Tips for securing that elusive government grant

So, who is your club’s major sponsor?  When we think about this question we don’t often think of State and Local Government, but when you consider the investment they make into your club in terms of facilities and infrastructure, no other organisation really comes close.  Smart clubs will ensure they establish a positive relationship with their Local Government, because as the costs of developing new sporting facilities increase, the demand for government funding support is becoming more competitive.  The following tips can help your club prepare funding applications that may give you the edge.

Understand your club priorities

Does your club have a plan that clearly identifies your clubs short, medium and long term goals and priorities?  If you don’t know your club needs then it’s likely your Local Government representatives don’t either and therefore they are not in a position to speak on your behalf.  Having a business plan which can be readily aligned to funding opportunities as they arise is highly beneficial along with identifying a club liaison person who can effectively communicate your plan to key stakeholders.

Speak to key people

Get your dedicated club liaison person to talk about your priorities to your club members and other key groups in your community.  Get support from your local league, state sporting association and Sports Focus.  Consider an annual meeting with your Council’s Recreation Department to talk through your aspirations and seek their advice and support.  This will keep your club on their radar all year round, not just when you have an application to submit.

Know your project

When submitting an application, be able to clearly and concisely describe the project works you want to pursue.  Break the project down into its specific components and in a logical order so it is easily understood.

E.g. Floodlighting a sports field:

The project will:

  • construct 4 x 30 metre steel towers each fitted with cross arms to support sufficient LED lamps to achieve an average 100 lux illumination across the playing field;
  • upgrade power supply to the site;
  • underground trenching and cabling;
  • new switchboard.

Do your homework

Governments prefer to invest in projects that are ‘shovel ready’.  Make sure your project is fully planned, costed and ready to go.

What is your point of difference?

Try to think about what is unique about your project and how it will make a difference in your club and local community.  What is it about your project that would make government want to be a financial partner?  Does it align with other plans or initiatives in your local community, at your recreation reserve or within your sporting code?

Make a difference

Governments prefer to invest in sporting facilities that will get more people being more physically active more often.  Try and think about how your project could create new opportunities for people to exercise and lead healthy lifestyles.  Can your project not only support your existing club activities but be used for other purposes in your community?  Also consider ways in which your club can be more inclusive of under-represented groups such as people with a disability or those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.