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How to Find Grants

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Government grants can be a powerful tool for your business. They can bring exciting new ideas to life, or be the catalyst you need to grow faster.

And they can give you the additional resources you need to tackle some of those business challenges that might otherwise feel out of reach.

But before you can win with grants, you need to find them. And while that might sound easy, the reality is it can be tricky to pinpoint the grants that can most help your business. So today, I’m going to share some information on how to find grants, but also some pro tips that can speed up the process.

Let’s get started.

Where do I look for and find Government Grants?

Before you start searching, it’s good to understand the different types of grants and where you might find them. Government grants are issued at either the federal, state, or local government level.

A good place to start with to find a list of federal grant opportunities is the Australian Government’s Grants and programs finder and GrantConnect search engines. Federal grants are usually the biggest and often most competitive grants of all, so it pays to be across the latest developments, so you aren’t caught unawares when a new opportunity arises.

Introduction to Grants and program finder

The Grants programs and finder site puts the needs of businesses first. It’s intention is to make it easier for you to find information. It collates information and resources from 3 levels of government into 1 website to reduce the number of websites you need to visit. The site has been online for over 25 years and is regularly updated to meet the changing needs of businesses. It is the Australian Government’s primary website for the business community to find grants for everyone in the Australian business community, including start-ups, small and medium businesses, family enterprises and business advisers.

The Grants programs and finder site offers a comprehensive tool that helps Australian businesses identify suitable government grants and support programs. The tool is designed to assist businesses by filtering opportunities based on specific criteria such as business location, industry, structure, and objectives. The process is user-friendly and estimated to take less than five minutes to complete.

Introduction to GrantConnect

GrantConnect is the official Australian Government platform mandated under the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines for the publication of grant information. It lists both current Grant Opportunities (GOs) and future Forecast Opportunities (FOs), along with details of Grant Awards (GAs). This platform is crucial for government agencies to advertise open invitations for grants and provide preliminary details about potential future grants, including timelines and conditions which may be subject to change.

Once registered, users can access detailed grant information, download necessary documents, and receive notifications directly in their inbox tailored to their interests, facilitating a transparent and efficient process for managing how grants are advertised, applied for, and awarded across various government sectors. (The published material is generally not business related).

Of course, not all grants are issued by the federal government, so if you’re searching for a grant that doesn’t fall under these umbrellas, or you aren’t sure, you’ll need to look elsewhere like state or even council levels and do a bit more research.

Introduction to State Government Grants and program finders

Each of Australia’s state governments publish their own grant opportunities on their own unique grant program finders, and then each grant opportunity will have their own web pages, so these are also great places to look:

The state government websites all operate differently and independently of the federal government’s sites, but some will allow you to sort the grants by industry, organisation type, and status. Doing this will save time and allow you to find more relevant opportunities without scrolling through all the current grants that are up for grabs.

Introduction to Department-specific grant pages

Grants are typically managed by specific government departments, with each department offering up-to-date information on their respective websites. This ensures that potential applicants have access to the most relevant and current details needed to apply. In Victoria, as an example, various departments provide targeted grants and programs tailored to their specific sectors. Similar structures are found in other states, illustrating a common framework across the country.

  • Department of Health, Victoria: Offers grants and scholarships aimed at enhancing health services and initiatives. More details
  • Regional Development Victoria: Supports the economic and lifestyle growth in regional areas through infrastructure, jobs, and community programs. Explore opportunities
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria: Provides funding for sports and recreational activities to promote active community participation. Learn more
  • Sustainability Victoria: Focuses on grants promoting a circular economy and sustainability projects. Find funding
  • Agriculture Victoria: Supports the agricultural sector with various funds, grants, and programs. View programs
  • Visit Victoria: Offers grants and support to enhance the tourism sector within the state. Get support

Each of these links leads directly to the relevant department’s grant page, providing direct access to applications and further information on available grants and funding.

Introduction to Local Council Grant finders

Local shire councils not only provide region-specific grants but may also offer resources for broader-based funding opportunities. These councils serve as crucial portals for accessing grants tailored to the needs and projects within their communities. Below are examples from Victoria that illustrate the diversity and accessibility of local council grants:

  • City of Melbourne: Offers a variety of small business grants to support local enterprises in their growth and development phases. Learn more about these opportunities.
  • Monash City Council: Uses the Grant Guru platform to help residents and local organizations find and apply for grants. This comprehensive tool includes both local and broader funding opportunities. Explore the Monash Grants Finder.

