On the job Training wins Grant for Team Member Kellie Jennar

iClick2Learn team member Kellie Jennar shares how while working at iClick2Learn has helped her win a grant to offer amazing opportunities for her local community.

Authored by:

iClick2Learn Team
Kellie Jennar and David Stratton

Kellie Jennar and David Stratton

Photo credit – Nathan Shooter

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The arts have been slammed in the last 12 months. Even before the forced COVID-19 shutdowns, dwindling resources for the arts sector killed off many small-to-medium arts organisations and businesses.

But the arts are crucial. Not only does the art sector contribute to our economy, it provides the platform for the exchange of ideas and shared meaning while providing employment opportunities to everyday individuals and families.

Could you picture a world without art? Imagine how difficult life in lockdown would be without TV or Netflix! Filmmakers are the invisible heroes many of us rely upon without noticing; quite literally, they work behind-the-scenes to enrich our lives. 

Documentaries, news, distance learning, entertainment, public health announcements all use filmmakers to connect people and communities. But there’s another side to it, in Dubbo regional NSW, The Dubbo Filmmakers are a community, made up of passionate members, volunteers, experts and creatives. But keeping a not-for-profit going requires ongoing funding, so effective grant writing skills are imperative for ongoing community growth and sustainability.

Someone that has first-hand experience with the stressors of grant writing is our Production Manager Kellie Jennar who is also the President of Dubbo Filmmakers. Upon winning a recent grant application, our own Content Editor Lisa Griffiths sat down with her iClick2Learn colleague Kellie to ask her how her role at iClick2Learn helped in writing the winning submission.

Lisa: Firstly, Congratulations!

Kellie: Thanks! We’re pretty excited.

Lisa: So, who are the Dubbo Filmmakers? What do they do for the community?

Kellie: Dubbo Filmmakers are a not-for-profit screen organisation with members across the whole of the Dubbo LGA (Local Government Area). We teach people how to tell their stories on screen. It’s a great way to share local stories within our community and build a sense of belonging and achievement. 

We want to grow the screen industry and make it accessible for rural towns. We offer workshops, professional development with industry specialists, and we partner with local organisations. 

Lisa: What’s your role in Dubbo Filmmakers?

Kellie: At the moment? (laughs) I’m wearing the title ‘President’, but honestly, it takes the whole committee to make Dubbo Filmmakers work. It’s less about titles and more about everyone pitching in. We’ve got really skilled people and we’re all working together to give our community a voice.

Lisa: You applied for this grant, what was it for?

Kellie: Yes! 3 of us worked on it. It was the Industry Development Grant through Screen NSW. The funds were for organisations offering professional development opportunities for creative practitioners at various stages in their screen career. 

We used the money to launch our Doco Deep Dive, it leads people through making a short documentary, from development all the way to post-production.

Lisa: How do you feel about applying for grants?

Kellie: Usually? Terrified! You put so much effort into grant writing. You try your best but, so often, you don’t get it. It’s exhausting, you start to feel like it’s not worth it. But this one was different, I was still nervous but I felt more confident this time.

Lisa: Why was this time different?

Kellie: We got this one! (laughs). Through my work with iClick2Learn, I have learnt the ins-and-outs of governance requirements for not-for-profit organisations, which has helped me considerably with grant applications. Even after being on the committee of three local not-for-profits, there was so much I didn’t know. It is no overstatement to say iClick2Learn is an expert in governance requirements for NFPs.

Governance is a key factor in any grant application, and essential to a successful not-for-profit.

I hadn’t realised there are things I could ask for from the funder to help with the application. It was like I got let in on the secret! Sometimes it’s just about knowing the right question to ask.

Lisa: How did you feel when you heard you’d been successful?

Kellie: It felt great! I was over the moon! I got a phone call to say we’d won. Grants are very competitive, there’s always some doubt that you’ve been successful. It’s the best feeling, I was so excited, the money is making a real difference to our community.

Lisa: What’s your advice for anyone who’s applying for a grant?

Kellie: Listen to your members and the community about what they need, make sure whatever project you’re applying for aligns with your organisation’s constitutional objectives. Demonstrating good governance is a big deal in grant applications. 

And remember, you can ask questions! Don’t be afraid to call the funding organisation

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