Daunted by applying for grants but really need hall repairs or new equipment?
Funding is available through a range of grants and many Scout Groups have successful applications each year.
Here are a few success stories, and some advice from successful Groups.
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Grants Success Stories
Group: 1st Dubbo
Project: Upgrades to Hall
1st Dubbo has had a string of successes that enabled them to upgrade some of their infrastructure.
Having a dedicated grants person, in 1st Dubbo’s case someone from the Parent Committee, and someone from the Group managing the actual project has proven to be a successful formula. This is a good way to make sure that funds raised through fundraising can be dedicated to Youth activities whilst grants money can go to the maintenance of the property.
Here are some incredibly helpful tips from Vaughn:
- Group Council meetings are essential to determining the future of your Group in the eye of the Leaders and what Leaders need to perform their role.
- Once you have created a wish list, assign tasks (who obtains the quotes, etc) and make use of the skillset in your Group.
- If you get 3 quotes use the highest quote for your grant application, and always consider how you would cover any potential shortfall.
- With quotes for equipment: make sure they are delivered to your door at that price and have a return policy.
- Don’t be shy to ask! Most people and businesses are willing to help. You only have to ask!
- There are a lot of places to find grant opportunities, these include:
- Regional Development Australia – Northern Inland NSW Grants and Funding Opportunities
- Grants for Non-Profit Organisations – Grants Assist (australiangrants.org)
- Support for organisations – NCOSS – NSW Council of Social Service
- Good2give- Grants Management
- Grants | Community Grants Hub
- Current Grant Opportunity List – GrantConnect (grants.gov.au)
- When applying for a grant, start early (offline), be creative and precise. Always get someone to proof read the application for you before submitting everything through the system online.
- Once submitted, be patient. It can easily take up to 4 months until you hear back, most likely via email.
- The funding deed outlines all the do’s and don’t for your project. It important to keep track of all your receipts, all the relevant paperwork and don’t forget to take these BEFORE photos that are required as part of the acquittal process.
Group: 1st Cobbitty
Project: Upgrades to Hall
Replacement of the ageing flagpole, upgrade to security and safety lighting inside and out, new signage, a new fridge and stove in the kitchen and automatic openers to replace the old garage doors were all possible thanks to 1st Cobbitty’s successful grant application.
Sean’s advice is to always focus on the project outcomes and their benefits to members and Scouting because this is what the fun is all about.
In Sean’s words:
“Acknowledging the problems is part of the grant process, you are selling a short story to the Grant people and the Local Member of Parliament about the issues you are having and then using positive words to show how these issues will disappear with this grant. Local MPs are generally keen to see tangible outcomes from the grants, so be realistic about what you are asking for as value for money is also a key factor.”
Maintaining good communication with Scouts NSW was essential throughout the process. Not only because of changes in the initial scope, which the Scouts NSW Grants team helped through, but also because Scouts NSW provided all the hard to know information that helped ensure all the paperwork was in order.
1st Cobbitty is on a roll and has already put in another application for CBPG 2021!
Group: 1st Narrabri West
Project: Kitchen Renovation
1st Narrabri West successfully approached their first grant application with a lot of enthusiasm, good humour and a winning team spirit.
Here are some of their learnings Julia kindly shared for others benefit:
- First and foremost – believe in your project! You are as competitive as others provided your application meets all the criteria.
- Be prepared, plan and do your background work to ensure that you are aware of all the elements that can affect your project. Replacing the kitchen cabinets may involve electrical or plumbing work so it’s important to consider aspects that may not necessarily be obvious from the outset.
- Being organised goes a long way and makes life easier. Whilst any grant application is a team effort, consistency in communication is absolutely key to avoid confusion or duplication off efforts. This can be achieved by having one person being responsible for the paperwork and acting as the point of contact for trades people.
- Keep a record of all your correspondence (i.e. log phone conversations so that advice given is recorded) and devise a system to keep track of your documents.
- Quotes are easiest to compare if they are itemised.
- Lastly, devise a two-tier project in case you don’t get awarded all the funding you applied for. This allows you to at least achieve one of your goals.