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Learn Everything About Government Grant Applications


Over the years, I’ve met many people in business in Australia who think they’re entitled to a government grant simply because they have a good business. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

The reality is that winning a grant also requires careful planning, resources, and a great application.

Writing grant applications is a time-consuming process. Competitive grants are as the name suggests, competitive—and the competition can be fierce.

There are many different types of grants available, and the funding structure and application process can vary between grants.

This article breaks down what to consider when you have your eye on going for Government Grants.

What is a Grant

Grants vary in size and are awarded at all levels of government; federal, state, and local. At any one time in Australia, there can be hundreds of grants open to applications, and billions of dollars in funding up for grabs. Governments award grant funding for many reasons including: stimulating economic growth, supporting innovation, building and developing infrastructure, or enriching communities.

But grants aren’t just awarded on a whim. They are awarded only to eligible applicants who can present a strong business case that outlines exactly why they need funding, and what the funding will be used for. A grant should never be viewed as free money. You can apply for a grant for free, but in order to be awarded a grant, your organisation will need to invest significant time and resources (which are often equivalent to a monetary investment) into your grant application and project.

Learn more …

How to get a Grant

As a grant consultant, one of the questions I’m asked most frequently when I meet with a new client is ‘Can I get a grant?’. Now, this might sound like a simple yes or no question, but that’s not the reality. That’s because your suitability for a grant will depend on a myriad of factors, many of which won’t have been considered when people first come to me for advice. So if you’re curious to learn how to get a government grant, here are some actionable tips that will help you improve your chances of success.

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How to Find Grants

Each of Australia’s state governments publish their own grant opportunities and have their own web pages. Finding a list of federal grant opportunities is simple, thanks to the Australian Government’s GrantConnect search engine. Federal grants are usually the biggest and often most competitive grants of all. Grants are administered by specific departments of government, and the most up-to-date information about a grant may be found on the issuing department’s website.

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Working With a Grant Writer

Writing grant proposals is a time-consuming process. Businesses usually hire professional grant writers because they want funding but are not able to allocate sufficient time and resources toward developing a grant proposal. Each proposal must follow set rules about style and content, meet a set of eligibility criteria, respond to specific assessment criteria, and be written in a compelling manner that persuades the target audience or funding body. As a business owner, the benefits of hiring a professional grant writer include:

  • Finding grants that you otherwise would not
  • Having more time to work on other priorities in your business
  • Submitting a professionally written proposal that is more likely to succeed
  • Peace of mind that your proposal will comply with all eligibility and success criteria
  • Someone to help you to identify and address shortcomings in your business case
  • An additional resource to help with planning, coordination, and budgeting during the proposal process

Learn more …

Check out some of the clients we’ve helped and what they had to say.

The Best Government Grants for Small Businesses and Startups

Being unable to access the funding necessary to realise ideas, grow and thrive is one of the common frustrations many small businesses and start-ups encounter. Big ideas are great but bringing them to life costs a lot of money. And working on special projects is exciting, but who’s got the time when you have a business to run? To help you out we’ve curated not one, but 19 of the best government grants for small businesses and start-ups in this article on its insights page.

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How to Prepare Before You Apply

You can waste a lot of time working on a grant application only to find out later that you aren’t eligible — and all that effort will be for nothing. Each grant program has a specific set of objectives it’s trying to achieve. And the more your project aligns to those objectives, the better. If there’s one golden rule to remember about applying for a grant, it’s to only apply for grants where you are certain that your organisation is eligible. Set aside some time so you can read through the guidelines with a fresh cup of coffee. As you read through, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my project eligible for this grant?
  • Does my business meet all the eligibility criteria?
  • Does my project align to the grant’s objectives and intended outcomes?
  • Does my business have the capability to deliver the project within the allotted time frame?
  • Is my business able to meet the financial obligations that will arise from winning this grant?
  • Can I gather support from customers and supply chain partners?

