Event Management Funding

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Finding Funding for your Project

Finding funding for your planned activity is a challenge in our competitive environment. Here are a few tips from us. We are sure you will have some great creative ideas for getting funding. Please share your successes with us so that we can improve this information for all our members.

Who to ask? How much to ask for?

It is important to target your requests for funding accurately. It is no good applying for capital funding to a source that only provides project funding.  It is essential to carefully read the guidelines for the particular grant opportunity and to research to find out what grants have been given before by the grantor so you can assess whether your request is reasonable and likely to be successful. This also goes to the amount of funding you are requesting. It is no good asking for $10,000 if all the grants that are given out are for $5,000 or less.

As for what you need, don’t underplay it. Sometimes it is better not to get any money and therefore not run the project, than get too little money and struggle to deliver the project properly.  Many funders do not want to pay staffing costs. In this case you could use external people such as coaches, who they may pay for, or you need to factor in your staffing costs and consider whether this is going to work.  You can claim the costs that you cover such as staff or insurance or administration as your ‘in kind’ contribution.

Prepare your information

It is likely that funding will be for a limited time only, ie for a project, rather than an ongoing program, so be clear about what you need and how you will spend it.  You will probably have to argue about the benefit of the program and in many cases funders expect quite a large community benefit for a small grant!  Don’t forget that benefitting your participants also benefits their families so that makes two target groups. If you live in an area with high culturally and linguistically diverse or aboriginal communities bear it in mind that funders may want these groups to receive special attention. Some funders want the grant to produce sustainable outcomes. This is pretty unlikely with a small grant unless you are training volunteers who will go on to deliver the project in the future. This is a bit of a current fashion and probably not to be taken too seriously.

Read the grant guidelines carefully and make sure you have answered all the questions and looked up all the information (eg Council Social Plan priorities) and that your project fits the guidelines. You will need to plan many months ahead for most grants applications are only accepted once or twice a year.  The decisions, notification and payments take further months.  

Consultation and Evidence of Need

Many funders like to see that you have consulted with stakeholders – ie those in your service and those associated with your service.  If your project is responding to a stated need by your clients, this will enhance your chances of success. There is a wealth of literature available (see the developing research section on this website) on the benefits of sport or physical activity for people with mental illness. There are some very compelling arguments about social inclusion, physical health, isolation, financial constraints, etc. that you can use to justify your project.  Also see: http://www.mifa.org.au/physical-health-and-wellbeing.

Where do I apply?

There are several ways of getting grants, financial support or sponsorship. The approach will have to vary depending on the audience you are addressing.   Be sure to choose words to emphasize how the project fits each of the criteria and how it benefits the funder’s target populations, even though you may have further purposes.  For example, a local council will not be interested in a statewide sports event, so emphasize how it will benefit locals.

For local Rotary, Lions or Kawanis Clubs a letter is usually a good start.  Some Clubs have considerable funds and are willing to make donations to good activities.  Many of these clubs have guest speakers so getting an opportunity to address them about your program, the needs of your members/clients and the project you want to do is a great way to make friends and gain support for your program. Take a participant with you, who can tell them how important the program and project are to them. Some clubs do not advertise their contact details so you may have to ask around to find out who is the contact person. Some club committees have designated roles like Community Service Director, Youth Director or the person responsible to arranging speakers. This may take  a few phone calls to track down the right person to whom to speak.

For local councils there is usually a grant process, advertised on line or in the local press.  These grants are often tied to the Social Plan priorities, which should be available on the council website. It is a good strategy to ring the staff person responsible for these grants to talk through your project to see if it is likely to fit within their guidelines and priorities.  Never hurts to make good contact with the community service staff in your local council as they are very well connected and may be able to assist you with other contacts such as sporting clubs, venues, and grants. 

For local sponsorship there will be local sporting clubs, sporting stores, banks, credit unions, etc. whom you can approach for either money or in kind goods.  It is a good strategy to write outlining the proposal and seek a follow up meeting. This way the person has had a chance to consider their options and you get two opportunities to put your case, in writing and in person.

For NSW Clubs CDSE Funding grants may be called for in the local press also.  Some Clubs receive their own applications, some do it through the local council. The Clubs NSW website: http://www.clubsnsw.com.au/Community_Support/ClubGRANTS.aspx has all the information you need including your local club list and how they accept grants. There are two relevant  local categories in CDSE funding (now called ClubGRANTS):

• Category 1 expenditure on specific community welfare and social services, community development, community health services and employment assistance activities; and
• Category 2 expenditure on other community development and support services (eg traditional areas of club expenditure, such as support for sport and recreation groups).

Your project could fit into either one of these categories, depending on local priorities (often linked back to the Council Social Plan) or the sporting interests of the Club. Again a telephone call is a good idea.  See the How to Apply section of the website for more information.

For State Government Funding there is generally now an online application process. 

The Department of Sport and Recreation http://www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/grants/ has a range of grants, some of which would be very suitable for local sporting activities. The categories do look similar so a phone call to DSR to help you decide which one best suits your project may save you a lot of time and effort. These grants are very competitive so read the questions very carefully and make sure you answer them accurately.

The NSW Government also provides infrastructure grants under the Community Building Partnership Program  http://www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au/. These applications are reviewed by your local MP so if you do one of these, go and see your MP and help him/her understand how important your project is.  This grant would cover such things as installing a gym in your building, a new kitchen to teach healthy lifestyle, etc.

For Commonwealth Government Funding there are often new grants being designed so you need to keep your eye on the relevant government departments’ websites.  However these will mostly be tenders for services, so not so useful often for sporting programs.  However the FaCHSIA Volunteering grants, known to their friends as VSEG grants, http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/volunteers/funding/Pages/volunteer_grants2011.aspx are very useful for equipment providing you have a high ratio of volunteers.  The applications are made on line.

Help with grant applications and Information Sites

Submitting a good application for funding will improve your chances of success. It is important that you refer to the guidelines that are provided by the funding body. For additional guidance on writing applications, visit the CommunityBuilders NSW, Philanthropy Australia  and Our Community  websites. Bill Somerville's Proposal Writing Kit : Tips & Techniques on Philanthropic Ventures Foundation's website  provides useful guidance on preparing funding applications. Granted  is a not-for-profit organisation that provides advice to community sector organisations that are developing funding applications.The publication Good Practices and Pitfalls in Community-Based Capacity Building and Early Intervention Projects: A Toolkit is also provided on the FaHCSIA website.


Australia-wide funding sources

The Guide to Community Grants prepared by the Parliamentary Library provides an extensive list of funding sources. GrantsLINK is a website that helps you find funding available under a variety of grant programs for individuals, businesses and communities. Other community funding options may be sourced on Philanthropy Australia's PhilanthropyWiki .
The Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts list options for cultural, arts, heritage, musical and events funding. Information about sports funding is also available on the Australian Sports Commission and on the Department of Health and Ageing websites.

In New South Wales, the Community Builders website provides a list of funding programs from federal, state and local government, as well as institutions, philanthropic trusts and companies. Another funding option is the Community Development Grants Program, or for communities in South-East NSW the IMB Community Foundation.
Subscription services
In addition to the above information which is freely available, there are also a number of directories and subscription services that can be purchased to assist in your search for funding. These include GrantSearch , the Our Community  grants database, the Australian Directory of Philanthropy , and FundBase .