Mastering Grant Writing for Community, Social Inclusivity and Sports Initiatives

4 min read
6 Nov 2023

Seven Keys to Grant Writing Success for Community, Social Inclusivity and Sports Initiatives

Writing grant applications for large-scale social services, health, aged-care, inclusivity and sports infrastructure projects, requires focus and dedication to bring together budgets, timelines, written content and supporting documentation into a cohesive case for funding approval. 

Each application has different demands but there are plenty of common themes, so plan wisely and use these key tips from an award-winning grant writer to increase the likelihood of achieving funding success—and minimise organisational resources and stress in getting it done. 

1) Plan Ahead

Defining your project team and system requirements upfront helps ensure you can deliver on project goals and outcomes.

Identify key stakeholders, suppliers and personnel required to deliver the project and what’s the most efficient methodology or processes to make it happen.  

Work with project suppliers to ensure they can assign the right resources and personnel to deliver to an agreed project plan and budget.

Liaise with internal teams to assess their capability to deliver the project. Scope out what additional resources or personnel are required, and the budget needed over the lifecycle of the funding.

2) Support Letters

Requesting Letters of Support from project stakeholders is a great way to help build the business case for funding as well as gain valuable content which can be used as salient points in the application’s responses. 

For many types of applications Letters of Support are mandatory inclusions and are vital to a project’s success. They should be sought from relevant sectors which are key to validating the project’s credentials across economic, health, social and community benefits. 

Provide who you’re requesting the Support Letter from a simple outline of what the letter should cover, or a sample letter which they can amend where necessary. Allow ample time for the signatory to send the letter back to meet your deadline.

3) Budget Friendly

Scope out all the different aspects of the project and request a forecast from each internal department of the group involved in project delivery. 

Request detailed quotes from external suppliers and triple check all budget line items are correctly identified.

Whether vs weather, internal team vs external teams, supplier vs supplier. Each project has competing factors that will affect your budget forecast, which brings us to contingencies: 

Depending on the type of project, you should factor in issues such as supply chain issues, weather events, personnel changes, what is the lifecycle of the project and build these into your project timeline to ensure it’s realistic, and build in a contingency percentage of the overall project budget to mitigate risks.

4) Cloud Joy

Use cloud-based collaboration tools for creating documents and spreadsheets that are required for each application you’re applying for.

Whether you’re solely responsible for managing the budget and cost estimates, or you have multiple stakeholders inputting on figures, it’s best practice to use a Cloud-based spreadsheet to ensure versions aren’t written over, or that there are multiple versions floating around.

Compile as many sections of the budget as early as you can, but allow for the fact that some budget line items, cost estimates and supplier quotes may not be delivered till late in the application process, and plan accordingly to ensure this isn’t a mad scramble on deadline.

5) Fun Forms

Navigating the online application process is time consuming and it’s difficult to see the ‘big picture’ of everything you need to provide to make your application successful.

Replicate the application form in a cloud-based document and make a checklist of every document and section required to provide to complete the application.

Having a cloud-based, shareable document also allows for project stakeholders to review and comment on each section of the form to expedite feedback and make agreed changes.

6) Time's Ticking

Bringing together all the application’s components is a major undertaking. Before you get started, build a timeline for writing, compiling and completing the application, factoring in the input and documentation you need from stakeholders and suppliers.

Compile all the information and documents before you start attacking each written section of the application to reduce time spent writing and rewriting sections. 

Start with bullet points of the vital facts you want to cover in each section and then flesh it out into an informative, persuasive narrative and strong business case for funding approval. 

7) Reviewer Buddy

Review, review, review. Enlist a team member or colleague to proofread your documentation and sense-check budgets. 

Chances are that if you’ve spent countless hours writing and editing your application into a masterpiece, small details may become invisible to you, which can be easily picked up by others.

Let's Roll

Are you ready to embark on the challenge and secure grant funding for your project? 

If you feel as though you may not be able to commit the time required to complete the application, or you’d prefer to enlist a specialist to guide the process and write an award-worthy application for your project, reach out below.

About The Author

grant writer - pete gately - round


Pete Gately is an independent grant writer who specialises in grant applications for music, arts, cultural, tourism, sport, and technology innovation. Pete has raised millions of dollars in grant funding for clients across music and arts festivals, multiplatform entertainment, community sports, interactive education, health care, and social good projects.



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