Grant Writing – Case Study 7

Tags

,

This is Case Study 7 in our tranche of articles which give tips into the grant writing world and the skills and techniques used by our grant writers. In this article we will discuss the Bowen Golf Club and their need to irrigate some of their fairways.

The club had installed a dam to capture and treat their sewerage effluent water and had installed an irrigation system to irrigate some of the course. The irrigation of some of the course had resulted in greener fairways where the irrigation system had been installed and this had resulted in far better playing conditions and more members joining and more competitions being played. A number of fairways however were not irrigated and with the Qld heat and the drought these fairways were in less than ideal condition. Continue reading

Grant Writing – Case Study 6

Tags

This is Case Study 6 in our series of grant writing articles. In this instalment we will look at the Bulimba Bowls Club and their efforts to get major repairs to their roof funded. An inexperienced grant writer would try and find a funding program which will fund the entire repair works which was in the vicinity of $100k. At Red Tape Busters we realise that grant writing opportunities in the vicinity of $100k are few and far between. So our skilled grant writer set about identifying if we could break the project down into smaller sub projects and then find two or more grants that will be viable to fund the entire project over time.

grant-writing

In the first instance we asked the Club to work with their proposed roof repair contractor to see if the project could in fact be split into sub projects. The contractor agreed that we could split the project up into two smaller projects – and if funding was achieved the club could undertake the repairs in stages. First we identified a smaller program where we believed we were a good chance of winning $35k for the club and then another funding opportunity we believed was very viable to fund the rest.

The strategy of our grant writer was to win the smaller funding first and this would demonstrate that the roof repair work was well underway and then apply for the larger funding. In this way we were chasing funding contributions from different programs thus splitting the request over more than one program and fund managers love seeing other programs contributing funding to a project so that there are co-contributions. Also one program was a State Government program and the other a local Council funding program and as such this was a perfect strategy given funding was being asked for from different levels of Government and again our grant writer correctly identified this would help in realising funding from both tiers of Government.

Our grant writer prepared the initial application for the $35k which was successful. They then prepared the second application and could show that the club already had $35k towards the project and that the project had actually commenced. This gave the Council fund manager confidence that the project could be completed in full. Our grant writer prepared another compelling case and as a result the remaining funding of around $50k was granted.

Grant writing for most organisations is an afterthought sadly. They place no emphasis on the process or the skills required. Grant writing is not a science but it is a skill that is very very hard to learn and for grant writers to realise that there is more to grant writing than just applying for the very first opportunity around or trying to fund larger projects via one funding opportunity. We try and maximise the chances of our clients and we are very very strategic in how we approach our task. Our results over 17 years prove we have the grant writing skills and the strategies needed to win our clients funding.

Contact us at Red Tape Busters – http://www.redtapebusters.com/ should you require more information about this article or if you require specialist grant or tender writing experience to help your organisation or business win grant funding or achieve successes with tenders.

Grant Writing – Case Study 5

Tags

This is Case Study 5 in our series of grant writing articles highlighting different cases and strategies we at Red Tape Busters have worked on since we commenced business in 2000. This article will focus on how to create some “selling” points when preparing a grant application for a rural based organisation. The skilled grant writer will be able to easily “sell” the project and the need for funding if the organisation is based in a rural or remote area. Rarely if ever are we unsuccessful with a grant submission for a rural or remote organisation.

grantwriting

With this particular organisation they were seeking funding for a youth based training and skills development program. Given most of the youth had left town over the years and the general population numbers were dwindling the organisation felt they did not really have a sound case to pursue funding. Our skilled grant writer however initially worked with the client on their project and worked hard to identify what sorts of training and skills development did the local young people need. To identify this we developed a survey which was sent to all of the people in town seeking their views and input. We then discussed the matter with local community organisations especially those already in some way assisting youth in the region. We then canvassed the local Council and relevant State Government Departments seeking their input.

After an extensive consultation process we identified that the main area for jobs in and around the area was in customer services so we developed a project to train and skill the young people in delivering outstanding customer service and in being able to work in a shop, be part of a team and accept money, use a register and acquit money at the end of the day. We then discussed the project with a number of businesses and gained their support to employ the young people once they completed the training IF funding was provided. We ensured we obtained letters of support from each business.

