Below are the answers to the questions asked, as shared at the event. Please contact us at NFP House if you have any other questions or require any support.
- What are some reasons provided by funding bodies for applications being unsuccessful when feedback has been sought?
Insufficient explanation of intended outcomes – assumed knowledge by the applicant that the outcomes for community were self-explanatory. Ensure you spell out the intended outcomes of the project for the application assessor or funding approver and provide any evidence you have to indicate that the outcomes will be achieved.
- When seeking quotes, what are the main things that the assessors look for to ensure that the quote is eligible? Eg, do you need to have 3 quotes?
Each funding application will have its own requirements related to quotes. Check the funding guidelines, and if the requirements are unclear, communicate with the funding partner to seek clarification.If you have sourced a suitable quote but have had difficulty sourcing the total number of required quotes due to a lack of response from suppliers, communicate this to your potential funding partner in advance of the submission date. If the funder is familiar with the local market and the challenge to secure quotes, they may allow you to submit proof that you tried to source the required number of quotes but did not receive replies.
- seek quotes as early as possible
- provide a deadline to the supplier well in advance of the funding close date, allowing enough time to seek further quotes in time for submission
- follow up phone requests for quotes by email – copies of email requests for quotes could be offered as evidence of trying to meet the requirement
- How do you ensure a quote will still be current when the grants are announced?
Consider the funding timelines, eg funders predicted announcement date, enough time for a contract to be executed and the period within which the funding must be spent.Request that the supplier provide a quote valid for the period that you anticipate the work or procurement will occur. This can allow the supplier to consider any potential increases in materials or labour and quote accordingly.Due to the uncertainty of cost increases, some suppliers will only provide quotes with a short validity (eg three months). In this case communicate with the funding partner to discuss solutions – particularly where your application may not meet the funding eligibility as a result.
Some funders will allow a specified amount, or margin of funds, for contingency in the project budget. If this is not the case, consider whether your organisation has the funds required to ‘top up’ the project costs if the costs increase after the funding approval.
- ensure you have scoped every detail of the work in the request for a quote
- seek support from experienced people inside or outside of your organisation to check all details and ensure your costings are reliable and financial risks have been considered
- always insist suppliers provide any changes to quotes or variations to costs or timeframes in writing and ensure they are signed off by the committee or authorised person
- What is the process if you are successful in the grant but the organisation who provided the quote is unable to conduct the work for 12 months?
Communicate with your funding partner any changes to supplier, scope of work or timeframes. If your supplier is unavailable within the period your funding is valid, you may want to consider changing supplier. If this is not an option, you may need to extend the period of your project and the completion date. This could result in a breach of your funding contract. Some funders may offer an extension in circumstances that are beyond your control.Tips:
- plan and implement your project as early as possible within the project delivery period you have committed to – this will help minimise any negative impacts of unexpected delays.
- inform your funding partner of any risks to the project, including timeframes, as early as possible. Offer strategies to manage the risks and seek approval where this will result in a change to the funding agreement. Ensure you confirm verbal approvals by email.
- With so many grants available, how often should you be searching for them or what is the best way to find available grants?
Utilise the grant search engines to help identify good matches to your project needs and save you time in searching. Some grants have regular annual release and close cycles, others are released infrequently or as a one-off. Invest the time and energy that is appropriate for the desired outcome.Register with NFP House at no cost to receive regular newsletters with current funding and other opportunities that support and enhance our local NFP sector.
- How do you prove that you are a not-for-profit organisation?
If your organisation is incorporated (registered), it will have a certificate of incorporation. Ensure you have access to this certificate prior to applying for funding. You can search incorporated associations and apply for a replacement certificate for a small fee:https://www.qld.gov.au/law/laws-regulated-industries-and-accountability/queensland-laws-and-regulations/associations-charities-and-non-for-profits/incorporated-associations/request-information-about-an-incorporated-association
- check with all existing and prior members – someone may know where your certificate of incorporation is stored
- if your organisation has applied for funding previously, it was likely the certificate was used during the application process – check the location of the application
- if your organisation is not incorporated, you may need an auspice in order to be eligible to apply for funding
- How do you find an Auspice?
Groups that are not incorporated (registered as an incorporated organisation), are usually ineligible to apply for funding. They require a partnership with an organisation that can meet the eligibility to legally enter into a contract with a funding organisation. The auspice applies, received and manages the grant funding on behalf of the group doing the funded activity.Successful auspice relationships, like successful funding relationships, are partnerships built on trust. Successful auspice relationships are usually those where both the auspice organisation and the group doing the activity have aligned values and goals. An example might be an unincorporated Mums and Bubs social group partnering with a Family Support Service to deliver sessions for new parents on how to read to young children.
- How should you cost the value of volunteer hours as in in-kind contribution of your organisation towards a project in a funding application?
Rates for volunteer hours vary from $20/hr upwards depending on the source. The ‘Funding Centre’ values volunteer hours based on ABS figures (2017-2018) at $41.72 per hour. For volunteer hours provided for skilled/professional activities this rate can be increased to the value that the service would cost if volunteer hours were not available.Funding Centre | Assigning value to your volunteer labour
- How do you find out what is required in the acquittal process?
Funding guidelines will usually outline the acquittal process. This may include written reporting of project deliverables and outcomes within expected budget and timeframes and will usually require a financial statement as evidence of funds being spent as per the agreed terms of the contract. Depending on the amount of funding and complexity of the project, an audited financial statement may be required and reporting may need to be submitted in the funder provided template and format. If acquittal details are not clarified in the funding guidelines, they will likely be included the funding contract so that both parties are clear on what is being committed before funding is received.Tip:
- it may be useful to understand the acquittal process ahead of applying for funding to assess your organisational capcity to meet the requirements and any associated costs (eg auditor)
- communicate with your funding partner and seek these details in advance of the application process if they are not clear in the funding guidelines
- always read and reread the funding guidelines before contacting the funding partner with questions that they may have already provided the answers to
- Can NFP House review grant applications and if so, what is the process?
NFP House is happy to help where we can. Contact our friendly team to find out if we can offer a free of charge service or whether we would need to charge a small fee for the support you are requesting.Thanks to our generous funding partners, for their support of our NFP sector, we are often able to support local not-for-profits, at no cost, through funded programs. In this case, we may require that you complete a registration form to receive the funded support.