With the Perpetual 2022 IMPACT Philanthropy Application program now open, we’re sharing our top Perpetual tips to follow when you write your application.
As the focus of IMPACT Philanthropy applications is largely on organisational performance and capability, here is our list of the best and most relevant information that you should be pulling together now.
And remember – always follow the funder’s guidelines and ensure you are using the most recent application form. And submit your application well before the 3 December deadline!
Our top tips
- Check that your mission statement is worded consistently across your communications (website, social media, published documents etc) and your Perpetual application.
- There are separate questions about mission and objectives. The answer about objectives should not just be a restatement of mission, but rather provides a chance to explain your core purpose and activities.
- KPI questions are typically not well answered. Key Performance Indicators need to be specific. That means they should have numbers like % increases. If you’re struggling to formulate KPIs – think SMART:
How well is your organisation tracking against its Mission? (Effectiveness) This question relates to how well your organisation is achieving its mission.
This is more outcomes related, often captured by qualitative AND quantitative data. That is, how are you measuring the changes your organisation is affecting? They may include things like:
a. Increased participation, awareness etc.
b. Changes in behavior, understanding, attitudes.
c. Improvements in conditions
d. Systemic changes
Requires information about how well you are using your resources (whether that’s staff, finances etc.). Efficiencies generally relate to the quantifiables that may include:
a. Growth/reductions in income and expenses
b. Diversification/growth of revenue streams
c. Staff retention
d. Number of occasions of service delivery to target group/cause
e. Other operating efficiencies include clear policy and processes across all areas of the business etc.
How are you performing against your KPIs?
You are required to give EVIDENCE of how your organisation is performing against all the KPIs you provide. These responses must provide evidence via presentation of data and evaluation results. i.e. figures, percentage growth or decline, details of progress, any qualitative results and feedback etc.
If performance has diminished in any area, give a brief explanation. You’ll need both qualitative and quantitative data and evidence to demonstrate performance.
- External challenges facing your organisation should not solely be “competition for funding”. Be specific about the issues specifically affecting your sector. For example, policy changes, sectoral impacts etc i.e. the introduction of NDIS will present challenges for disability organisations.
- Risks – You’re going to need information on the risks affecting not just the project but your organisation as a whole. All organisations face risks. Perpetual wants to know that you have identified the real risks to your organisation’s operations and longevity and what plans you have in place to reduce the impact of these risks. You must highlight at least three risks and mitigation strategies in your answer.
Likewise, with the question asking for the project’s risks. All projects have risks. Perpetual wants to know that you understand what might go wrong and that you have contingency plans in place. This also speaks to your experience in project management. e.g. an ageing database jeopardises the quality of data and future fundraising programs.
- The project you are requesting funds for should align with the strategic objectives you’ve outlined for the next 12 months (earlier in the application).
- Ensure the response to the question relating to the need and rationale for the project gives concrete evidence that demonstrates exactly why this project is necessary. This might be statistics (reference your sources), ABS data, your own evaluation in the field etc.
- Reminder: Outcomes and outputs are often confused in grant applications, resulting in an application where output answers are provided where information on outcomes is required.
Outputs are the direct deliverables i.e. activities run, instances of program delivery, purchases of equipment, capital works etc.
Outcomes are the changes or benefits that happen as a result of those outputs.
When the application asks you to outline project outcomes, these are the changes that will occur through the delivery of the activities and project outputs.
This has previously been a two-part question, also asking how you will measure these outcomes. Make sure you answer both parts!
- Make sure your project does not start before the Perpetual grant distribution date (30 June 2022).
- Budget – The amount being requested should be an accurate figure that correlates exactly with the figures within your budget that is provided later in the form. Ensure figures are based on real quotes and exact wage rates etc. Perfectly rounded figures of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 etc. give the impression you’re estimating rather than preparing accurate project budgets based on real quotes and real costs.
As with all grant budgets, income and expenditure columns must be equal.
We also recommend reading the newly released 2021 Australian Philanthropy Insights report if you are considering an application for the next funding round.
Good luck, and don’t forget to check out our training library for webinars on grant writing best practices!