Grant Tip Sheets

1. Overview

 

Check out the tip sheets for help understanding and writing your grant application.

For further support and grant information, please contact Council's Community Funding Officer on 9747 7247.

 

What You Need To Know

 What is a Not for Profit Organisation?

A not for profit organisation is one which is not operating for the profit or gain of its individual members.

Any profit made by the organisation goes back into the operation of the organisation to carry out its purposes and is not distributed to any of its members.

A not for profit organisation can still make a profit, but this profit must be used to carry out its purposes and must not be distributed to owners, members or other private people.

The Tax Office accepts an organisation as not for profit where its governing documents prevent it from distributing profits or assets for the benefit of particular people. These documents should contain a clause showing the organisation’s non‐profit status, for example:

          Non‐profit clause         

'The assets and income of the organisation shall be applied solely in furtherance of its above‐mentioned objects and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organisation'.

What is an ABN?

ABN stands for Australian Business Number. It is a unique 11‐digit number that represents your group to the tax office and other official bodies.

Your group’s ABN registration details will become part of the Australian Business Register (ABR) and will allow people to find out key tax information for your group.

Your organisation can apply for an ABN:

  1. Electronically through;
    • The Australian Business Register at www.abr.gov.au or
    • The Australian Government business website www.business.gov.au.
  2. On a paper form, by phoning the Tax Office on 13 28 66.
  3. Through a tax agent, who will lodge an application using the electronic lodgement system.

If you are applying for a Council Community Grant and your group does not have an ABN, you will need to complete and submit with your application a ‘Statement of Supplier’ form. If your application is successful and you do not have an ABN or Statement of Supplier Form, Council is required to send 48.5% of your grant to the Australian Taxation Office. A Statement of Supplier Form is available through Council’s Community Funding Officer or from the Australian Taxation Office website www.ato.gov.au

What is Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax of 10% on the sale of most goods, services and anything else consumed in Australia.

If you are successful in receiving a Community Grant from Council and:

  • Your group is registered for GST, you will need to provide Council with your GST registration name and a 10% GST payment will be added to your grant.
  • If your group is not registered for GST you grant will not include a 10% GST payment.

If your group is not for profit and has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more, it must register for GST.  If your group has a GST turnover of less than $75,000, it can choose to register for GST. The decision to voluntarily register for GST should be made based on the administrative needs of your group.

A group's GST turnover is its gross income, excluding:

  • GST included in sales
  • Input taxed sales
  • Sales not connected with Australia

Being registered for GST means that your organisation:

  • Must pay the GST it has collected from its sales to the Tax Office
  • Can claim GST credits for any GST included in the price of its business purchases
  • Must complete an activity statement to report the taxable sales and claim GST credits

If your organisation needs to register for GST, it can do so by selecting these options on the ABN application form. If your organisation already has an ABN and needs to register for GST or other taxes, you will need to complete the form ‘Add A New Business Account’ which is available from the Australian Taxation Office website www.ato.gov.au

What is Incorporation?

Incorporation is a voluntary process whereby a not for profit group can apply to become its own ‘legal person’ (i.e. the association becomes a distinct legal entity that continues regardless of changes to its membership).

In Victoria, organisations usually incorporate under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 by applying to Consumer Affairs Victoria. This method is a simple and inexpensive process available to not‐for‐profit groups with at least five (5) members.

Some of the advantages of incorporation include:

  • Protection of the members and office holders against personal liability for debts and other legal obligations of the organisation
  • The ability to buy and sell property in the name of the organisation
  • The ability to accept gifts or bequests
  • Greater certainty and acceptability to potential contracting parties such as lenders, lessors, employees and suppliers of goods and services
  • The ability to sue and be sued in the name of the association
  • The ability to invest and borrow money
  • Greater eligibility to apply for grants

Some of the disadvantages of becoming incorporated include:

  • The expense of becoming incorporated and meeting ongoing statutory obligations
  • The necessity to comply with legal formalities and the possibility of penalties for innocent breaches of the law
  • Restrictions on the ability to carry on business or trade
  • Less flexibility to cope with changed circumstances

Further information on the incorporation process is available from Consumers Affairs Victoria’s website www.consumer.vic.gov.au

What is an Auspice Arrangement?

If you are applying for a Council Community Grant and your group is not incorporated, you need to arrange for a legally constituted organisation (incorporated organisation) to handle any funds that are received from the grant program for your group; this is called an Auspice.

