Basic Grant Tips

The WHY of your concept

November 14, 2019


If there was one thing I could pass on to the world to help you find more grants, it would be this: Ask yourself, what is the WHY of your concept?

WHY are you starting this business?

WHY do you need new toys for your playgroup?

WHY do you want to teach your volunteers first aid skills?

WHY do you want to reduce the waste from your canteen?

WHY do you need a new projector for your charity?

Most people start thinking small when they search for grants. For example, you need new toys for your playgroup, so you search for “toys” in our Grants Directory. Chances are, that’s not going to bring up any search results. Why? Because usually funding providers don’t explicitly say that they will fund “toys”.

They will, however, fund children’s development, equipment, enhancements to learning, new programs, targeted growth of existing programs (to a specific demographic/people group for example - think newly arrived immigrants), and sometimes, refurbishments.

So when you’re trying to find a grant for “toys”, you need to start thinking bigger picture. You need to step back and ask yourself: WHY do we need new toys? Sometimes you can even take the question a level deeper and ask yourself, WHY do we run this playgroup? You might come up with answers such as:

  • To help children integrate with their peers

  • To help children develop friendships

  • To allow children to have more intergenerational interactions

  • To give children the opportunity to play with educational toys that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to (perfect lead-on to equality)

  • To support the development of children

  • To provide a safe space for caregivers to get together while their children play and learn

  • To equip caregivers with new skills and share the latest research related to parenting/raising children (if you run a short learning session during your playgroup).

With this list, you are then in a place to find grants. Straight away you will start searching for “children'“ “development” “education” “equipment” “health” “emotional development” “parenting”…the list could go on and on.

For some of you, this will be an easy exercise to do on your own. For others, you might want to sit down with your team or board to work through this. It’s worth doing this exercise right, as the time you spend brainstorming the WHY of what you’re doing will provide you with a framework for your grants strategy. It’s not just about the one grant you need, it’s about getting your organisation funded, sustainably, in the long term.

Jessie Ballantyne

Jessie Ballantyne
The Grants Hub