These resources exemplify how local councils in Victoria actively support their communities through targeted funding opportunities, ensuring that both small businesses and community projects find the necessary financial support to thrive.

Introduction to Grant Directories

Paid subscriber directories offer a streamlined approach to accessing government grants across Australia, providing a single point of entry for both simplicity and consistency. While these directories come with a cost, they also feature valuable grant update alerts for subscribers. If the subscription fee isn’t a deterrent, these platforms can be a powerful tool in your grant search.

  • Funding Centre: Primarily serves non-profit organizations with a database that lists grants from both Australia and internationally. Check with your local library to see if you can access their subscription for free with your library membership. Visit Funding Centre.
  • Grant Guru: This comprehensive platform facilitates the search and access to a wide array of Australian grants, supporting a broad spectrum of needs from community projects to business ventures. Explore Grant Guru.
  • The Grants Hub: Known as Australia’s leading grant finder, The Grants Hub specializes in non-profit and community-oriented grants. They also offer business and department-specific grants, although these may be less prominently featured. Discover The Grants Hub.

All these platforms are designed for ease of use, ensuring a smooth navigation experience. The choice of which directory to commit to depends on your specific needs and the focus of your grant-seeking efforts.

It’s at about this point that you might think to yourself ‘searching for grants can be quite time consuming.’ And you’d be right—it can be a slow process. But it doesn’t have to be, because you can get help from a grant consultant.

GrantHelper Pro Tip
A good well versed grant consultant might be in the know and be able to immediately pinpoint a grant opportunity for you and your project circumventing the need to invest time to do your own research Drop GrantHelper an enquiry and we’ll do our best to help you free of charge to find that potential grant opportunity.
 

How to find small business grants

If you’re a small business owner, there are a couple of ways to speed up the search process for grants. Utilising state-specific grant search engines is one of the most effective strategies – see the main state grant directories links above. These platforms are designed to streamline the process by providing tailored information, making it easier to find grants that match your business needs. Below, we highlight some of the standout grant search engines from various Australian states, each offering unique resources and opportunities to help local businesses find the financial support they need to grow and thrive.

There are several standout state government grant search engines that can be particularly useful, each tailored to the specific needs of their regions:

  • Victoria: The Victorian Government provides a comprehensive portal where businesses can find and apply for various grants, funding, and financial assistance. This resource supports the growth and sustainability of local enterprises. Explore Victorian grants and programs.
  • Queensland: Known for its supportive approach to small businesses, the Queensland Government offers a dedicated page with a schedule of small business grants, aiding entrepreneurs in scaling operations and enhancing services. Check out Queensland small business grants.
  • Northern Territory: This grants directory is an excellent resource for community projects and voluntary organizations in the NT, offering access to a wide range of grant options. Visit the NT grants directory.
  • Tasmania: Offers a variety of funding options to stimulate business growth and economic development within the state. Entrepreneurs and organizations can find and apply for the necessary financial assistance through this streamlined portal. Discover funding opportunities in Tasmania.
  • Western Australia: The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation provides a register of grants, assistance programs, and initiatives to support WA industry. This platform helps local businesses and industries find relevant financial support. Explore grants and assistance programs in WA.

Each of these platforms is designed to meet the specific needs of their local communities and businesses, providing essential financial support through easily navigable systems.

If all search attempts fail – Hire a professional grant consultant to help you

Whether you’re a research whizz or your sleuthing skills have room for improvement, there’s no escaping the fact that finding relevant grants takes time. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg—finding your grant takes only a fraction of the time it will take to prepare and submit your application.

So, even though finding the grants is the ‘easy’ part, it’s well worth considering hiring a consultant to help you with the grants process as a whole.

A grant consultant can save you a lot of time by finding and vetting grant opportunities for you, and only presenting you with the most relevant opportunities that your business is likely to win. They can also write your application and provide strategic direction for your grant project, should you require it.

I Need Help To Find Grants

Securing a grant, once you’ve found it

Successfully securing a grant after finding a suitable opportunity hinges on the quality of both your project idea and your application. A hastily prepared or incomplete application is unlikely to succeed, regardless of the project’s relevance. Conversely, even a meticulously written application may fall short if the financial details are not convincing, or if the project lacks relevance or critical information.