Your group will become the ‘auspicee’ and the organisation that is handling the funds on behalf of your group will become the ‘auspicor’.

If your group wants to apply for funding, but is not incorporated, you may wish to think about approaching another organisation about entering in to an auspicing arrangement.

Before approaching another organisation, your group should:

  1. Have a clear idea about the funding you would like to apply for, and the project or activities you would complete with the funding. It is a good idea to have the projected documented.
  2. Ensure that the people involved in your group understand that an auspice agreement is a legally binding contract. Your group should be fully aware of its rights and liabilities under such an agreement. In particular, you should be aware that the funding for the project will be provided to and administered by the auspicor.
  3. Think carefully about which organisation(s) you will approach about an auspicing arrangement. You should be confident that you can form a good, mutually  beneficial  working relationship with the organisation. Remember, they will be the organisation that receives and administers the funding for the project, so you will need to be able to work closely with them.
  4. Be prepared to demonstrate to the auspicor that your group is able to complete the project or activities for which funding is sought. You may need to provide references, financial statements and evidence of the level of record‐keeping and risk management policies in your group.
  5. Review the proposed auspicing agreement carefully and ensure that your group can comply with its terms.

Further information on developing an auspice agreement is available from the Our Community website www.ourcommunity.com.au

2. Budgeting

A budget lists all of the income and expenditure associated with your project. It will show Council how much money or resources are involved with your project.

Your budget needs to include expenditure and income. Expenditure is the costs associated with delivering your project. To help support your proposed expenditure, it is encouraged that you receive quotes for your project and submit these with your application. Income refers to any monies you receive and/or contribute towards your project, such as grant money, sponsorship, or contribution from your group's funds. For your budget to balance, total income and total expenditure should always be equal.

Some of Council's grant programs require organisations themselves to contribute funding towards the project in the form of a matching dollar-for-dollar contribution. In the Community Grants Program, if you want to apply for over $5,000, you need to match dollar-for-dollar the amount you want over $5,000. For example, if you apply for $7,000, you need to contribute $2,000; if you apply for $9,000, you need to contribute $4,000. Simply put, you need to match the amount you are asking for over $5,000.

What is an ‘in-kind’ contribution?

Goods and services ‘in‐kind’ are goods and/or services that are donated or given to your group for free which you would otherwise have to pay for. These can usually be broken down into three categories; goods, resources and services.

Goods can include:

  • Office equipment, e.g. computers, office furniture, fax machines, printers, photocopiers, phones etc.
  • Educational material, e.g. books, computer software, etc.
  • Appliances, e.g. whitegoods, sound or entertainment systems etc.
  • Food or drink
  • Building supplies, e.g. wood, bricks, cement or tools to actually assist in construction of a project

Resources can include:

  • Office space
  • Meeting space/venue hire
  • Bus hire
  • Use of equipment, e.g. to print, photocopy or email promotional material or newsletters etc.

Services are skills, abilities or tasks that can be donated to a group and can include:

  • Professional services, e.g. legal, accountancy, architectural services etc.
  • Labourer services, e.g. builders, electricians, plumbers or landscapers etc.
  • Educational services, e.g. teaching, facilitation, lecturing, motivational, instructional skills etc.
  • Other services, e.g. internet and website design skills, sales, and driving or administration skills

When adding in-kind support to your budget, always explain the nature and level of commitment and calculate a value for the goods, resources and/or services you have received. This should be based on what it would have cost if your group had to pay for it.

While it is often difficult to attach a dollar value to volunteer work, a high level of community involvement will add intrinsic value to your project. Please provide an explanation with your budget for how you have calculated the value of the support in-kind for ‘volunteer time’ (for example: two volunteer administrators for 15 hours each valued at $30 per hour = $900.00).

Quotes

A 'quote' or 'quotation' is the price that a person says they will charge to do a piece of work, as is provided prior to work commencing. An 'invoice' or 'tax invoice' is what is provided after work has been completed.

Providing quotes for budget items is an important step in the grant application process. The provision of quotes shows that the applicant has researched the proposed project and fully understands the costs involved to carry out the project successfully.

Each grant program has different requirements when it comes to budgets and the provision of quotes. Some require a specific number of written quotes, whilst others will accept verbal quotes. In order to evidence good grant planning, it is suggested that you provide quotes even if they are not asked for.

