Top Tips

Understanding your project

The first step to when considering a grant application is to ensure that you know exactly what project or proposal involves. The acronym SMART can is a useful tool to be able to identify and communicate projects and proposals:

S – Specific

Make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve and why.

Specific details could include:

  • Who will deliver the project?
  • What will the project cost?
  • Where will the project be delivered?
  • Why is the project important and who will benefit?

M – Measurable

Define exactly what the outcome will be once the project is delivered.

It may be an economic, environmental, social or cultural outcome.

A – Achievable/Actionable

This is how the project will be undertaken, and who will be involved at what point in time.  Developing a project plan will often assist in understanding this component, as will ensuring all parties involved are capable of delivering the project (eg capacity, skill set, availability).

R – Relevant

Identifying how the project meets a demonstrated need,  or aligns with a strategy, of the funder.

T – Time Bound

This requires you to be clear about the timeframe over which the project will be delivered.


Getting your project ready for grants

  1. Identify the grant funding source.
  2. Determine your eligibility.
  3. Consider how the project aligns with the funder’s goals and objectives.
  4. Be able to succinctly communicate your project.
  5. Uniqueness – know what makes your project stand-out.
  6. Know what supporting documentation is required to submit the grant application, and planning ahead if documents are needed from other parties. This may include obtaining letters of support, in-kind contributions, quotes or cost estimates or concept designs/plans.
  7. Prepare a project plan, risk management plan and project budget.