So, you’ve lodged your grant application and now you’re sitting by the phone, anxiously waiting to hear news of your success. This isn’t the end of the line. There is still a lot more you need to know.
First you should receive a letter acknowledging receipt of your application. If not, contact the grant administrator to ensure that your application has not gone astray.
You may be contacted during the assessment of your application for more information or to discuss aspects of your application. Try to be helpful and responsive – some organisations have stuffed it up at this point with the wrong answer (what a shame!).
Whether it is a short or long assessment process, there are usually multiple layers of processing for administrators to work through. Be prepared to wait anywhere from one to six months depending on the complexity of the project and the amount of money requested. Don’t become a serial pest by calling every day. Try to be patient and understanding. Most other applicants won’t, so this will reflect well on you.
Don’t count on commencing your new project immediately. Even if you’re successful, it may take a while for the money to come through. Importantly, you are unlikely to be reimbursed for any payments you make in advance of the grant being paid.
The bad news
Unsuccessful applicants are usually advised by mail. Phone the administrator and ask for feedback. Ask questions such as:
• Did our project not meet the guidelines? In what ways?
• Was our application deficient? In what ways?
• Was the competition better than us? In what ways?
Determine how you could have strengthened your application and whether there is an opportunity to resubmit your application now, or in a later round.
The money call
Successful applicants are usually contacted by phone. Funding may also be announced publicly. For technology-based grants, you will usually be consulted regarding the press release – so make sure you are satisfied with the level of detail for confidentiality reasons.
The fine print
Read the contract. All of it. You need to know rules, especially the frequency of payments, project reports, compliance and auditing requirements. The rules are not negotiable and if you do not comply, you may have to pay the grant back.
The hard work begins
Now you have to do everything you said! Payments are usually linked to the completion of milestones and submission of reports. Keep good records of project expenditure and make sure you provide the reports by their
due date. Also ensure you notify the grant provider of any delays or changes in the project, such as:
• Change of contact details for your organisation
• Delay in commencing or completing activities
• Delay in providing project reports
• Changes to prices or quotes that will affect the budget for the
Adrian Spencer is a dedicated grants specialist. He has accessed over $40 Million for organisations through State and Federal Government grants, rebates and concessions. Adrian is the Founder and CEO of GrantReady www.grantready.com.au