Verbal Quotes

Quotes taken verbally over the phone or in person should include the following information:

  • The name of the Company and their contact details
  • Who you spoke to and when
  • The name of the item including style/product numbers
  • The colour and size
  • The amount for a single item
  • The number of items required
  • Delivery or installation fees
  • The total amount due

Written Quotes

When requesting written quotes, please ensure that the same information as for verbal quotes is included. Copies of written quotes should be attached to your application. As a rule, items over $250 should have a written quote. Written quotes can also include web printouts or screenshots. When using web printouts or screenshots, ensure that it is clear from the image which company you are purchasing from for follow up purposes.

If applying for a grant within the Community Grants Program, you are required to source one (1) quote for items over $250, and two (2) quotes for items over $1,000.

 

Example of a completed application budget

Applicants to the Community Grants Program are asked to indicate with an 'X' what the Council grant funds will be spent on.

Income  Amount $ Expenditure Amount $

Council  Grant

$7,500  Venue hire (10 weeks) X  $2,000
Organisation contribution $2,500  Flyers X  $200
 Sponsorship $800 Banners X  $350
    Professional artist
(facilitator, 10 weeks) X
 $3,750
     Art & craft materials X  $1,200
     Catering $1,500
     Prizes $1,000 
     Face painter  $800
 TOTAL  $10,800 TOTAL $10,800

 

 In-kind contribution  Income $
 Volunteer labour                           6 helpers x 10hrs x $30/hr         $1,800           
 Children's books

100 children's books, retail

at $12 each

$1,200
 Media designer 4hrs x $30/hr  $120
   TOTAL  $3,120

 

3. Planning & Writing Successful Grant Applications

 

Planning For Grants

  1. The best kind of grant applications are ones that are stimulated by an idea, rather than applications that are stimulated by the availability of a grant. As a club or association, develop a list of things you would like to develop and the resources needed, such as equipment, volunteer training, new programs and so on. Be prepared and think ahead, so that when a suitable grant or potential sponsor presents itself, you already have ideas of what you would like to achieve. When looking at grants, ask the question: 'does this advance our chosen direction?' If the answer is no, ask yourself why you are applying for the grant.
  2. Identify grants available and assess if any match your wish list. Read the guidelines very carefully and look for clues. Eligibility, funding objectives, priorities, target groups, overall aims of the funding agency, timelines etc. are all key signals.
  3. If your organisation is not eligible in their own right, consider working with a community partner and ask that they make the application on your behalf. They become the lead agency and you become the partner.
  4. Make an initial call to the contact person for the grant to discuss your project, the priorities for the grant and the level of subscription (e.g. if usually oversubscribed, the priorities become more of a focus).

Prior to putting the application together

  1. Assess what your obligations are under the grant program if successful, and make sure you can meet the requirements. In your application, you can prove your ability to manage projects by providing examples of previous achievements, or by giving information about the professional manner in which your organisation is conducted.
  2. Do some homework about the funding agency and their overall aims and values (look at their website), projects that have been funded in the past, and make links to your project.
  3. Rough plan your project: why, what, who, where, when and how. Speak about the project internally to gather support and ideas, talk to potential community partners and other organisations that might benefit (directly or indirectly) from your project idea.

The Write-Up

  1. The write-up should present details about your organisation and the community it serves. Prepare a brief description of your organisation that sells it to the funding agency or potential sponsor. This should highlight your ability and the potential of your project to advance the funding agency’s goals. Include what you expect to be the short and long term benefits and also highlight any indirect benefits (e.g. developing stronger relationships with other community organisations). Remember, clubs are a critical environment for developing young people. They help build community, and offer a number of health related benefits including offering community connections for young people. Do not undersell. Once written, keep a copy on file so you can cut and paste for future applications.
  2. Consider the inclusion of the following:
  • An introduction to your project, anything unique about it, the overall goal (bigger picture)
  • Why you are applying in terms of need, background, specifically what benefit the project will have
  • What  your  project  will  look  like  and  what  it  will  achieve.  A  draft of a plan with timelines demonstrates your readiness to deliver the project
  • How it will be implemented
  • Who will run the project, who will it benefit, partnerships involved, who else will be supporting the project
  • Where, in terms of the reach of the project. Specifics about the location that may be of interest e.g. rural, remote, socio‐economic status of the area
  • When the project will be commenced and completed
  • How the project will be evaluated, what the measures are to evaluate success

The more planned, the better

  1. If the application involves partnering organisations, detail their roles and responsibilities and provide contact details. Letters of support from those who may benefit from the project are often helpful.
  2. Draw up a realistic budget for the project including your contribution to the costs (including “in-kind” provisions), contributions from other parties, any income to be derived and what that would contribute towards.
  3. What happens after the funding period? Outline the longer‐term benefits after the funding, such as the sustainable benefits and possibilities for the future.
  4. Keep in touch with the funding agency for advice relating to your application. Have someone else read the application for you to ensure enough information is provided.
  5. If unsuccessful, seek feedback as to why and ask the agency if they know of other grants that would suit yuu better.