We then identified the perfect funding program to pursue and our grant writer then set about creating an amazing grant writing story which identified why young people were leaving town, identifying the findings of our research and consultation, detailing the impacts of the drought in the area – the economic impacts, the mental impacts and the massive social impacts and then identified how this project supported the focus of the funding program AND how this project would benefit the young people AND the community. Further we reinforced that employers would employ these young people if they had the right skills and attitude to work hard and deliver outstanding service to their clients. Many businesses did not in fact have a vacancy but came on board because they could see this project was vital to the survival of the community.

Through the fantastic efforts of our grant writer, we were successful in winning $75k in funding for this great project. Another outstanding grant writing success by the team at Red Tape Busters.

Contact us at Red Tape Busters should you require more information about this article or if you require specialist grant or tender writing experience to help your organisation or business win grant funding or achieve successes with tenders.

We are specialists in providing the following services :-

  • Lobbying
  • Tender Writing
  • Grant Writing
  • Resumes/Job Applications
  • Organisational/Business Development.

Please also “friend” or “like” us on Facebook – RedTapeBustersShaneBowering, follow us on Twitter – Red Tape Busters or check us out on YouTube just search for Red Tape Busters.

Grant Writing – Case Study 3

Tags

,

In our series of grant writing case studies – this is the third installment. Again in this article will showcase the skills of our grant writers and give readers tips on how to improve their grant writing chances.

Grant Writer

We were approached in this instance by a club in a rural area affected by drought which was seeking funding to restump their community hall. The project was going to cost $50000 and the club needed assistance in finding appropriate funding programs which would fund a $50k project. At Red Tape Busters we are very strategic in our approach to the grant writing task. So initially we worked with the client on their project to identify if there was any way of breaking the project up into smaller components in case there were no $50k funding opportunities around given the higher the funding amount needed – the less funding opportunities that exist.

In working with the client we identified that there is not much scope to re stump a hall in different stages given that the entire hall needed to be completely re stumped at the same time given the extra costs of splitting the project and re stumping part now and part later and also the fact that the hall was in fact dangerous with the stumps in the condition they were in and essentially unusable. In pondering on the project our Grant Writer Melbourne identified the possibility of splitting the project in two stages – the first stage being to dig the holes for the new stumps and remove the old stumps and prepare the hall to await the new stumps and the second stage of the project could encompass the purchase of the new stumps and the erection of the new stumps under the hall – thus completing the project.

As such we were able to split the project into two grant writing tasks – the first stage needed a $15k funding grant and the second stage required $35k to complete. In order to identify what funding was currently available our Grant Writer Melbourne undertook extensive research to identify current available funding programs. Two prospects were available – one through the local Council which related to community infrastructure projects with a maximum funding amount of $20k, the second prospect was available through the Department of Sport and Rec and given this was a sporting club this was an ideal program with a maximum of $50k available. We could have maybe applied for the entire $50k from the Department of Sport and Rec however our view is that the closer your project is to the maximum amount – the less chance you have of success. So we decided to pitch two different submissions to the two different programs.

While this was slightly more costly to our client given we were now preparing two submissions instead of one – we were convinced that the prospects of grant writing success were substantially increased. Our Grant Writer Melbourne prepared the two applications which were both successful. The club was successful in receiving the full $50k all because our grant writer was highly skilled and understood fully the strategies involved in the grant writing process and in implementing a cost effective grant writing approach.

Tender Writing – Case Study 1

Tags

,

tender-writing

Tender writing is not just about filling out a form and a pricing spreadsheet. Inexperienced tender writers will not put much thought into what is required to prepare a great tender response whereas the experienced tender writer will understand that having a strategy and game plan is as important as having a great price to offer. So what sorts of strategies can you put in place to maximise your chances with a tender? In this article I relay a real case study of a tender we prepared for a client and the tactics we put in place to be successful.

In this situation our client, a non profit organisation on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, became aware of a tender opportunity relating to the provision of housing/accommodation for people with disabilities. At that stage my client had no thoughts about delivering accommodation services and was primarily solely a provider of support services for those with a disability in the local area of Nambour. This posed a tremendous issue in my mind given the client had no real experience in building purpose built accommodation for people with a disability nor in managing such a facility. I was concerned that given the tender was open to commercial and non profit entities that developers in the area would have more extensive budgets and maybe more experience in constructing accommodation facilities while probably lacking in experience in the disability space.

