There is a range of grant funding options that your group can consider to help you achieve your goals. Funding options are continually changing so make sure you get the most up-to-date information from the funding source you are considering.
Landcare and Landcare-related groups may have access to grants from all levels of government, corporate sponsors and philanthropic organisations. There are some quick tips on applying for grants below, however more information can be found in the Resources section of the Gateway including:
Quick tips on applying for grants
- Set group priorities to give you a clear idea of the kind of activities the group is interested in and may need funds for.
- Find out what grants are available: What is the aim of the grants program? Does it fit with your group’s priorities? How much can you apply for? Do you have the capacity to carry out a project of that scale? If successful, who will be responsible for the administration, on-ground delivery, and reporting of the project?
- Appoint a sub-committee and include a member who is familiar with grant-writing, or who has good writing skills.
- Start early so your application is well thought out and written.
- Read the guidelines carefully and be clear on how your project aligns with them.
- Talk to the grants program coordinator about any issues or queries you have about the grant. The earlier the better as the more time the coordinator will have to talk to you – coordinators are often swamped with last-minute enquiries.
- Assume the assessors knows nothing about your group or project. Be clear about the who, what, where, when, why and how of the project and have an external person review the application to see if it clearly describes your proposal. Don’t use acronyms.
- Be thorough with the budget. Assessors will usually have a good idea of what goods, services and in-kind contributions are worth. If an item is unusually expensive, explain why (e.g. fencing more costly due to difficult terrain).
- Where required and appropriate, demonstrate landholder/community/partner support, through letters of support and community consultation.
- If successful, always acquit your project properly, delivering and reporting on time and within budget, otherwise you could jeopardise your future funding chances. If you’re having trouble delivering the project, get in touch with the grants program coordinator as soon as possible.
- If unsuccessful, ask for feedback. This will help you with your next grant application.
Common grant funding sources
Catchment Management Authorities and Melbourne Water
This should be your first port of call for the Victorian Landcare Grants but they may also include other community environmental grants delivered through the CMAs.
The Victorian Government grants directory enables you to search for government grants and assistance within the State of Victoria, including the Victorian Landcare Grants.
The National Stream of the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme has funding opportunities for groups.
An enterprise of the Our Community website, the Funding Centre has information on grants as well as crowdfunding (see below) through the Pozible platform.
Crowdfunding is an online fundraising campaign for a specific project. It differs from traditional fundraising in a number of ways, but the most significant is the importance of setting a target: the fundraiser sets a target, people pledge an amount – usually in exchange for some form of reward, but sometimes just as a straight donation – and the amount pledged/donated is remitted to the fundraiser only if the target is reached.
Philanthropic and Corporate funding
There are a number of not-for-profit and philanthropic organisations that provide grants for community environmental groups and projects. Many banks and large companies have corporate social responsibility policies and provide grant funding to community projects.