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How to Write a Successful Grant Application

When you’re applying for a grant, the process can be very stressful if you aren’t well prepared. But with the right approach and some time-saving tips, the grant writing process becomes easier. One of the first questions worth asking before starting a grant application is ‘why?’. This will help you to create a strong application because you’ll be thinking about the benefits of your project. There are two parts to the question of ‘why’:

  • The first ‘why’: rational
  • The other ‘why’: opportunity cost

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How to Use Grants to Grow and Improve Your Business

There is a broad spectrum of business activities that can leverage grant funding. From new market activation, to growing exports, to supporting critical R&D activities, or boosting business growth. Some of the many ways to use grants to benefit your business:

  • Accessing funds expenditure investment
  • Kick starting start-ups
  • Conducting planning and feasibility studies
  • Business development review and planning
  • Facilitating investment for rapid growth
  • Powering research & development
  • Launching or ramping up exports

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Are You Grant Ready

Being grant ready means your organisation is sufficiently prepared to tackle the necessary project planning and coordination and financial management that a grant entails. You have considered all the activities and responsibilities that will result from getting a grant and confirmed your ability to undertake them, and you are able to demonstrate this with relevant evidence.

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10 Tips For Strong Grant Applications

Know the secrets to getting support, with 10 actionable tips that you can start benefiting from today. It’s also important to avoid common mistakes that can waste time and energy, and ultimately result in failure, especially if you’re applying for a significant opportunity.

In fact, only around 41% of those applying for federal grants find success.

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DIY Grants Pitfalls

Business owners and managers choose to in-house tasks for many reasons, and a DIY solution often sounds good on paper. But the harsh reality of grant applications is that they are far more burdensome than most realise.

Moreover, a common misconception people hold about grants specialists is that the only benefit we offer is saving you time. But really, saving your time is just one of the many things we can do for you.

Learn more …

Grant Writing With AI

Grant applications can be a daunting task even for experienced writers, but can artificial intelligence (AI) make grant writing a breeze? With AI-enhanced software becoming more widespread, AI tools specifically designed for grant writing are emerging. 

Learn more …

Renewable Energy Grants

We live in a time of rising energy costs and escalating climate change effects, both globally and within Australia. In response to this critical situation, government grants have emerged as a cornerstone initiative in catalysing the critical transition to renewable energy.

While the ARENA grants present a compelling suite of opportunities, navigating the complex application process can quickly lead to overwhelm and burnout.

Learn more …

Final thoughts

A poor-quality application that feels rushed or incomplete is unlikely to be successful, even if your project is relevant. Likewise, a well-written and thorough application will only go so far if the numbers don’t stack up, or your project is not relevant or is missing important information.

Learn more about each of these topics introduced here at GrantHelper’s Insights page …

Be prepared to invest a lot of your time and resources into developing a winning application for a competitive grant opportunity. You should also consider hiring a professional grant writer; the cost to do so will usually be just a small fraction of the grant’s total value—and you’ll present a professional application that’s more likely to win the prize.

Why GrantHelper

With over a decade of specialist experience in government grants, Steve Dowling, founder of GrantHelper understands the finer points of grantsmanship. He knows how to seek out and secure grants for great businesses that know they want funding, but don’t know how.

As a keen hiker, Steve has travelled to Nepal to take on some of the world’s most difficult terrain. He likens his work as a grant specialist to that of a Sherpa—a skilled guide who helps businesses to succeed in a challenging and competitive funding landscape.

Need help applying for grants?

GrantHelper can assist with your organisation’s next grant application, no matter what stage of the funding journey you’re at.

GrantHelper offers a range of government grant services, helping businesses of all sizes to discover, apply for, and win the best grant opportunities. We can help you with anything from finding the right grants, to writing your application, formulating an ongoing grant strategy, and more.

A person holding a tablet device displaying the GrantHelper Guide to Winning Grants eBook on its screen.

Download our eBook to discover grant-winning secrets

Our free eBook features 10 chapters of expert advice, professional tips and more to help you do better with grants, whether you’re new to the process or you’ve applied before.

Get your copy of the Guide to Winning Grants now.

Get started now by filling in the form below or tap the ‘Book a Discovery Call’ button to schedule a no-obligation virtual meeting with an experienced government grants consultant.

Check out some of the clients we’ve helped and what they had to say about us.


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What's on my mind

Hi, I’m Steve Dowling – founder of GrantHelper. I’m a former champion of marketing and export business development turned business builder.

I do a lot of thinking and reading around grants, strategy, and funding. I send a monthly newsletter with what’s on my mind on this stuff.


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