Grant Sources

  • Local Councils (www.melton.vic.gov.au)
  • State Government Departments (DPCD, DHS, DPC)
  • Federal Government Departments
  • VicHealth
  • State Organisations (Sports, Arts, Leisure)
  • www.ourcommunity.com.au (subscriptions costs may apply)
  • www.grants.gov.au
  • www.vic.gov.au/grants
  • http://westwatershotel.com.au/community-grant/
  • www.vichealth.vic.gov.au
  • www.pathwaysaustralia.com.au (subscriptions costs may apply
  • www.fundingcentre.com.au (subscriptions costs may apply)

 

4. Fundraising

What is fundraising?

Fundraising is the process of soliciting and gathering contributions as money or other resources, by requesting donations from individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, or governmental agencies. Remember to never forget the FUN in Fundraising!

How Does A Group Begin Fundraising?

It is important for groups to identify their funding needs and develop a fundraising plan in order to meet these needs. The plan could be produced quarterly, bi‐annually, annually or even a 5 year plan. Identifying opportunities for fundraising throughout the year is an important part of a fundraising plan. Council Events Calendars, local newspapers and community notice boards are useful tools to help groups identify and plan potential fundraising opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open for potential clashes with other fundraising organisations!

Appointing a fundraising coordinator can also be useful for groups. This person should be well organised, innovative, imaginative and a great communicator. It is important for groups to remember that the coordinator is overseeing the fundraising and not doing all the hard work. Teaming together a fundraising coordinator with a volunteer coordinator, who can oversee the volunteers for the fundraising activity, can relieve some of the pressure for the fundraising coordinator.

What are the Options for Fundraising?

There are boundless fundraising opportunities available to community groups from group run initiatives such as sausage sizzles, events/programs run by professional fundraisers, membership sales, merchandising, donations and applying for grant programs. A full list of possible fundraising activities can be found towards the end of this page.

When considering past fundraising activities, put sentimentality and tradition aside and look at the bottom line. If the fundraiser still achieves results, by all means continue with it, but consider giving it a facelift. If support has dwindled and there’s a noticeable loss of interest and enthusiasm even among your core supporters, you’ve already left it too late and it’s definitely time for a change. The only way to grow your range of ‘tried and tested’ fundraisers is to try and test them! Each year, make certain you have at least one new product drive or event in your fundraising mix.

When choosing a fundraising option, take into consideration how quickly your group needs the funds. Having a longer lead time extends your fundraising options.

When considering direct sales as a fundraising option, think of items that consumers buy/need/use regularly such as sunscreen, toys and confectionery and ensure that the goods are of high quality. Direct sales require your group to pre-purchase the goods which can lead to groups ending up with stock they cannot sell! A safe guard is to ensure the company you are dealing with has a sale or return clause. This will ensure you do not end up with the un-sellable stock.

Order‐taken programs have long been a successful fundraising campaign. Tupperware and Lorraine Lee Linen are two of the most prominent companies that provide this type of fundraising but there are many companies providing these services including cookie dough, calico bags, candles, various food and beverages.

Legal Eagles

It is important to recognise the tax implications for community groups when fundraising. A group’s tax status will determine the types of fundraising activities they can participate in.

Do I need an authority to fundraise? If you raise more than $10,000.00 a year and/or have paid staff then you will need an authority to fundraise, unless you are exempt either by Ministerial exemption or by Section 16 of the Fundraising Appeals Act 1988. Apply to Consumer Affairs Victoria (http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au).

Ensure that your group obtains all the relevant permits and licences prior to your event/activity to avoid fines or worse penalties, e.g. food handling certificates for staff, event permits, insurance etc.

Don’t reinvent the wheel!

Remember to document everything! This will be useful for future fundraising events. List all the things that worked, that didn’t work and processes/permits that were required. Compiling all the information into a manual or binder will keep it secure and easy to find. This is especially important if members leave your group. Valuable information is often lost when members move on or retire. Evaluation of the event/activity/program could also be stored here.

Do not get too ambitious ‐ or greedy!

