Communicate with community organisations
Local governments should make sure there is a high level of awareness in the community of the availability of grants so all community organisations have an equal opportunity to apply for and obtain grants.
There are a number of issues local governments should consider when engaging with community organisations on their grants program. These are:
One of the principal ingredients of a successful community grants scheme is a high level of interest from prospective community organisations. To make sure community organisations are aware of the local government's grants program, it is recommended that information on the program is at least promoted in local newspapers. The local government must make the policy available for inspection by the public at the local government office and on the council's website.
Where practical, the local government should also nominate a contact point where community organisations can obtain further information about the grants program.
The local government should make sure all promotional materials and application forms are easy to understand and provide all the necessary information in a clear and concise manner.
The use of template application forms and contact points for community organisations to call for more information can provide invaluable assistance to smaller community organisations and organisations that have not applied for grants in the past. The use of brochures that are colourful, easy to read and very clearly document the types of grants available, how to apply and where to get more information can also be very helpful.
The capacity of community organisations to apply for grants can vary greatly. To make sure all organisations are capable of applying for and receiving grants, it is recommended that local governments provide support to organisations making their applications.
Conducting information sessions can be an effective way of ensuring the community organisations are equipped to make their applications.
In addition, it is recommended that unsuccessful applicants be advised of the reasons why they were not awarded a grant so they can amend their applications or reapply for a grant during the next assessment round. Providing reasons can also reduce complaints about the grants process.
It is important that all community groups have equal access to the same information. While it can be helpful to encourage community organisations that received grants in previous years to reapply, the same encouragement should be provided to all organisations to avoid perceptions of favouritism and bias.
Last updated: 09 Nov 2021