Author: Kate Sunners
Weasels. They can be adorable (or terrifying, depending on your stance on rodents). But one weasel that’s never good is the weasel word.
Weasel words are broad, sweeping statements without any real meaning or specificity. Commonly used by politicians. Really commonly used by one particular political ‘leader’ whose hue is not unlike that of the sun he directly stared into during an eclipse.
After you’ve written a grant application, make sure you do a sweep for weasel words: words like ‘helps, supports, improves, gains’ that are not followed by any specificity.
An example (weasels underlined): ‘Our organisation supports many refugee children to increase their confidence in school.”
How many refugee children? Many doesn’t give us any specificity. What supports? And, if you’re saying your project outcomes are something like ‘increased confidence’ you need to show what an increase in confidence looks like.
A less weasely example: ‘Our organisation supports 300 refugee children per year to increase their confidence at school, measured by engagement with literacy and numeracy activities, classroom discussions and social play.’
Now our weasels are no longer weasely as they are followed by specificity!
Weasels be gone!
Author: Jo Garner
It seems like just last week that I was blogging about the 2017 Perpetual IMPACT grant round! After what seems like too short a timeframe (can it really be that 12 months have passed?), here we are again ahead of the annual grant round that certainly sees our little team busier than ever!
The deadline for the 2018 Perpetual IMPACT grants is Friday 8th December. Tip number 1! Start getting organised NOW for this application!
While not a long application form, the robustness of the questions and the depth of information required to ensure a strong application does take planning, consideration, time and effort.
As the focus of Perpetual IMPACT applications is largely on organisational performance and capability, the questions on this form differ from others that may ask questions that primarily relate to the project for which funding is being requested.
In the words of Perpetual, 'We encourage high quality outcomes by identifying organisations that can maximise their impact through:
- good governance
- solid leadership
- strong strategy
- an outcomes focus.'
When you are getting together information for your application, you need to be doing so with these things in mind:
- Ensure you have substantiated and demonstrable evidence to fully answer each question, remembering that you need to illustrate your organisation is competent, capable and measuring entire performance, in addition to that of the specific project for which funds are being requested.
- Do your strategic priorities for the next twelve months accurately reflects your organisation’s strategic plan? And does the project you are applying for funds for align with these objectives?
- Questions on KPIs for organisational efficiencies relate to quantifiables that may include, by way of example, growth in income and/or reduction in expenses, staff retention and other general operating efficiencies.
- Questions on KPIs for organisational effectiveness relate to how well the organisation is achieving its mission – often captured by qualitative and quantitative data. This is an outcomes question. HOW are you making a difference?
- Have you identified the real risks and external challenges to your organisation’s operations and longevity, AND to your project, and what plans you have in place to reduce the impact of these risks?
- Make sure you’ve sought quotes and exact wage rates for your budget. The amount being requested should be an accurate figure that correlates exactly with the figures in your budget.
- Ensure you have hard evidence for your project’s need. Look at your own data, local government data and ABS data, in addition to other needs data that is available for your sector.
- Make sure you know what your projected outcomes for the project are and how you will measure them! Have a plan for your project’s evaluation before applying! (Best practice is to do this for every project).
You can preview the application form on the Perpetual website , where you'll also find the Perpetual webinar recording of feedback on last year's applications, which is a great way to understand Perpetual's expectations of applications.
Best of luck with your application and don’t forget to avail yourselves of our training both online and in person at our Grant-Seeker Workshops if there are elements of this you don’t understand. Our Advanced Webinar on Evaluation and Social Impact will help with this last dot point especially!
PS. If you're struggling with time-management and need some tips on de-stressing, check out our team's best tips on keeping a cool head in peak grant season here)
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