Too many fundraisers will turn your supporters right off. Ensure that all fundraising activities can be fully supported by the group. Too many or too large an event/activity may leave the group exhausted and/or understaffed.

When to hold a fundraiser?

Take a lesson from retailers and think about calendar events. Can you tie your fundraiser into other events? Think about holding a fete or market the Saturday before Mother’s Day or a family fun day on the weekend in the middle of school holidays.

Spread the word

Ensure that your fundraising coordinator has a marketing plan. Use bold colours, eye catching graphics or something unusual (e.g. ask your local pub/cafe to use coasters you have created to advertise your event). Ask local schools/shopping centres/libraries/neighbourhood houses to display your posters/flyers. Contact your local community newspaper and radio station to ask for free advertising. Use your contacts to spread the word and utilise local council resources such as the Melton City Councils calendar of events (https://www.melton.vic.gov.au/Out-n-About/Events/Events-Calendar).

Acknowledgement and thanks

Acknowledging sponsors and thanking donors is always good practice and will encourage continued and possibly increased support for your group. Your group will also gain an enhanced reputation within your community and it may encourage future sponsors.

In‐Kind Support

There are times where the best support your group can receive does not involve money. Investigate ways your group can fill other needs ‐ goods, services or resources ‐ through in‐kind support. Doing so can reduce some of your fundraising needs, while allowing a greater number of potential donors (who are better able to give the time or expertise than money) the chance to support you.

Resources

Australian Taxation Office ‐ http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit

Australian Fundraising ‐ http://www.australianfundraising.com.au

Direct Digital ‐ http://www.fundraisingideas.com.au

Consumer Affairs ‐ http://www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Fundraising Ideas

Year Round Ideas:

Cleaning up for cash ‐ Your organisation’s members could offer an informal domestic clean up or gardening service, charging a fee which goes towards your group. Of course, ensure your group has the correct protective gear and any permits it requires.

Bands and music ‐ Bands should examine ways of raising money through performances at markets, in concerts or at any number of events to mark celebrations e.g. Australia Day or the New Year. You can either stage your own event or, more conveniently, join in a larger one.

Art show and auction (group orientated) ‐ Creating themed art is a great classroom, kinder or playgroup activity which can also raise money. Christmas artworks can be sold or auctioned ‐ and it is surprising how much some parents will pay for their own children’s artwork! An art show could also be organised, with parents and friends charged a small amount to visit.

Art show and auction (general public) ‐ An art show could be staged with a fundraising auction or items sold during the show; or an entrance fee charged or local artists can be invited to show/sell for a fee. Creating a local theme for the show is a great idea. Optimise local community facilities rather than commercial facilities to save on venue fees.

Piggyback on existing events ‐ There is never any shortage of activities you can piggyback fundraisers on during the year. Look for established and popular events to join in or piggyback on.

Markets ‐ Numerous community markets are staged in the lead‐up to Christmas and across the summer months, attracting gift buyers and families. Your group should make having a presence at them a priority, and can do so in a variety of ways: selling handmade items, sausage sizzle, face painting, a stall for attracting new members etc.

Trivia nights ‐ Trivia nights can be a great way to raise funds. Incorporate upcoming events into your night ‐ such as the Winter Olympics or Commonwealth games or give the night a theme such as sports. Sell snacks and drinks to raise extra funds or organise to hold the event at a local pub/bar and negotiate a percentage of the bar takings.

Family day/Fete ‐ Holding a family fun day or fete is a great opportunity to raise funds as it can maximise your group’s potential to raise funds with numerous activities running on the same day (face painting, amusements, food, market stalls, raffle). It can also highlight the work your group does in the community. Remember to include family friendly free activities as well. Ensure your group consults the local council regarding these types of events and obtain the require permits/insurance.

Shopping tours ‐ Going shopping for a bargain is a great way to spend a day and raise money for your organisation or group at the same time. Most tours offer a commission from the day’s sales at the outlets and free raffle prizes. Tour group details are available in the yellow pages and online.

Link in with a local school‐ Use the fundraising opportunity to create a community partnership by linking in with a local school. Ask a local school to hold a uniform free day or sausage sizzle to raise funds towards a community project. Further benefit could be achieved by engaging the school in the fundraising and the delivery of the project/activity (e.g. establishment of a community garden).

Fun Run/ Walk‐a‐thon ‐ Organise a community fun run/ walk‐a‐thon. These events can be highly‐ profitable even when using a company to organise the event.