My client was keen to develop a proposal where they proposed a plan to build accommodation for those with a physical disability, however they did not have any land on which to build the facility so essentially were working from scratch. Through my extensive grant and tender writing experience I immediately identified the need for the client to have an appropriate parcel of land which they could at worst show was able to be quickly acquired on which to build the accommodation facility. I encouraged the client to make overtures to a few residents in an area close to their existing service hub and offer each resident a price in excess of market value and get in principal agreement from the residents to sell their properties should the client win the tender.

This was achieved surprisingly very quickly with written in principal agreements being received. This “proved” that the client had the land to build on. I then strongly suggested to the client that they should build purpose built accommodation for those with a mental and physical disability or health issue as opposed to purely physical disabilities. I undertook research to prove that mental illness is a significant issue in those who are homeless and was able to garner some significant and impressive statistics supporting this contention. I then undertook research to identify how accommodation could be built to meet the needs of people with a physical disability and/or those with a mental illness. The client then took this research and was able to get an architect to draw up some plans which depicted the style of building and how different units in the complex would be constructed differently built to meet the specific needs of the proposed residents.

I was also able to get the client to have graphic designs included giving the reader a real insight into how the rooms might actually “look”. To me this would give us a unique chance at winning the tender by enabling the reader to visualise how the facility would look and feel while also pitching that the accommodation would encompass the needs of all people with a disability – physical and mental. I was convinced that our competitors for the tender would only just develop a proposal for those with a physical disability.

The last hurdle I believed was that the client had no real experience in proving they could manage an accommodation facility once built. To overcome this I encouraged the client to find an experienced manager of such facilities and offer them the position of manager should the tender be successful and again get in principal written confirmation that this person would join the team. Again the client was able to find someone highly experienced in this area.

We then prepared a comprehensive response we believed which would at least give us a chance at getting through Stage 1 given this was a two stage process. We were amazed to find that we were offered $4.9 million after the review of all applications in the first stage and we were told our submission was so outstanding that they were not going to stage 2 – our proposal was that good.

This success was completely a result of our strategic approach in identifying our weaknesses and addressing those but also ensuring our proposal was very very different to our competitors.

The skilled tender writer will have a strategy – they will have a plan and they will maximise their chances in the tender writing process.

Our skills are not just in our abilities to write great tenders but also to come up with the strategies and pitch to stand our client apart. Tender writing is far far more than just filling out a form!

Grant Writing – Case Study 1

Tags

,

Grant Writer

Grant writing can be a complex process which is not just about writing a grant. The experienced and skilled grant writer will do far more than just write a grant. The grant writer who is worth their weight in gold will write a great grant submission. Quality grant writers will also assist the organisation to develop the best project concept, they will identify the best possible funding opportunity which will be relevant to the project requiring funding and then yes they will prepare a fantastic grant submission. At Red Tape Busters we are continually challenged by difficult projects and asked to chase funding for that project.

In one such situation I was approached by a rural Golf Club seeking funding to pay for a new financial management accounting software system. Their old system was outdated and they needed to upgrade to keep pace with technology and software changes. Now generally financial management software and such an upgrade of a system would be deemed as an operational need and an operational expenditure and therefore would not be a fundable item. So the request posed some significant problems in being able to win funding.

Initially I decided to assess the project and identify if I could change the project from the purchase of financial management software to a broader project which was significantly more attractive to potential funders. I pondered on their requirement and also pondered on the club – what it did, what regional area the club was located in, pondered on the issues which might be affecting that area and the people that lived there and also pondered on what project would be really attractive to funders which might address the needs of the club and also the local area.

The project I came up with was to essentially have the financial management software as an “after thought” and a by-product or requirement of the bigger project. I suggested to the club that we implement a project where the club would partner with the local TAFE and work closely with the students from the Business Administration course. The club could offer the TAFE and the students work experience in the club while studying/completing their studies and learn how to use the cash registers and learn the financial management system. Once the students had finished their course and undertaken work experience with the club, the club would arrange potential jobs with key employers across the region – businesses and organisations who had links with the club or whose members were key personnel within those organisations or businesses. In this way the project was focused on addressing youth unemployment in the area, giving them on the job experience to support their studies and then working with potential employers to get these young people a job.

The only requirement the club had was to find a funder who would fund the upgraded software and system seeing this would be integral to the training. Effectively the project had changed from a plain issue of being standard operational expenditure required to fund the purchase of financial management software to an employment program addressing the chronic unemployment issues for local youth in a drought affected area. A much more exciting and fundable project. We then identified the best program to pursue and with our quality grant writers prepare a great submission. The result being that the club received $35k to purchase the software and system purely as a result of our strategic grant writing processes.

