  • Community Group Resources or Representative Bodies.
    • Similarly, your community group may be able to consult other similar community groups about relevant grants programs, or could talk to its representative organisation about possible grant opportunities.

Deciding Which Grant is Right for You

I nitially it may be a good idea to appoint someone from your partnership to look for grants - delegating to them the responsibility of searching for and finding grants.

That person can then become the one responsible for narrowing down the list of suitable grant opportunities for consideration by partnership partners.

Once you have found some grants your partnership may be able to apply to, it is important both community business partners discuss the possibilities and settle on which one, two or more are best.

When making this decision, you should:
  • Look at eligibility criteria and seeing which grants seem most suitable for your partnership.
    • Look at who or what groups the grants program is targeting and ensure your partnership fits those requirements.
    • Look at any limitations on partnership size or location that may be contained in the grant criteria. For example, many local government programs are limited to the local government area of the council offering them.

  • Read, read, read: As a group read about the grants and ensure they are right for you.
    • Don't apply to a grant just because it is there - make sure it is right and fits what you are doing, or you will be wasting your time, and the time of those providing the grant.
Following discussion and evaluation of the grant opportunities, as well as input from others if applicable, ensure your partnership partners agree on the grant or grants you are going to apply for.

More information on how to apply for a grant through writing a proposal can be found in the Help Sheet Gaining Grants for your Partnership -The Basic Components of Writing a Grant Proposal available at the Community Business Partnership Brokerage Service section of the Our Community website.