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Accessing Funds For Local Projects

Vicki Dickman

Grow Zone Development Network

Sources of funding:

The sources for funding a sound project are endless. In most cases a project can be funded using a combination of funds from the following sources.

  • Government
  • Private sector
  • Community
  • Philanthropic Trusts and Foundations

To find our where funding is available there are a number of databases and directories already available:

Examples of existing directories and databases include:




Queensland Department of Tourism, Small Business and Industry (TSBI) Ph: 1800 061 631


Ausindustry -Information available from your regional TSBI Office Ph: 132650

Negotiating the funding maze

Produced by the Office of Youth Affairs. Dept. of Families Youth and Community Care Ph: 07 32248451

How to make the Government Work for you

Available from your Federal Member of Parliament

Commonwealth Grants for Local Projects

Copies sent automatically to Local Government Councils. Published by the Commonwealth Office of Local Government

The Rural Book

Commonwealth Department of Primary Industries and Energy . Contact Countrylink on 1800 026 222

The Funding Resource Book

Queensland Council of Social Services

A Grant Seekers Guide

Queensland University of Technology Ph: (07) 3864 2936 Email:

Your local library , community centre or council may already have copies of these publications

Other Sources of information on funding:

Government Web Sites

Print Media

  • Government Newsletters
  • Saturday morning's Australian

Once you have the application forms:

1. Check the closing date.
2. The form should list a contact person, from the grant provider, for further information. Remember this person's job is to make: sure that good projects are presented in a manner, which will assist them to attract funding.
3. Read the guidelines before putting pen to paper.
4. If the application needs to be completed on a form, make a photocopy of it, and complete your draft on the photocopy.
5. If there is a question that is unclear, check the guidelines for an explanation. If the explanation is unclear ring the contact officer and ask for clarification. If necessary explain your project and ask them what details of the project they need included in that section.
6. Make sure that the person listed as the contact person for further information about your project knows the project inside and out, and has a copy of the application, which you submitted.
7. Ensure that your budget for the project is well presented. If you have written quotes for supplies or materials, include photocopies as an appendix.
8. Some grants specify that they will only provide up to a certain percentage of the total project cost eg: 50% of the total budget.
9. Check whether your organisation contribution to the project can be "in kind" or if it must be in cash.
10. "In-kind" contributions are those which do not require money to change hands. For example your organisation may be prepared to make a meeting room available, in that case, your in-kind contribution would be the amount the project has saved by not having to pay rent on a room.
11. To justify the money you are requesting it is essential that the need for the project be clearly presented. Statistical information, graphs or letters of support are effective ways of demonstrating need.

General points to consider:

What's In It For Them

  • A good, well-researched and locally supported project will always find funding somewhere. Don't compromise the purpose of the project to meet application guidelines
  • Most projects will not receive 100% of the total project cost from anyone source. Be creative in seeking compatible combinations.
  • Communication with the funding source is critical. Remember if you were handing over your hard earned money you would like to be very clear on what it will be used for and the outcomes it will achieve
  • Research is critical -the 5 P's apply

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

  • An application that is not funded is not a failure. It is research for the next application-
  • Never assess your performance on the amount of money you successfully receive. Performance MUST be based on the project outcomes -the funding is only one of the tools used to develop a project.
  • Refer to the attached example of a budget from a successful application for funding. The budget has the following strengths:
    • The majority of funding for the project is not being sought from the grant funding source
    • It is easy to identify the funding being contributed by the organisation making the application
    • It demonstrates the financial support being contributed by the community
  • Refer to the attached example of a letter of support. A good letter of support has the following characteristics
    • The person who has written the letter and their position is clear
    • It states the organisation supporting the application and who they represent
    • It states that they support the project and how they would like to participate if it is successful

Case Study - Chinchilla Melon Festival

Community and Private Sector Funding

Successful points:

  • Community driven
  • Budget $30K per festival
  • Sponsorship raised through naming rights and broking media coverage
  • Sponsors receive special deals
  • No money is spent until it is in the bank
  • No Government funding has been applied for to run the festival
  • The festival builds on a local strength
  • Community organisations throw their support behind the festival and in return have fund raising opportunities for their own organisations
  • Only 2 aspects of the festival raise funds for the Melon Festival Association. All other funds raised are put back into the community

Case Study

Leichhardt House

Combining community, Local Government and Federal Funds

Successful points:

  • Community driven with clearly articulated need
  • Feasibility study demonstrated long tern project viability and was included as part of the application
  • A combination of funding from 3 different Federal sources was used to raise the~$300K required to establish the hostel and partially fund the operation for the first year
  • Project provided a local solution to a regional need as it housed students from 5 Shires

Private Sector Options:

Sponsorship and partnership:

  • Cash contribution towards project
  • Contribute expertise


  • Know your potential sponsor's aims and market -clearly present WIIFT
  • Sponsor / Partner will want specific outcomes that provide a commercial advantage
  • High level of follow up and promotion of sponsor required if relationship is to continue

Venture and Equity Capital:

  • Superannuation Funds eg: SuperVision
  • Finance brokers
  • Dept. Economic Development & Trade


  • Feasibility must be in place
  • Project must demonstrate viability and
  • Competitive rate of return for the investor
  • Most projects are commercial in confidence whilst funding is being negotiated.
  • Confidentiality is critical when working with private sector investors.

Details count:

  • Thorough relevant research
  • Demonstration of project management capabilities
  • Accurate well presented budgets
  • Communication with the funding provider - it helps if they are expecting your grant when it arrives and already have a reasonable grasp of the project
  • Make sure the contact person knows the project intimately. The best contact person is the person who has prepared the application.

Vicki Dickman
Project Development Officer Grow Zone Development Network
PO Box 562 Chinchilla Q 4413 Ph: (07) 4669 1061 Fx: (07) 4662 7879


Breakdown of Budget Items and Funding Sources -Chinchilla Fish Hatchery Project


Fishing club










Shed fittings, buckets, plumbing etc.




Scraper hire for pond construction





Council equipment





Concrete for ponds





Pumping equipment





Spawn & fry tanks




Aquaculture netting and Poles




E1ectrical connection





Labour (set up)




Veterinary services










NB. -Please refer to attached quotes for items listed.

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