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Are You Grant Ready


Understanding and Developing Grant Readiness

Readiness is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts we discuss with our clients. Many think being grant ready simply means writing and submitting an application, but this is only a small piece of the puzzle. In fact, readiness is primarily about your organisation’s relevant capabilities and how convincingly you can demonstrate them within a business case.

Read on to discover more about grant readiness, how to develop it, and ultimately improve your chances of winning.

What does it mean to be 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. Check out our article on how to get a grant to explore grant preparations in further detail.

Key activities for developing readiness

1/8 Review grant guidelines and confirm your eligibility

The first step in developing your readiness is to thoroughly review and understand the grant materials including guidelines and eligibility criteria. Have some probing questions ready to help you get clarity on the opportunity and your suitability. Ask yourself:

  • Am I certain that I meet all eligibility criteria?
  • Can I free up 40+ hours of time to tackle the application?
  • Will I need help from a grant specialist?
  • What are the objectives of the grant, and do I have a project idea that helps to achieve them?
  • Is my project idea competitive enough to win a merit-based grant?
  • What financial, administrative and operational burdens may result from my organisation winning this grant, and do I want to take them on?

GrantHelper Pro Tip
At GrantHelper, we perform a collaborative review with our clients at the beginning of an engagement. We help you quickly understand the guidelines, confirm if your organisation is eligible, and break down the jargon to clearly explain what the grantors desire.

2/8 Firm-up your project idea and alignment

Most grants have a beginning and an end and are awarded to projects that clearly help to achieve specific outcomes within a timeframe. A useful exercise to confirm your idea is sound is to interrogate it with a series of frank questions. Ask yourself:

  • What specific objectives does the project seek to achieve?
  • Is the project realistically able to be delivered with the funding offered by the grant?
  • Does the project create new jobs or contribute to economic growth?
  • Could the project be self-sustainable after grant funding is exhausted?
  • What evidence do I have that demonstrates how the project will achieve its objectives?

3/8 Assess your capacity to deliver

It’s easy to underestimate the costs, resources, time and effort needed to win a grant, so we suggest being conservative when estimating your capacity. This will help you avoid committing to a project you may be under-resourced for. Consider any new responsibilities you may be up for if you win a grant, including across financial management, taxation and reporting.

4/8 Collate documentation, do costings and create a budget

Grantors are looking for numbers and hard facts that solidify your business case — this is why creating a detailed budget with costings is key to being grant ready. Other important evidence can include letters of support, feasibility studies, financial statements and projections, risk analyses, CVs of project stakeholders, and quotes from third parties.

5/8 Engage a grant consultant/writer

If you’re applying for a large grant opportunity, you will likely require assistance from a grant writer or consultant to help your organisation maximise its chances of success. A small grant application doesn’t warrant this investment, but as the size and complexity of the opportunity grows, the additional expertise, resources and expedience that a good consultant brings can make all the difference.

6/8 Analyse previous winners

If possible, research previous winners of the grant you are interested in. What patterns can you identify in previous winners, what are their key capabilities, what were the outcomes of the projects they won with? Doing this can help you identify any misalignments in your project and get a clear picture of the type of projects that are investible.

7/8 Write a compelling application

Your write-up is the cornerstone of your application, and it needs to be built upon a foundation of clear and compelling writing. There’s more to good grant writing than just tidy spelling and grammar, though they are important — it’s also critical to craft a narrative that draws the reader in, takes them through all the key details in a structured and engaging manner, and convinces them that the business case you’re presenting accords with the grant’s objectives.

8/8 Seek feedback

Getting feedback on your submission may be daunting, but this can be a powerful source of insights and rapidly improve your end product. Ask a third party to review your submission to help you refine your submission content to get an objective view and identify any gaps or weaknesses to be addressed. GrantHelper performs a thorough review of all client submissions as part of our Winning Grants Process.

How do I know when I’m grant ready?

If you’ve read through the readiness activities above and can confidently say you have them all in hand, congratulations, you are likely in a strong position to apply for a grant. And if you’re still unsure, you shouldn’t feel discouraged — some uncertainty is natural and it is very rare to feel 100% confident with grant applications — even if your preparation has been outstanding, it’s a competition with an uncertain outcome. For assistance in developing your readiness, ask us about our government grant solutions today.

We have outlined 8 key activities for developing grant readiness here. If you’ve read through the readiness activities and can confidently say you have them all in hand, congratulations, you are likely in a strong position to apply for a grant. And if you’re still unsure, you shouldn’t feel discouraged — some uncertainty is natural and it is very rare to feel 100% confident with grant applications — even if your preparation has been outstanding, it’s a competition with an uncertain outcome.

Want to check your grant readiness?

Use our free Grant Readiness Quiz

This carefully crafted questionnaire lets you self-asses your organisation’s suitability for a grant and better understand what it means to be grant-ready — this could save you hours of wasted time on unsuitable applications. Try it now and ensure you are abreast of all the critical details and activities you’ll need to coordinate, plan for, and gather as part of creating a successful grant submission.

Take the GrantHelper Grant Readiness Quiz – it’s FREE!

Resources and help to get a grant

There are many more grants available—check out our finding grants article if you want to get better at discovering grants.

Our Insights showcase some of the grant-winning methods we employ at GrantHelper, and they will help you create a stronger grant application. But no matter how well prepared you are, winning grants takes time—something we know many business owners and directors just don’t have. And that’s why we’re here to help.

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

I need help applying for grants

Check out our How to Prepare Before You Apply insight to help you reduce the stress levels when you apply for a grant.

Check out our How to write a successful grant application to learn some time-saving tips to make the grant writing process easier.

Our in-depth eBook is the single most valuable resource you will find that helps organisations to truly understand how to win government grants.

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.

Is your business eligible for this government grant? Or perhaps you’re not sure and want to know more?

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.

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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