Key Considerations for Successful Grant Applications


Have you ever thought about the potential improvements your Landcare group could make to a bushland reserve or watercourse but felt you were lacking the resources to undertake the work? Perhaps applying for grant funding is the solution you are looking for! Whilst preparing a grant application may seem a daunting process, using the right tips and tricks, and with support from your local Council and the EMRC, your group will have every chance of submitting a successful grant application. So where do you begin?

 

  1. Identify the environmental issues you would like to address.

Are there invasive weed species you’d like to target? Does your site require habitat enhancement for local native fauna? Is your site impacted by erosion or water quality issues? How will proposed works benefit the community? Determining the issues to be addressed will guide to you establishing the objectives of your project and the expected outcomes of your work. A map can be used to help illustrate the specific on-ground issues and areas you will be targeting.

 

  1. Engage with project stakeholders.

Who are the other parties that need to be consulted with when planning your proposed project? Liaising with the land manager, who in many cases will be your local Council, is key to developing the agreed scope of work. The land manager also needs to provide written approval for the project to go ahead so including them in the planning process is essential. Engaging with the local Aboriginal traditional knowledge holders for your area and including them in the planning process is also important, particularly if you are planning to work in a registered site of significance where you will require Aboriginal Heritage approval to undertake work. To find out if your project site is situated within a registered site of significance, enquire through the Aboriginal Heritage Inquiry System which can be found at https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/ahis. Consider other parties that may be impacted by your planned work and invite them to participate in the planning process as well. There may be other approvals, such as a Bed and Banks permit or a seed collection permit, that need to be obtained depending on the work you wish to undertake so it is important to investigate this early in the planning process. Your local Council and the EMRC can assist with engaging with project stakeholders and obtaining appropriate approvals for your project.

 

  1. Plan how your proposed work will be undertaken as well as the timeframe for the proposed work.

Are you seeking assistance from contractors for weed control? Would you like to purchase tubestock or native seed to revegetate an area? What is your plan for ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the project area? It is important to consider best practice methodology for on-ground work as you will be required to justify your proposed approach. Sometimes its easy to get excited about the amount of work you could undertake with a grant, but it is important to work with a staged approach, adopting the Bradley Method of bushland regeneration, letting the rate of bushland regeneration set the pace for weed removal to manage land degradation and to ensure fauna habitat is maintained during the project. It is also important to anticipate potential risks to the project, such as unavailability of plants or unsuitable weather conditions, and plan how the identified risks will be managed. Technical support is available from your local Council and the EMRC to help you with preparing a project workplan and ongoing maintenance plan which is based on best practice methodology and that will align with relevant local, regional and state environmental strategies and plans.

 

  1. Prepare a budget for your project.

Once you have determined the activities you would like to undertake, its time to obtain written quotes from contractors and suppliers that can be used to help you prepare a project budget. These quotes can also be included with your submission to strengthen your application. Your local Council and the EMRC can assist in linking you up with local contractors who work with Landcare groups in Perth’s Eastern Region. You also need to factor the activities and work days your group will undertake as part of the project as this is considered an “in-kind contribution” and has a dollar value which will be specified by the funding body. Consider the in-kind contribution for other potential project partners including your local Council, other stakeholders, the local school or scout groups, or other partners who may be able to assist in some way with your project. Including in-kind contributions and project partnerships in your project will strengthen your application.

 

  1. Consider grant sponsorship and insurance.

If you are an incorporated group, such as a Catchment Group, your group will be able to administer the grant funding and will provide its own insurance cover. If, however, you are an unincorporated group, such as a Friends Group, you will need a grant sponsor (which is often referred to as an “auspicer”) to administer the grant funds on behalf of your group. This sponsor could be a Catchment Group, local Council or partner organisation who can also provide insurance cover. Your local Council and the EMRC can assist with linking your group up with an appropriate sponsor.

 

  1. Complete the grant application.

There are a number of environmental grants open to volunteer groups across the year through programs such as the Swan Alcoa Landcare Program (SALP) – https://www.perthnrm.com/project/swan-alcoa-landcare-partnership-salp/ – and the State NRM Program – https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-primary-industries-and-regional-development/state-natural-resource-management-program. Funding bodies provide a structured application form, either online or as a Word document, that guides each step of the project planning outlined above. They will also provide templates to help outline your workplan, project budget and timeline. Your local Council and EMRC are available to assist you navigate the application process, provide feedback on your draft application and assist with any of the technical aspects of the application process.

 

Grant funding can unlock the door to the restoration potential your Landcare group can achieve to improve the ecological health of your local environment. So, what are you waiting for? To find out more about upcoming grant opportunities or for further information and assistance regarding grants, please contact the EMRC at environment@emrc.org.au or on 94242222.

Please click on the following link to download the “Going Gangbusters with Grants” Powerpoint presentation, which supported the webinar held on 15 February 2021.

Powerpoint presentation - Going Gangbusters with Grants

Please click the following to access links to “Going Gangbusters with Grants” strategic documents, a useful resource when preparing grant applications.

Strategic Document List - Support Grant Applications 2021