Strong turnout for grant writing workshop

Strong turnout for grant writing workshop

Nearly 200 people attended two grant writing workshops hosted by the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie in the Hills and on the South Coast this month.

Photograph: Tailem Bend Community Centre Co-ordinator Tammy Shepherd, left, with the Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie.

The workshops featured guest presenters from the Tailem Bend Community Centre; the Department of Veteran Affairs and the National Motor Museum.

Rebekha also shared her experiences applying for grants and writing tenders.

“I made an election promise to hold free grant workshops to help build the capacity of our community, to learn the ‘art’ of successful grant writing, so I was delighted by the turnout,” she said.

“I know from my past career and my own volunteering as the Chairperson of the Mount Torrens Soldiers Memorial Hall that just as much work and passion can go into writing an application for $5000 as putting together a multi-million dollar tender.

“And if you’re successful, the acquittal of the funds can be just as time consuming.

“It can be challenging for our community groups to successfully bid for funding because we are not in the main areas of low socio-economic status and we do not have significant populations of communities recognised as having special needs such as migrants.

“However, that doesn’t mean we do not have needs or issues within our communities so being able to clearly articulate some of the challenges we experience is extremely important when competing for limited grant funds.”

Presentation notes from the workshops can be downloaded from Rebekha’s website

The following is a quick snapshot of tips.

  • Chase projects NOT grant money.
  • No matter how small your organisation, make sure you have a shared vision and project ideas, and that you plan strategically.
  • Share your vision. Make contact with your Local Government elected members and other community leaders so they know what you are keen to create.
  • Take time to consider what new partnerships your group could create in your community. For example, could you connect young people with senior citizens at a community shed?
  • Be patient. It takes time to turn project ideas into reality.

“More than six million Australians over the age of 18 regularly volunteer in our community every year and, according to Volunteering Australia, the volunteering rate is much higher in regional areas at 41 per cent of the population,” Rebekha said.

“Collectively the social return from all this volunteering is worth $290 billion - $4.9 billion in South Australia alone - which is equivalent to about 107,400 full-time jobs across the state.

“Without this personal investment so much of what it means to experience ‘community’ in Australia would be lost which is why I feel so strongly about supporting volunteers and building the capacity of our community groups.”