Contact us at Red Tape Busters – http://www.redtapebusters.com/ should you require more information about this article or if you require specialist grant or tender writing experience to help your organisation or business win grant funding or achieve successes with tenders.

We are specialists in providing the following services:-

  • Lobbying
  • Tender Writing
  • Grant Writing
  • Resumes/Job Applications
  • Organisational/Business Development.

Grant Writing – 5 Things Not to Say in Grant Applications

Tags

,

You can make some major mistakes when grant writing but the experienced grant writer will avoid major blunders, We all at times make a mistake – we are all human but the mistakes I am just about to discuss need to be avoided at all costs in your grant writing.

Many inexperienced grant writers seem to be focused on honesty and being totally upfront in your grant applications. Grant writers can’t outright lie in an application but the quality grant writer will be careful about what they say in an application and how they say it. You can massage and infer something in an application to present the best possible case scenario as opposed to downplaying your prospects. However be reasonable in your claims but it is better to slightly oversell than undersell in my opinion. Your grant application is your chance to “sell” your organisation, project and the need for funding – very few in the “sales world” survive by underselling!

On a similar theme to the first point it is vital that you do not outline in your application any negative things about your organisation, project, abilities etc. It is hard enough winning funding at the best of times but to highlight negative issues in your application generally will adversely compromise your chances of success.

Some organisations suggest in an application that the organisation is reliant on this funding for survival. This is a totally flawed strategy and will come across as desperate while also suggesting that the organisation is instable, financially unviable and on its knees. Never ever ever suggest that the funding is needed to survive. The one time you might portray such a position is IF funding is being made available to sustain struggling organisations, Such funding is very very rare but I have seen such a program being made available once in Queensland and if your organisation wasn’t struggling and in financial trouble then you missed out on the funding.

Grant writer worth their salt will ensure they are always positive in their grant writing and instead of could, should, might will use positive statements like will, would, can. Positive action statements create a positive impression of your organisation and also infer that your organisation will deliver what you say and that you will spend the money granted exactly how it is supposed to be spent. Negativity in a grant application is to be avoided at all costs.

Don’t use industry buzz words in your grant applications. Some members of the assessment panel might well have no idea about your industry or what programs you are delivering to whom. Never take it for granted that those reading your application have any indepth understanding of what you do. Clearly outline in plain English what your organisation and project is all about and how this funding will realise significant outcomes which link to the outcomes intended by the funding program.

The successful grant writers will avoid these mistakes. Grant writing is not impossible – it is challenging but with some practice, some patience and by following these tips you will increase your chances of success in the grant writing world.

Contact us at Red Tape Busters – http://www.redtapebusters.com/ should you require more information about this article or if you require specialist grant or tender writing experience to help your organisation or business win grant funding or achieve successes with tenders.

We are specialists in providing the following services:-

  • Lobbying
  • Tender Writing
  • Grant Writing
  • Resumes/Job Applications
  • Organisational/Business Development.

Grant Writing – Picking the right Grant Writer?

Tags

,

This is a challenging task indeed. Many organisations are faced with the prospect of hiring a grant writer as part of their staffing complement or in engaging a professional grant writer on a contract basis. The first thing an organisation needs to consider is just that – on what basis do they want to engage the grant writer.

There are obviously fors and againsts both engagement strategies however I probably think it is far easier to get rid of a non performing grant writer who is on contract than an underperforming salaried employee. But that obviously is a consideration only the organisation can make. Many organisations believe that they have total control if the grant writer is a salaried employee however if you contract a grant writer and if you pick the right grant writer you can still retain full control of the process.

Certainly we are hired as contract grant writers to hundreds of organisations and businesses and our clients at all times retain full control of the process. We obviously give our clients our professional advice and hope our clients follow that advice, but at all times the client retains full control of what funding program we do and don’t apply for and what project will be offered.

There are many other considerations that need to be evaluated once the engagement strategy is decided upon. Whether it is a dedicated grant writing position or hiring a consultant you need to engage someone who will not only have the skills and abilities to be a successful grant writer for your organisation but also that the outcome proves to be great value for money and cost effective. Proven experience obviously is a major consideration but high quality grant writers with extensive experience don’t come cheap.

