How to Find GrantsFor many groups, finding grants can be a difficult or drawn-out task. Knowing where to look and who to talk to are the keys.
The Funding Centre
The first and best way of finding grants is to subscribe to the Funding Centre.
The Funding Centre and associated tools and newsletters are an initiative of Our Community, a world-leading social enterprise that provides advice, tools and training for Australia's 600,000 community groups, as well as services for business, government and the general public.
The Funding Centre's EasyGrants newsletter and database is the leading source of grants information in Australia.
A subscription to the Funding Centre starts at $85 per year for community groups. If this is beyond your group's capacity, some useful options may be to:
- ask your local library to subscribe. This has the advantage of ensuring this resource is available to all community groups in your area
- ask your local Community House to invest in one year's subscription to test out the usefulness of the newsletter for your particular group or organisation
- check out your group members and see if anyone is studying at a tertiary institution which may be able to purchase a subscription that could be accessed
- check out with your group members whether they know of or attend a local Psychiatric Disability Support Service (PDSS) which might have the financial capacity to take out a subscription on your group's behalf. This will be a particularly useful strategy for consumer groups that are in transition to becoming autonomous.
- ask your local council. They may be prepared to purchase one or several copies for the use of community groups in their area.
Funding Centre subscribers receive the EasyGrants newsletter each month containing a comprehensive list of all government, philanthropic and corporate grants funding available in Australia - including an overview of the program, requirements, links and closing dates. You can choose which sorts of grants information you want to receive. You can also opt in to daily or weekly alerts.
It's a real time-saver: all the information you need is sent directly to you so you don't have to waste time searching for opportunities but can instead concentrate on getting your applications in.
Click here to find out more about how to subscribe.
Widen your horizons
Your group will search for grants in its primary area of concern, but are you sure you know all of the sectors you're in? Your group may fulfill numerous functions in the community and therefore be eligible for a wider range of grants.
Does your group:
- Promote health gains through physical fitness;
- Support or develop the local community;
- Want resources for alternative medicine such as massage, vitamins etc;
- Try to reach other sectors of the community;
- Encourage members to find wellness, autonomy and pride through art and other creative pursuits;
- Promote mental health in the local community;
- Focus on some important issues (such as homelessness) which might attract project funding from other community sectors that have grant money available;
- Work to reduce or address a certain risks or problems in the community, such as drug and alcohol issues, child abuse and neglect, rape and sexual assault - for which there are also grants available;
- Not want to just be associated with 'mental illness' and instead be open to anyone who can see advantages in their health from being part of your group.
Think about other areas your group "works" in. Brainstorm with other group members and widen your horizons to better understand the roles your group plays in the community.
Then, if you are a Funding Centre subscriber, use the newsletter or the Grant Search Database to search for grants in these areas.
Other ways of finding grants programs
- List all the government bodies you deal with, and talk to them or search their websites for grants.
- List any foundations that you know specialise in your area of expertise.
- List the agencies or bodies that aim at dealing with the problems or issues that fall into your area of expertise.
- List other not-for-profit organisations that share your territory and find out any external grants they have gained - either by studying their annual reports or by talking to them.
- Talk to groups you already have contact with, and who might be able to help.
- Find a contact person inside the various agencies that deals in your area and ask them about grant opportunities they might have for your group.
- Talk to your local council's community grants or community development officer - both for grants they might offer, or for other groups that might have grants.
- Talk to your State or Federal MP about government grants programs.
- Attend any seminars or talks from grantmakers or experienced grantseekers.