Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Q&A with a Local Council client

KSBNE Author: Kate Sunners

Gladstone Regional Council (in Australia) has been working with Strategic Grants to centralise and streamline their grant-seeking.

We pulled the wonderful Tegan McDonald away from her two roles as Acting Manager Development Assessment and ‘Strategic Grants Specialist’ for a Q & A about Council’s experience of working with Strategic Grants and using our GEM Portal system.

Q: What were the pain points you wanted to solve by engaging Strategic Grants?

Gladstone Regional Council had undergone a significant organisational restructure which (amongst many other outcomes) sought to centralise and make more efficient our external grants strategy. Council wished to establish a database for our grants seeking as well as identify upcoming grants programs and prospect matching. This needed to be supported by an overhaul to the way in which Council undertook all grant funding projects. We did not have the resource in house to be able to easily begin this journey and so sought external assistance.

Q: Tell us about your experiences with the services you've used:

Organisational Grants Program Review Workshop

This was paramount in beginning the GRC centralized grants strategy. This got all the effected parties together so that all elements of the grant process could be considered, and we could better move from previous methods, to a centralized system of grant seeking.

Customised Grants Calendar and GEM Portal

Consolidating our current grants into one location has been pivotal in ensuring we are meeting our funding requirements and deadlines. Without this, there was potential for these to be missed, impacting on funder relationships.

Provision of a grants strategy document to guide processes and implementation of new strategy

Whilst in the early stages, the grants strategy will ultimately assist in the streamlining of our prospect matching, grants writing and application management. The implementation plan will ensure the strategy outcomes are rolled out appropriately.

Q: What features sold you on GEM Portal?  

The centralisation of all Grants project management across all stages from ‘wishlisting’ potential projects to final acquittals. The exportability was a big selling point for GRC to assist with reporting and distributing grants information. The forward planning calendar capability was also a key factor in GRC’s consideration of the Portal. No other service provider offered all these elements, as well as the added benefit of the technical expertise from Strategic Grants.

Q: Can you tell us about any benefits you’ve seen from using our services?

Our Grants seeking process is far more streamlined, with data centralised and so much easier to access. Monthly and quarterly reports that used to take many hours to collate and format are now far more efficiently created. We can pull a snapshot of our grants landscape in ‘real time’ within minutes.

Q:  Can you tell us about anything that has exceeded your expectations since working with us?

The ongoing support in taking GRC through our Grants Strategy and processes has been extremely beneficial. Whilst providing the Portal service is one element, the ability to touch base with the team at any time to clarify any issues or provide additional support has been over and above our original expectations. GladstoneCityCouncil Image1

The team at Strategic Grants works with Local Councils across New Zealand and Australia to grow their external grants revenue and build the capacity of local community organisations, enabling them to identify and successfully apply for grant funding.  

For more details – check out the Local Councils information page here