Fundraising & grant search tips for small organisations

If you’re on a board, fundraising committee or have any fundraising responsibility in your organisation, now is the time to think about how you could tap into grants in 2019 if you haven’t already done so. We have already added over 250 new grant rounds this year alone.

It’s a great idea to put together a fundraising calendar. That way, you can stagger fundraising efforts throughout the year. You’re more likely to avoid volunteer burnout, and it should also mean your fundraising income is more evenly spread throughout the year. Don’t forget to add your big fundraising events in, such as your annual dinner or auction. You can then make sure there aren’t too many other fundraisers happening in the month/s proceeding the big event - your volunteers and team should be focussing on the big event, and you also don’t want to create donor fatigue.

When it comes to grants, it’s very important to think big picture. To begin:

  • Think about all of your projects, programs and needs for the year ahead. Even better, think into 2020. What are you already planning? What is on your wish list? What would you love to do if you had the money? Use this brain dump to develop a list of projects.

  • Next, if you’re new to grants, give yourself a big picture overview of the types of grants available and learn who funds what. You can do this by signing up to a free trial of The Grants Hub grants directory and browsing through grants in your particular category of interest. Within a few minutes, you will gain a broad overview of grant timeframes, who grant funders are, funding body areas of interest and funding amounts.

  • Once you have gained a broad overview, start finding some grants that match your project and programs needs. When browsing our directory, you will have noticed that most funding bodies describe their grants using generic terms and descriptions. For example, a funding body will say they fund ‘community wellbeing’ projects. While specific grant criteria always depends on each funding body, this often means they will fund anything that helps people within communities feel better about themselves, more connected and healthier. Sometimes it’s easier to think about this in reverse. If you have a playground project, how would the playground benefit its users? We know that playgrounds are good at getting both children and adults outside, helps them keep active, improves community connections and increases a town’s liveability. A playground isn’t just a playground, nor is it just an infrastructure project. A playground is actually a facilitator to much larger personal and community benefits. That’s how you need to think when you look for grants.

  • Save grants of interest to your Favourites or Grants Calendar so you don’t lose them and can plan out your grant applications throughout the year. Organisation is key. We have over 1,000 open grants listed at any one time so you don’t want to lose your shortlist. Keep organised and you’ll be well on your way to grants success.

Don’t forget to actually apply! Be brave, put yourself out there and remember who you’re applying for the money for. You might be the grant writer, yet the grant is actually for those you’re representing: the kids in your child’s soccer team, the community going to your local farmer’s market, the toddlers in your playgroup, the wheelchair users wanting to access your community hall.

To help you on your way, we have a bunch of Grant Resources, which will give you pointers on everything from the most basic grant tips, through to winning big grant applications and building relationships with funding providers.

Good luck and don’t forget to let us know when you win your grant! We LOVE hearing your grant success stories.

Jessie Ballantyne

Founder & Managing Director