3 Ways to Find Grant Funds

Discover three ways you can proactively identify grants and reduce the time spent searching.

Authored by: iClick2Learn Team

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– Hello, Natalie. It’s Karen Saunders here with another interview with an expert. And Natalie, you mentioned in a previous video, three ways to identify grants for your organisation, especially if you’re looking to fund through grant funding.

– And I left you hanging on this stage.

– You did. You did. I was waiting, I thought, Oh, okay.

– She was very excited.

– I thought we were going to get that. So I’ve had to do quite a bit of work to get her in front of the camera again to actually get that. Okay, so what are the three ways?

– So this is about being very proactive, ’cause the issue is, and we all know this, for those of you who have done grants, for those of you who are new to grants, you’ve got a window. When I started writing grants, years and years ago, we had like 12 weeks.

– What, they’d let you know?

– Yeah.

– 12 weeks?

– They’d say, “There’s a grant that’s open, and it closes in 12 weeks.” So we’d run around and we’d build projects. But these days, forget it, you’ve got a four, look, if you’re lucky, a little bit longer, but you’ve generally got a four week to six week window.

– Wow.

– And that’s it. Some are as little as three weeks that you’ve got to get this information in.

– Why are they doing this? ‘Cause there’s so many people going for them?

– Well, from the funder’s perspective, it’s about the fact that they don’t want to fund projects or organisations that are after a money grab, that just develop a project out of thin air because there’s money available. That’s not what it’s about. The environment today is about the fact of, you have a plan to achieve this. If this aligns with what we want to fund and the outcomes that we want to achieve, and you’re the best organisation, we’ll give you the money to do it. So it’s not, I say, it’s not about a handout, it’s about a help up.

– Okay.

– So that’s one of the reasons, a couple of others that sit in one. So, basically the pressure is on us more and more to be more proactive with how we find grants. And it’s not just about proactive to get them, it’s about how we’re proactive, so that we basically are first responders, if you like. We find out about them as soon as they’re announced. That’s what the important thing is.

– You want to be on the in, don’t you? On the inside circle for that?

– Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

– Yeah. So there’s obviously some techniques that you use, you happy to develop a phrase?

– I am. I am.

– Okay.

– So the first is develop a grants calendar, and that’s a session that we were talking about last week. If you haven’t seen that video yet, you’ve got to go back and have a look at that. So the first thing is to develop a grants calendar, because then you’ve got an idea as to when hunting season, as I call it, is open. And when you need to start really looking at those grants.

– So if I just take that. So you’ve got your grants calendar, so we talked about the Sydney Myer Foundation, so maybe you have that organisation identified in your grants calendar, with their website. And then the date range that they last did a grant funding round, which might have been two years ago between May and June.

– Or 12 months.

– Yeah, yeah, 12 months ago. So then you would start looking, so in April, March/April, you would start popping onto their website every week or a couple of weeks, just to see.

– Yeah.

– So that’s the sort of, once you’ve got your calendar, your schedule and calendar sorted, and you know the timeframe they’re likely to be open for grants, then you’d start looking at them. Well, that’s tip number three, because you don’t want to waste time checking websites all the time. That’s it, that’s tip number three. That’s almost the gold. So what we do is we develop a grants calendar, so we’ve got some idea as to timing. The next one is we identify suitable newsletters to be on. And look, some of those are at cost. And it really is that cost that you’ve got to put in to attract the funding, because there are key organisations out there that are the first responders, that know about it, and they get that information out. But sometimes it’s zero cost. Look, there’s a couple of great newsletters, and they have the funding scoop newsletter.

– So that’s delivered to your inbox and it tells you what grants are available. And it’s great, it tells you who it is, how much money they’ve got or the range of funding they’ve got, what they’re wanting to fund and what they won’t fund. And there’s the link. So that’s really good. And the funding scoop also comes with the database as well, so you can jump on there and you can have a look. But they also send out updates. So they’ll send a newsletter out, and some of you are probably thinking, oh yeah, that’s like once a month, but that’s okay because they will actually send out emails when there are some big things announced that affect a whole lot of nonprofits.

– Great.

– There are other newsletters. So look, if you’re sort of more into a social enterprise or you’re a non-profit running a business, there’s a great one called SmartCompany. So that’s a newsletter and that’s a free newsletter. There are a couple of downsides to that one, and that is it comes out every day. But, use your mail rules, like I do. It gets filed and look at it once a week.

– Yeah, okay.

– Another newsletter is Pro Bono. Again, I think that comes out pretty much every day. I’m just trying to think of how many times my inbox is filled Pro Bono Australia. And they’ll tell you again, about some major things. Look, another one if you’ve got a tax status, a charitable tax status, you might want to explore Philanthropy Australia. So they’ve actually got a funding newsletter as well. And they tell you about grant rounds, foundations and trusts, et cetera. The Our Community one does the whole range, government, trusts, et cetera, where my understanding, and the last time, it’s been a while, so I could be wrong on this. They might do a little bit more, but my understanding, and certainly what I’ve experienced a couple of years ago when I was getting it, was that it was mostly for again, it was about philanthropy. So it’s mostly for those. So that’s the second one, identify some really valuable newsletters. Actually there’s two ones I should mention as well. If you’re lucky enough to have a grants officer in your local council, they generally do a newsletter.

– Oh, great.

