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A DIY Guide for Applying for a Grant: Part 3 – Your Funding Toolkit
If you are wanting to make the process of exploring the world of grants and funding available for your business more approachable for you, then this 10-part series is for you.
In Part 1 of this series, I covered any of the various sources that will enable you to discover grants, and in Part 2, I gave you some first steps to get you started. In this article, Part 3, we’ll take a look at the items you’ll need in your funding toolkit.
Why do you need a funding toolkit?
Remember in Part two I told you there is an easy way and a hard way to write a grant? This is simply an extension of that thinking. With a standard four to six week turnaround you really won’t have a long time to get your funding application together so the more you can prepare now the better. Grants may differ, but some things remain standard, and those are the things that form your funding toolkit.
So what’s in this magical swag you may ask? Here goes:
Historic information about your business/organisation.
Have you ever heard the saying “Sell the sizzle, not the steak?” It’s your story that counts. This information is particularly important as you write your application. You need to connect to the story.
The following questions will get you started:
- When did the business open?
- Who were the founders?
- Is there a compelling story about why the business started?
- What problem did the business seek to solve?
- What were the key milestones?
Pictures/video of the business.
While not every funding application gives the opportunity to submit multimedia content, it’s good to have it at hand (and also make sure it’s on your website and in social media).
Gather content which showcases the following:
- Happy customers (including testimonials).
- Management and owners.
- The team.
- The partners.
- The operations
- Significant milestones.
The data you gather will be influenced by the type of grant you are going for (i.e. social versus economic data). Part four of this series will have further information about gathering data.
The business case.
You may need to undertake a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to accompany your application. There are many and varied ways to do this, and your application may have a template for you to use. However, there is nothing stopping you having your numbers and information ready should you need it. A CBA template is available from the NSW Treasury.
Pre-identify businesses and organisations that may be partners in your application and have their details handy.
Create a one-page document which outlines your organisation and easily enables you to insert information about the grant you are applying for. You will send this one-pager to potential partners as soon as you decide to apply for the grant. Why? This will easily inform them and prepare them (early on) to prepare a letter of support.
You’ll need copies of your business registration, incorporation documents and any additional registrations such as your authority to fundraise, any relevant registration numbers and details of professional membership and/or accreditation.
An up to date audited annual statement is a must as are your bank account details, your Australian Business Number and Tax File Number.
If you are seeking funding to build or repair something, conduct an event or even bring in a trainer, you’ll need to have written quotes in your kit. If there is something specific that you need to do, make sure you have the quotes up to date and at hand, so that they can easily be attached to an application.
“But I’ll never need all of that information!”, you may say.
“But I don’t have that kind of time”, you may groan.
My recommendation is that you do put aside a little bit of time each day or week to gather this information and then make a note in your diary to ensure it’s up to date each month.
You won’t believe how much stress having a funding toolkit ready will remove from your next funding application. Or, if you prefer, there’s always the hard way…
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