Tips for applying for your grant
Thinking of applying for a Look Over the Farm Gate Grant (LOTFG) grant? Check out these tips to position your application towards success.
Read and re-read the application questions and eligibility criteria. The following questions may help you in deciding whether this grant is right for you:
- Is your project part of your core business or a one off event?
- Are you a small community group or a larger health organisation?
- Is the event targeted at a large portion of the community or a small part of the community?
Applicants that have been successful in the past have been clear about what exactly they are hoping to achieve. This is the event goal. Goals describe the long-term change you are hoping to bring about. Your event goal should be SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and timely). It must be detailed enough to ensure that someone who is not part of your team would know what needs to be done and how. Ask yourself:
- What is the key reason you are holding this event?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Who is the target audience?
Keeping this in mind, it is then a matter of working out how you are going to get there.
- Example: The goal of the Look Over The Farm Gate event on February 10th is to increase awareness of local mental health services to 100 residents in the community.
- Specific: targeted, clear and conscience
- Measureable: is there a clear way to measure success? How will you know whether you have reached your goal?
- Relevant: Is there a good reason for this goal? Is there a need in the community? Does it align with the goals and values of your community group? Is it possible to do with the resources you have available to you?
- Timely: When will the goal be accomplished?
Objectives are like the roadmap to achieving your goal. They describe the change you are hoping to bring about. Ask yourself, what clear things do you have to achieve in order to work towards your goal? Like your goal, objectives should be SMART and written in detail, defining the narrow, measureable and tangible results your event will produce.
- To have 100 attendees at the event
- To have 2 local guest speakers explain mental health
- To have 10 service providers available to increase awareness about help seeking and service navigation
- To have LOTFG resources on each table
- To increase social cohesion by having ‘get to know your neighbour’ cards on each table
- To have a 50% increase in mental health awareness by the end of the event.
*Tip – remember to be as clear and to the point as possible. If you feel something is not clear for you, the selection committee will probably feel the same. Your objectives will form your evaluation and allow you to find out how successful your event was.
How do you know your event will be a success? Have a look at the LOTFG website to get some ideas for what others have done in the past. Think about who your target audience is and research as much about them as possible. It is through researching your event that you will be able to decide whether it is practical for your target audience.
Speak to members of your community. What are the problems according to them? What information do they need? It is important for people to feel their voice has been heard. This assists in the event message being received. This also helps the community feel the event is for them. Encourage people to get involved and try something new. This can be done through surveys or focus groups or having informal chats to your neighbours.
Working in partnership does not always mean working closely with other organisations. Get the local community involved. Studies suggest when community members have an active and meaningful role in a project or event, ownership over the event is increased. Giving people important roles has an empowering effect which contributes to positive mental health.
Do you have an idea for a LOTFG event in your community but are from a larger organisation? Why not encourage a local small community group to do so and develop a partnership with them and support the running of the event on the day with guest speakers or information on referral pathways into your organisation? The more community groups and health services and programs involved, the more local community members may learn about where to go for help.
This is one of the most important parts of your application. Spend time researching and planning your budget. Think about the purpose of the grant. Be clear about what the funding is going towards and why. Include all income and expenditure.
What is needed to carry out the event? Remember to consider time, people and other costs you may incur as a result of the event taking place.
- Ensure there is flexibility for unexpected costs. Be prepared to cut certain aspects of the event if there are unexpected costs. It is ALWAYS better to be under rather than over budget.
- If you would like to go bigger, you can always think about partnering with other organisations.
- Obtain quotes and compare! While we can all have a specific idea in mind, it is a good idea to obtain quotes from a number of organisations to ensure you are getting the best deal for what you are after.
- Remember that you are required to submit receipts for all expenses you are claiming.
Finished your application? Get someone to read it before you send it. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can make all the difference.
Contact the LOTFG Coordinator! We are here to support you in the process and answer your questions. If you have applied in the past and have been unsuccessful, we can provide you with feedback on why your application was not found to be successful.
Never applied before? Let us answer your questions to make the process easier. Start your application early so we can help. You can contact the LOTFG Coordinator at LOTFG@rfdsvic.com.au or by phone on 8412 0444.