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Maximise funds with expert grant advice

2 min read

According to Janet Michelmore AO, Director of the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health, the greatest challenge for most not-for-profit organisations is accessing sufficient funding to develop projects and carry out their core activities. This is particularly so if the organisation is not a household name, or wants to develop an innovative project.

So not surprisingly, and just like many other not-for-profits, accessing adequate funding is the number one priority for the Board and Executives of The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health.

Whether the funding is being sourced from government or non-government entities including charities, private individuals or commercial organisations, a strong business case needs to be made as to the importance of the project in question, how the funds will be spent, and what benefits will be delivered to that beneficiary’s constituency.

It is also important to recognise who and when to approach for funding. With so many funding avenues to explore and limited resources, charities such as the Jean Hailes Foundation are seeking expert advice.

Michelmore says that the foundation’s relationship with ANZ Trustees is very important.

“ANZ Trustees can help us successfully apply for grants from their trusts. Michelmore says “The philanthropy team at ANZ Trustees helps us identify which of our projects is most likely to appeal and they ask the hard questions that we need to be able to answer in preparing our applications.

“It is only at this stage that we write our business case and in this way we are not wasting time on preparing applications for programs that won’t attract the funding and we are not wasting time on applications that don’t match the benefactors’ criteria.”

Michelmore describes ANZ Trustees as “an outside pair of eyes”, and “critical friend”. After all, it can only be of benefit to not-for-profits to have someone at hand who can step back from their projects and offer an objective point of view. With the added benefit of having someone who knows what’s going on in the community, using a funding body with proven grant expertise can only prove to be an asset for any not-for-profit that has a new project requiring financial back up.

In 2008, ANZ Trustees generated over $75 million for charitable distribution and made grants to 1,600 Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations. They believe that effective philanthropy should be structured, well managed, prudently invested, and effectively spent, to maximise community and social benefits.

The best advice Michelmore would give other not-for-profits is to develop relationships with their funding bodies. She points out this is how most major charitable organisations approach their work for the best results.

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