Teddy Bears Picnic ‐ Organise a Teddy Bears Picnic. This oldie but a goodie is a favourite with little girls and their mums! The event can either be a ticketed event or a pay as you go event. Remember to include lots of fun activities such as face painting, jumping castle, Best Dressed Teddy Competition, petting zoo and roving performers (clowns, balloon animals etc).

Sales Drive ‐ Organise a classic food/product drive. Although it’s a little ‘old school’, the chocolate drive is a really simple and reliable way to raise money. Chocolate is a confessed weakness of almost every individual, so needless to say, a chocolate fundraising drive is a sale that is hard to resist. This market has expanded over the years to now include fundraising drive products such as candles, books, gourmet foods and alcohol (remember to check out the permits required for alcohol sales).

Challenges ‐ Take on a fundraising challenge to raise money for a particular project. Trekking in Peru, cycling in Vietnam and hiking the Kokoda Trail are just a few examples of the types of adventures that you may experience through fundraising challenges. Raise funds by securing sponsorships from people and companies for your participation.

Year End Ideas:

Calendar ‐ Create a fundraising calendar which combines designs or images reflecting your work and members with a traditional calendar “date template”. Selling calendars not only raises money but provides year‐round advertising for your group when hung on purchasers’ walls and doors. Advertising space could be sold to local business supporters to offset printing costs.

Christmas/ Hanukkah Ideas:

Carols by Candlelight ‐ Many towns have carol‐singing events; can your group raise money by taking part, or by selling candles or songbooks to those attending?

Advent calendars ‐ Your group could design and create an Advent Calendar with “windows” which can be opened each day between December 1 and 24. A simple advent calendar can quickly be put together, with a number of how‐to guides available on the internet or use a commercially produced product or employ a service to create one specific to your group.

Christmas/ Hanukkah decorations/stockings/wreaths/cards ‐ Handmade Christmas decorations provide a personalised touch to Christmas trees and displays. Unadorned Christmas decorations can be picked up from craft and art supply shops. Crafty types can easily make decorative stockings of all sizes to sell and raise funds. Another crafty activity is the creation of artificial/real Christmas wreaths for hanging on doors. There are plenty of step‐by‐step guides on the internet. Handmade or hand‐designed Christmas cards are another great craft/art activity. Perhaps use photographs of your groups work, or pictures taken by members.

Christmas/ Hanukkah food ‐ Traditional Christmas fare like plum puddings, shortbreads, mince pies, panettone, fruit cakes and other sweets could all be made/purchased and sold as fundraisers. Your group could also make the most of the popularity of jams and preserves as gifts by making and selling them. Of course, comply with food handling laws and good labelling practices.

Gift wrapping ‐ Many organisations already offer gift wrapping services for Christmas shoppers ‐ who donate to the group for the service ‐ and it might be a challenge to break into a crowded market. That said, the market wouldn’t be so crowded if it wasn’t a lucrative one, so if there is a way your group can carve its own niche in your area, jump at it.

Gift shopping ‐ If the gift wrapping market is too crowded, one alternative is to offer group members’ services as Christmas shoppers, polishing off people’s gift shopping and charging a small fee which is then donated to your group. This concept, if well advertised and promoted, could quickly become an annual tradition and solid yearly fundraiser.

Christmas lights ‐ Many households get into the festive spirit by illuminating their houses with impressive Christmas lights and decoration displays. And many of them also provide visitors with the chance to donate to a cause by throwing spare coins into a bucket. Do any of your group members, supporters or stakeholders decorate their houses ‐ and if so, are you able to gain some donations through them?

In the garden‐ There are a number of plants either traditionally associated with Christmas/Hanukkah or which flower during the festive season ‐ from holly and mistletoe to poinsettia, camellias, zygocactus, and Christmas bushes from New Zealand and New South Wales. Team up with a local nursery to sell these items, with a percentage of income flowing back to your work or grow your own.

Christmas auction ‐ Such events can easily be marketed as an opportunity to buy some unique last minute Christmas gifts.

Christmas raffle ‐ Hold an annual raffle to coincide with Christmas. Approach local business for donations of goods or services and approach local clubs, bars, hotels, cafes etc to sell tickets. Having a stall/table at local events/shopping centres is a good marketing tool.

Lunch with Santa ‐ Arrange for Santa to make a special appearance at a lunch. Families can buy tickets to the event, with ticket price including lunch, the chance to meet and chat with Santa, and a small gift for the children.