If you have the budget available obviously a proven commodity is the way to go. However don’t just accept the claims of grant writers on face value. Make sure you do your due diligence and validate that the claims they make are in fact correct and not over inflated. Make sure you contact some past clients and discuss the grant writer with them. Also don’t just accept the names of organisations or businesses offered up as referees but try and find some organisations or businesses that they have not offered as a referee.

Maybe there are names of organisations on their website or maybe you can google some additional past clients and check with them about the skills and quality of the grant writer. Certainly we extensively assess potential grant writers to come into our business but we wont necessarily hire the most experienced person.

As I have stated many many times grant writing is not rocket science and you don’t need a degree to write a grant. But you do need passion as well as great wordsmithing skills. In assessing potential grant writers to join our business as Consultants I normally give them a small test – a “real life” question from a grant application and ask them to respond. I obviously set the scene and give them the basics about the “organisation and project” but I am looking for a grant writer who can be creative and build a case and present a compelling argument. In the nonprofit world especially as grant writers you might be given scant information from the client to write your submission so creativity and research are essential skills that I assess.

In the end though the grant writer has to fit your organisation or business and no matter what employment engagement strategy you implement they have to be welcomed as part of your team and of course they have to deliver results!

Contact us at Red Tape Busters – should you require more information about this article or if you require specialist grant or tender writing experience to help your organisation or business win grant funding or achieve successes with tenders.

We are specialists in providing the following services:-

  • Lobbying
  • Tender Writing
  • Grant Writing
  • Resumes/Job Applications
  • Organisational/Business Development.

Please also “friend” or “like” us on Facebook – RedTapeBustersShaneBowering, follow us on Twitter – Red Tape Busters or check us out on YouTube just search for Red Tape Busters.

Tender Writing – How do you write a tender to someone you don’t know?

Tags

, ,

tender writing (1)

This is a vexing question for tender writers – just how do you undertake the tender writing process when you have no idea who you are writing to and what they expect. Well the answer is pretty simple really – you research, you read, you assess, you analyse and then you start the tender writing process.

In essence you need to ensure you craft a response that is interesting, informative and well written. Following are some key concepts to ensure your tender writing will hit the mark no matter who reads it:-

Make it Interesting

The key to anyone reading anything is to make it interesting. If you write in a droll boring manner then it will be certain to put the reader to sleep. So write with enthusiasm, with passion with verve and engage the reader. Draw them in and tell your story. The quality tender writer will have the reader interested and wanting to know more about this impressive company or organisation.

Use it as a “Sales” Document

Any tender should be seen as an opportunity to “sell” your services or products. This is your one chance or at least your once chance at this moment in time to tell the reader what a great business you are, how you can be relied upon, how you are focused on quality, on meeting customer needs, that you have the capacity to deliver on the requirements of this tender and you can deliver on time, first time, every time! So make sure you sell with sizzle!

Use Spell Check

One way to turn a reader off is to have a tender that has terrible grammar or spelling mistakes everywhere. No matter how patient and understanding a reader is – if the tender is hard to read, if it is really poorly written the chances are that no matter how great your price is – the tender just will fail to hit the mark.

Focus on Your Points of Difference

Evert business or organisation preparing a tender thinks obviously they are the entity that should win the tender. Well to get the attention of the assessors tell them why your business or organisation is different, why do you stand out from the competition. Discuss your strengths and outline any key innovations etc and subtly refer to the weaknesses of your opposition. Highlight the experience of your people or discuss some other aspect to your business or organisation that just sets you apart. The assessment panel don’t want to hear about same old same old – tell them why you are different!

Discuss Value Adding

Every tender writer for every organisation or business applying for the same tender as you will be trying to show the assessment panel how they can meet the requirements of the tender. Wouldn’t it be something different if you just didn’t meet the requirements of the tender but you exceeded them and you would VALUE ADD! This means that you will go above and beyond the specifications of the tender and maybe provide a higher quality product or service, offer a special discount or put in place a dedicated Accounts Manager. All of these concepts are seen as value adding. Value adding certainly will get their attention!

If you ponder on these concepts as a tender writer you will certainly improve the chances of the assessment panel reading your response with interest and these will give you a genuine edge in the tender writing process.

Contact us at Red Tape Busters – http://www.redtapebusters.com/ should you require more information about this article or if you require specialist grant or tender writing experience to help your organisation or business win grant funding or achieve successes with tenders.