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How to Get a Government Grant


Understanding Grant Eligibility

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.

Can I get a grant for my business?

Your business’s suitability for a grant begins with determining your readiness. The GrantHelper definition of readiness is …

  • Having a defined project, with a beginning and an ending. At its conclusion, a grant project should have achieved its objectives, and if ongoing, be sustainable without the need for additional funding.
  • Preparing a budget. The budget is a critical pillar of any grant project, and this is a task you should start working on as soon as possible when thinking about getting a grant.
  • Knowing the specific outcomes and benefits generated by your project. If your project does not bring quantifiable economic or community benefits, you won’t get a grant from the government for it.
  • Understanding the funding landscape. Governments have investment and development agendas which you will need to align to — funding is not issued simply because a project is compelling, or a strong business case has been prepared.

GrantHelper Pro Tip
Nearly all grants are for legal entities: businesses, not-for-profit organisations, charities, or government/local government bodies. Some individual grants are available for those in specialised industries such as the performing arts and professional athletes. Learn more about how to find suitable grants.

Why is the budget so important when getting a grant?

We know from experience that grant projects with comprehensive, supportable budgets are the ones that tend to succeed. Your budget is a critical tool that helps to track and, later, demonstrate how you intend to spend grant money. It will also clarify your needs and help you avoid overlooking essential activities in your grant project.

You need to obtain quotes as part of creating your budget and determining the overall project plan — these will be required in your submission

What activities are typically eligible for grant funding?

Remember, grant funding isn’t for regular costs-of-doing-business, cashflow assistance or business expenses. Grants must be used for specific activities, such as:

  • Research and Development Initiatives (R&D)
  • Export market access and international expansion
  • Skills development and training
  • Sustainability and environmental projects
  • Innovation and commercialisation
  • Infrastructure development and implementation
  • Manufacturing enabling technology and process enhancements
  • Production efficiency and productivity improvements
  • Investment in sovereign capability
  • Medical research and translation and Medtech capabilities

Supported activities will vary from grant to grant.

What questions are asked in a grant application?

Here are some common points you’ll need to address when you apply for a government grant. (Actual questions vary from grant to grant).

Summarise the project you are seeking funding for, and its objectives. What impacts do you hope to achieve and how will you measure success?

Why is funding necessary for this project? What are the specific problems that the project will address? How will it benefit the economy or community?

Describe the specific activities, timelines and key resources associated with the project. How will the project be executed, who will be responsible for its implementation?

What are the estimated costs associated with the project, and how will the funds be allocated? How will you ensure the project is delivered within budget?

What is the capacity of your organisation to deliver the project successfully? Can you demonstrate experience in delivering similar projects?

How will the project be sustained beyond the funding period? What are your strategies for ensuring the project will continue to deliver unassisted impacts?

How much does it cost to prepare for a government grant?

The cost of preparing to get a government grant depends on the size and complexity of the grant application, as well as the resources and expertise required to complete it. Some small applications may be prepared in-house with minimal costs, while larger, more complex grants typically dictate some investment, such as hiring a grant writer or consultant to assist you with the process.

GrantHelper Pro Tip
Consider also there may be costs associated with gathering the necessary documentation such as financial statements, or fees for third-party services like legal or accounting advice. See our guide to preparing for a grant for more.

What does it take to get a grant?

Assuming you cover the fundamentals including having the right organisational structure, budget and alignment to a grant program, the next step is creating a strong application. Here are some of the keys to good grantsmanship.

  • Defining the context
  • Arranging content in a framework
  • Articulating the specific problem being solved
  • Communicating the value of your solution
  • Defining your project’s economic and societal impacts

  • Having an engaging writing and presentation style
  • Ensuring ease of readability
  • Content chunking
  • Using the appropriate language
  • Showing a deep understanding of what the funding audience is seeking
  • Creating a compelling vision in the reader’s mind

  • Working collaboratively with your chosen grant writer to achieve goals
  • Synthesising large amounts of information (applicant and background)
  • Having a summarising skill: quickly understanding and breaking down complex information

GrantHelper Pro Tip
You understand your organisation better than anyone, but a grant consultant will deliver the most value when they are allowed to unify all the pieces of the story, get buy-in and create a cohesive vision for success.

Can I Get a Government Grant: Key takeaway tips and advice

The reality is that grants aren’t for all businesses, all the time. Experience shows us that the best outcomes are usually achieved when an organisation and a grant consultant are mutually invested and working together with a collaborative attitude. Being mindful of the following will ensure you’re on track to be successful:

  • Government grants are for projects with clear outcomes and benefits.
  • Your project must align to a specific grant program.
  • Prepare a budget clarifying your costs, supported by quotes from suppliers.
  • Ensure your organisation is the correct type of legal entity before committing to any grant application.
  • Anticipate a significant time investment.
  • Achieving a favourable outcome will require patience, a collaborative mindset and a dedicated, skilled ‘conductor’ to pull it all together — consider hiring a grant consultant.

GrantHelper Pro Tip
Maximize your grant success with these five essential steps:
1 – Ensure eligibility by understanding grant criteria
2 – Research and review available data on grant programs
3 – Craft a compelling proposal
4 – Adhere strictly to application guidelines and deadlines
5 – Seek guidance from resources like grant writers
By following these steps, you can significantly enhance your chances of securing government grant funding for your business.

How do you know when your are grant ready?

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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