Other Celebration Ideas:

Australia Day:

In the Garden‐ Celebrate Australia Day with a sale of hardy, drought‐tolerant native plants? Natives are enjoying renewed popularity and the variety of plants available is huge. Either team up with a nursery or grow your own seedlings for sale during January.

Barbeques ‐ Barbeques to coincide with Australia Day can be a great money spinner for your group, especially if you can piggyback the barbeque onto another popular community event ‐ a market, fireworks display or flag‐raising ceremony.

Easter:

Easter Egg Raffle ‐ Hold an annual raffle to coincide with Easter. Approach local business for donations of eggs and approach local clubs, bars, hotels, cafes etc to sell tickets. Having a stall/table at local events/shopping centres is a good marketing tool.

Easter Egg Chocolate Drive ‐ Like a normal chocolate drive but with Easter Eggs! Remember to make your prices comparable to the mainstream stores or sell a unique product (e.g. personalised eggs).

Lunch/Tea with the Easter Bunny ‐ Arrange for the Easter Bunny to make a special appearance at a lunch. Families can buy tickets to the event, with ticket price including lunch, the chance to meet the Easter Bunny, and an Easter Egg Hunt.

Easter Egg Hunt ‐ This is a well known part of many people's Easter. Small wrapped chocolate eggs are hidden around a garden, playground or sports field and children then hunt for the eggs. Charge a fee to take part or use the Easter Egg Hunt as a free event around which you can work some other fundraising ideas such as raffles, market stalls, sausage sizzle and refreshments. Include other games/events such as an egg toss.

Easter Bonnet Parade ‐ This is a very old Easter tradition but can make a great Easter fundraising idea too. It works very well as a cute fundraising idea for kids as they all get dressed up in hats too big for them and a few of Mum's accessories. Alternatively encourage children to make their own Easter Bonnet. All entrants then parade at your fundraising event before a winner is chosen. Make sure you let the local press know that you will be holding this event.

Elections:

Elections are a great opportunity to hold a fundraising event. Use any of the above ideas to raise money from a captive audience. Most polling venues are at local schools so call your local principal and discuss what opportunities are available.

 

 

5. Letters of Support

 

Letter of Support ‐ what is it?

1. Community support is required for your project to be successful. A Letter of Support is a letter written by people in the community who are important in ensuring the project is a success (e.g. the key stakeholders). It shows that they consider the project to be important for the community, and that they are happy to be involved.

2. The key stakeholders will probably be different for each project but might include community leaders, local community groups and agencies, schools, arts groups, sporting organisations, police, your local council, etc. If your project involves a particular cultural or religious group, then you will need to show that you have the support of the elders or leaders of these groups.

 

Why is it important?

1. A Letter of Support should be included with your grant application to show that you have discussed your project with the people who are essential in ensuring the project is a success, and that you have their support.

2. A Letter of Support will improve the chances of your application being successful. If your project has key stakeholders from different parts of the community, and you have a Letter of Support from each one of them, this will further strengthen your application.

 

What you should include?

1. A Letter of Support should include the following information:

  • The name, position and/or organisation of the person writing the letter;
  • The name of your project;
  • Why the project is important for the community;
  • What assistance or involvement will be provided by the person or organisation writing the letter (e.g. a community group might be able to provide volunteers to help out with your project, or a local sporting group could provide some office space, a local shop might be able to help you to promote your project, etc.); and
  • Why they believe your organisation will be able to deliver the project successfully.

 

Example Letter of Support

8 February 2011

 

Community Grants Officer

Melton City Council

PO Box 21

Melton Vic 3337

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

Re: Happy and Lucky Garden Group ‐ Autumn Harvest Festival

 

It is my pleasure to write a letter of support for the Happy and Lucky Garden Group’s grant application submitted to the Melton City Council’s Community Grants Program.

This is an important project that will provide the residents of Melton an opportunity to learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare fresh fruit and vegetables with the help of the Happy and Lucky Garden Group at the garden’s Autumn Harvest Festival.  It will be a fun event that will bring people together and provide a chance for everyone to share in the harvest, get involved in cooking sessions, learn about different vegetables, and hopefully inspire people to grow their own food at home.

Small Seeds Garden Supplies has provided the Happy and Lucky Garden Group with gardening supplies for over 3 years now, since the group’s establishment, and have observed the growing community interest in the garden and strengthening community connections of the group. Small Seeds Garden Supplies will be providing free packets of seeds and seedlings to give to Melton residents who come along on the day.

