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Grant-seeking through a pandemic: Submit early and retain best-practice


19 August 2020 at 2:30 pm
Jo Garner
With some funder deadlines closing early due to over-subscription, it’s more important than ever to be well prepared, writes Jo Garner.


Jo Garner | 19 August 2020 at 2:30 pm


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Grant-seeking through a pandemic: Submit early and retain best-practice
19 August 2020 at 2:30 pm

With some funder deadlines closing early due to over-subscription, it’s more important than ever to be well prepared, writes Jo Garner.

Recently we have observed an increase in funders encouraging early grant applications, as they strive to assess applications as they are received, resulting in funding possibly being expended before the grant round has closed.

With guidelines like the Victorian government’s Let’s Stay Connected Fund, stating that “early applications are encouraged and will be assessed as soon as possible, with funding allocated accordingly”, it is more important than ever to be well-prepared so that your organisation is in a position to submit as early as possible.

Funders are also reporting higher than average grant applications and higher than usual ineligible applications. Remember to retain best-practice and only apply if you meet the guidelines. Now is not the time to be wasting organisational resources on ineligible or poorly planned funding submissions.

Long-time grantmaker, currently working with Equity Trustees, Lea-Anne Bradley, says funders will be examining organisations’ capacity to deliver projects more closely than ever. 

“They want to see that you have considered your business continuity plan and reviewed your strategic plan. If your funding needs have changed, you need to be clear about this and how you are managing your finances to ensure continuity,” Bradley says.

While peak body Philanthropy Australia has been working hard to encourage continuity of giving in a time when charities need it most, with community events fundraising diminished, there will be extra strain on grant funds.

Our advice to current fund holders and applicants is:

  1. Speak to your current funding partners if you need to alter any of your funded projects.
  2. Try to speak to funders before applying, wherever possible and particularly when guidelines state that calls to discuss applications are encouraged.
  3. You must review your project pipeline now. Your list of funding needs is undoubtedly different now to what it was six months ago.
  4. Update your key messages. What is your plan to get through COVID-19? Be clear on changes to your short-term strategies.   

Jo Garner  |  @ProBonoNews

Jo Garner is the Director of Strategic Grants and a founding member of Queensland's first women's giving circle, Women & Change.

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