– So what’s great about that, is they’ll actually get all of this information from everybody, and then they’ll collate it down into a newsletter. So you’ve only got one newsletter. So that’s what’s great. And they pay the subscription fee for all the others, so that’s great.

– Great.

– Yes.

– I like that idea.

– Like that.

– Yeah, yeah.

– And they might even put a couple of links. The other one is perhaps a local member. Sometimes local members do newsletters as well, and they also let you know about what opportunities there are as well. Look, if you’re a business, look to Regional Development Australia, that they’re now called, that could change. So look to what it was maybe once called, it’s the Regional Development Network. Or perhaps a business enterprise centre. So identify, the key thing here, that number two is, the first one was grants calendar, number two is the important newsletters that have quality information, identify those. And basically just checking on them because they will be the first ones to let you know. But the third one-

– We’re waiting for the third one.

– They’re waiting for the gold. The third one is to develop a Google Alert.

– Oh. Ah.

– Yes. ‘Cause it tells you straight away.

– Okay, so you’ve just gone over my head right now. I’m just saying, “Mm,” but it’s… Okay, what’s Google Alert? I’m presuming I’m online.

– Yeah, you’re online. I mean, Google, the worldwide library, I call it. Other search engines are great, but at the end of the day, Google’s algorithm and indexing capability far exceeds in my personal opinion, anything else that’s out there. So what Google does, I’ll explain the process and then I’ll tell you how to do it. So what Google does is, let’s just say I put something on my website, and what Google does is it trawls and it indexes everything that’s out there. Google is actually a really good search weapon, when you’re looking for research, we’ll cover that in a later session.

– Ah, I don’t know whether you should tell anyone that. We might not cover that one.

– She’s kidding.

– Yeah, we’ll see how we go with that.

– So, what Google does is it indexes stuff that’s out there. And you can do a Google Alert on anything. And look, I’ll give you an idea of one. So in our business, we’ve got Glen Dunkley, who’s a certified inbound digital marketer. Glen’s job is to make sure that he’s aware of what’s happening with, you know, Natalie Bramble, my name, ’cause the business is my name. So what he does is, he’s set up a Google Alert, so anything new that’s being indexed under Natalie Bramble, it sends a notice to us, an email to us, to say that there’s been a new indexed with that name. I mean, fortunately I don’t have a name like John Smith, otherwise I’d be in trouble, I’d get every one under the sun. And it then sends the link directly to the page that’s been indexed. So, I was delivering a workshop for the Attorney-General’s Department, and I appeared in their monthly newsletter. There was a photo of me with the great group of Sudanese guys that we were doing, they’re actually a basketball group and we’re doing some funding for them and some strategies. And they put it online, and of course, Google indexed it because even if it’s a PDF, it’s still indexes the words if it can read it. Scans are a little bit different. So it indexed it and told us it was there.

– Wow.

– So of course, if I’m a funding organisation and I’m about to set up a press release to say that the grant’s just been announced.

– Of course.

– Google’s going to index it.

– Of course it will, yeah.

– Yeah. So look, it might take a day, might take a day and a half, but this is what a lot of these organisations that are developing the newsletters have Google Alerts. And that’s how they they’re getting their information, they’re getting their feeds regularly.

– Great.

– And look, there’s a couple of others, an RSS, but I’m not going to get too technical, we’re just going to say Google Alerts.

– Yeah.

– So what you do, so you can hopefully see the value. You don’t have to go, ah, it’s Friday, I better quickly check on all of those other websites to see how things are going.

– Yeah, ’cause you could be doing 30, 40 websites.

– Yeah, exactly. So you set up a Google Alert, you go to google.com. And all you do is you type in the search function, “How to set up a Google Alert.”

– Oh.

– And Google will tell you.

– There you go, ’cause it wants you to.

– Yeah, yeah. And you can do whatever you like. You could do… When you think about Google Alerts, don’t just go “Sid Myer Foundation.” Think about the outcomes you deliver.

– Right.

– And put those in as key words. So you might say, “grant,” “childcare.” You might say, “tourism,” “increasing tourism grant.” Because what it’ll do is once a funder actually releases the funding guidelines up, and that’s generally a PDF document, might be a Word document, but it’s something that gets indexed. And what it’ll identify is, it’ll identify a resource that meets that criteria. And it might be a funding round that has that in the guideline, not in the press release, but you’re still getting that Google Alert. I mean, look, again, there’s pros and cons to everything. The issue is maybe you might get too much because you’re not being specific enough in your keywords. So if you’re getting inundated with Google Alerts, again, think John Smith versus Natalie Bramble, there’s not too many Natalie Brambles out there with a digital footprint, so I’m fairly safe. But if I was John Smith, I’d be getting a heap. So I would have to, just like a Google search, I would have to be more specific about what I was searching for.

– Yeah. To filter it down even more.

– Yeah, yeah, exactly.

– Wow, there you go. You did not spoil. Thank you. That was good. Yeah, it was good.

– It’ll save you hours.

– Yeah, I would’ve been on there forever. You could have let me go on that every Friday, tapping away all those websites. Look, Natalie, that was fantastic. Thank you very much for sharing that very generously with us.

– No problem.

– It’s given us a plenty of direction now with researching grants and knowing where to go. That’s great.

– Be proactive about it.

– Yeah, I think that’s the key, isn’t it?

– That’s the key, yeah.

– Yeah, yeah. Knowing when hunting season’s opened up, I’m going to Google that now. It’s all hunting season. That’s great. Thank you very much.

– Thank you.

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