We are confident that the Autumn Festival will be delivered with the same diligence and enthusiasm with which the Happy and Lucky Garden Group successfully delivered the Kitchen Day in September 2010, where 50 local residents attended to learn how to cook 30 minute meals using freshly grown produce, and that this day will also be a great success!

In conclusion, we fully support the efforts of the Happy and Lucky Garden Group in seeking funding to support a program that will improve the health and wellbeing of Melton’s residents.

 

Yours faithfully,

Rose Vase

Manager, Small Seeds Garden Supplies

 

 

6. Language, Concepts And Jargon

 

Project

  • Set of structured/organised activities.
  • Series of steps to be taken and goals to be achieved.
  • One‐off activity with a start and end point.
  • Can include events and celebrations.

 

Auspice

  • Where groups that are not incorporated arrange for an incorporated organisation to manage their funds from their grant for them and therefore be auspiced by them.
  • Groups need to make individual arrangements with their auspicing body regarding financial arrangements, communication and reporting.
  • Many grant programs are only open to incorporated bodies or those who can be auspiced.

 

Evidence Of Need

  • What you base your claim on that the issue you are addressing needs attention.
  • Proof that action is needed ‐ gathered from information, statistics, consultation, Council Plan, research, community meetings.
  • Proof that the issue is a need rather than a want ‐ there is a lack of opportunities or resources or services.

 

Benefits

  • Shows good value for the community.
  • Shows good value for the grant provider.
  • Will achieve improvements and positive change for target groups but also for the wider community (flow on effects).

 

Outcomes

  • The difference your activity will make to your local community and to the issue you are concerned about.
  • What will people participating in your project gain?
  • The result, impact or benefits of your project.
  • Need to be specific, able to be tested and to be realistic.

 

Sustainability

  • Planning for the activities, partnerships and outcomes to be able to continue after the funding runs out.
  • Being realistic about what is possible for the future with the resources and capacity that you have.

 

Evaluation

  • Not at the end ‐ needs to be planned for at the very beginning.
  • The test and judgement about whether your project achieved its goals and how.
  • Document new things that happened and throw light on what went right and wrong and what needs to be improved.
  • The test can be through facts and figures (attendance numbers, breakdown of ages, number of planning meetings), and experiences and changes (feedback, reflections, observations, interviews).

 

Community Strengthening

  • An approach that people and communities already have skills, power, capacity and resources and they can strengthen all of this through getting access to training, funding, access, support and information.

 

Partnerships

  • A vehicle for bringing together a diverse range of skills and resources for more effective outcomes.
  • Need to have a clear purpose, add value to the work of all partners and be carefully planned, coordinated and checked.
  • Can start at the minimal end of just sharing information and networking, then more with collaborating and making changes to work together more and share resources.

 

Access

  • Opportunities and resources need to be available and distributed in a just and equitable manner according to community needs and without discrimination.
  • Removing barriers and opening opportunities for everyone.

 

Wellbeing

  • “... a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without discrimination of race, religion, political belief or economic and social condition."
    • World Health Organisation (WHO), Constitution, 1994
  • “Wellbeing refers to the condition or state of being well, contented and satisfied with life. Wellbeing has different components, including physical, mental, social and spiritual. Wellbeing can be used in a collective sense to describe how well a society satisfies people’s wants and needs”.
    • (Measuring Progress 1998 cited in Environments for Health, Municipal Public Health Planning Framework, 2001)

 

Participation

  • Where people influence and have a share in the social, economic, environmental and political life that they live in and have control over the decisions and resources that affect them.
  • The involvement of people, at all levels, in projects and activities that address issues currently affecting these people.
  • Doing things 'with' people and not ‘for’ them.

Community Support

  • Evidence that key people and groups are identified in your project and are willing to be involved and participate ‐ evidence via a letter of support.
  • Vital that you have discussed the project with them and not just listed them ‐ key community groups and leaders, police, health services, etc.

Diversity

  • The recognition and valuing of human differences in terms of opinions and viewpoints, lifestyles and demographics, e.g. age, gender, faith, geographic location, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation.
  • Inclusion of diversity to ensure equity and access, and to communicate respect and acceptance.

Capacity

  • The ability to plan, run, manage and evaluate a project within the actual and potential resource limits that a group has.
  • The support and strengthening of groups and individuals for them to be able to identify their own needs and issues and steps they want to take to make changes, improvements and take action.

Collaboration

  • Informal and formal contact between groups and partners and where there is a considerable investment of time, people, materials, facilities, finances and resources.
  • Can require partners to give up or change part of their turf to create better outcomes.