Welcome our new monthly column, Grab that Grant, which will provide invaluable information about accessing and applying for funding. This information is brought to you by local grants guru, Carolyn McCall, from Little Project Management Company, who has a wealth of knowledge and an insight into the industry.
‘Activate your purpose’
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many for purpose organisations are struggling under the weight of change and uncertainty.
Successfully accessing funding has now become a difficult task for most. But as always, there are people out there willing to lend organisations a helping hand in these challenging times.
Meet Carolyn McCall, a program designer and grant funding expert who lives and breathes her passion for initiating social change. She has played a pivotal role in award-winning projects across the globe, but Carolyn has since settled down in Brisbane to run her own business, the Little Project Management Company. Her expertise has led countless not for profits toward long-term prosperity.
The one big question she is frequently asked is: How can I be successful in accessing funding? Grant funding is a great avenue for many non for profits and can help organisations maximise their impact, making it all the more vital for organisations. Carolyn’s top three tips for accessing grant funding are to:
Focus on your core vision – In the words of Carolyn, “I always work on developing a grant strategy before applying for any grants. Every idea or program should link back to the organisation’s vision, goals, and dreams. The Next Big Thing is very tempting, though sometimes it does not have the greatest impact.” It may be hard for enthusiastic business owners to take time cementing the foundation of their organisation before diving into The Next Big Thing. However, it is during this period that innovative ideas can come to fruition.
Create a community – Carolyn always encourages organisations to work together on programs to have better results for the community. COVID-19 has reinforced how important ‘community’ really is, and how a cohesive community can create a sense of belonging and trust for all, whilst offering members equal opportunities to participate. When two organisations work together and focus on their strengths, it more than doubles their chances of building a community. Grants funders love seeing how your project works with others to create social change.
Look at funding alignment – Finding a funding partner that shares your vision can help your organisation in the long term – by having support during delivery of your project or by increasing chances of securing funding over multiple years.
Carolyn explains, “I always read a funder’s vision before applying for a grant – and it helps to use similar terminology to help them see how your project will fulfil their vision. Better still, have a friendly chat to them before applying.”
Carolyn’s approach to developing programs and finding the right funding ensures that not for profits have a genuine chance at long-term success. Let’s build our community together!