Given the competitive nature of most grants, the application process can be intense, with stiff competition from numerous applicants. To increase your chances of success, be prepared to dedicate significant time and resources to develop a compelling grant proposal. It may also be wise to consider engaging a professional grant writer. The expense is often minimal compared to the potential grant amount, and this investment can greatly enhance the professionalism and appeal of your application, improving your chances of winning the grant.

A typical government grant application process

While each grant opportunity is unique, the application process follows a structured format, though each grant has its own unique requirements. Here’s a basic overview of what you’ll need to do:

  • Define Your Grant Project: Clearly articulate your project idea, detailing the economic benefits and logistical needs. The more specific you are, the better.
  • Check Eligibility Criteria: Ensure your business meets all the required criteria. Ambiguity or uncertainty (‘maybes’) in eligibility can jeopardize your application from the start.
  • Thoroughly Review Grant Guidelines: Read all guidelines carefully and make notes of critical details to ensure nothing is overlooked.
  • Prepare Necessary Documentation: Gather all required documents, including financial records, staff information, budgets, and business details.
  • Write a Detailed Application: Focus on addressing the assessment criteria comprehensively, ensuring that every question is fully answered.
  • Submit on Time: Ensure your application is submitted before the deadline. Late submissions are generally not accepted.

For additional tips and strategies to craft a winning grant application, download our free Guide to Winning Grants by following the link below.

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.

The Opportunity Cost of Finding & Applying For A Grant

Finding relevant, winnable grants for your business always requires some investment of your time, but with a bit of practice you can become more efficient and speed up the process by looking in the right places.

And you also have the option to invest in a consultant who can use their expertise to quickly find your business the most winnable and targeted opportunities—and save your time by coordinating your application.

Is it possible to find and apply for grants for free?

There is no fee to find and apply for a grant when you do it yourself, so technically, yes—it’s free to find and apply for any grants. And unlike a loan, you won’t have to pay back grant funding, presuming you carry out your project as specified.

But there will always be costs associated with locating a suitable grant and then preparing and submitting an application., If you plan to search and write by yourself, you’re going to need to invest a lot of your time into the process. Never forget the value of your own time!

Grant searching and grant applications can be long and arduous processes that require a lot of back and forth between the person searching and writing and the people involved in delivering the grant project. It is common for a search to take between 2 to 10 hours and a grant application to take more than 40 hours’ and up to 100 hours’ time to work through. For large grants especially, it can become hundreds of hours for the person coordinating.

Depending on the grant, you may need to provide a financial co-contribution; the government often funds only up to a certain amount of the total eligible project expenditure, and you will need to provide the rest of the funds from sources other than the grant.

In-kind contributions (non-monetary contributions such as donated goods and services or your time) may also be considered. And if you’re hiring a grants consultant or a grant writer, you’ll need to account for that cost as well.

So, while searching and applying for a grant doesn’t require you to pay a fee when you do it yourself, it isn’t really ‘free’ – in the true sense. You can reduce you time to find and apply for grants by talking to GrantHelper.

I Need Help To Find and Apply for Grants

Applying for bigger federal grants

Want to apply for some of those large federal grants we mentioned earlier? Be prepared to work with a professional consultant, because these grants require you to present the highest levels of professionalism and the most detailed information.

You’ll also need to present a compelling business case, project plan, financial forecast and other documents that stand above the others in the pile of applicants—there could be dozens or even hundreds of other applicants depending on the scale of the grant. Ask yourself what makes your project a great investment; you need to articulate the benefits of your project to Australia, and convince the assessors that you have the capability to manage funds and deliver the project as stipulated.

You should strongly consider working with a professional grant writer when applying for any government grant, and especially when applying for a large grant (as most federal grants are). A grant writer will help you to create a more robust grant application which will be more likely to succeed. The application process can be long and tedious, not to mention stressful and time-pressured, so it will also help to have an additional resource, so you don’t burn yourself out or even miss critical details in your application. Details are easily missed when your day job isn’t grant writing and you have other priorities on your mind.

Unlock Your Grant Potential with GrantHelper

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 ‘Get In Touch’ 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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