The challenge  

Guide Dogs Queensland empowers people living with blindness or low vision to seek freedom and independence through a suite of programs and services uniquely tailored to meet their personal, professional, and life goals.  

Their busy philanthropy team identified the need for a sustainable, effective grant-seeking program to support the organisation’s many program areas, to bring in critical dollars and add value to internal resources. 

The team were also finding that the number of grants they wanted to apply for was simply too much of a stretch, given their incredibly busy and active fundraising strategy. 

Guide dog in harness

Our solution 

By chatting with the Guide Dogs Queensland team, we understood that applying for grant funding was a vital part of their fundraising strategy. We identified that the team were missing some of the fundamental elements to ensure they could find the right grant opportunities, and that they were using precious time to search for grants. 

We proposed: 

A customised grants calendar (Grants Expertise Management System - GEMS) to easily identify grant opportunities relevant to Guide Dog Queensland’s diverse suite of programs. 

The team at Guide Dogs Queensland also opted to use Strategic Grants’ service for monthly management. This service offers a variety of elements, including: 

  • ongoing monthly mentoring, 
  • grants best practice knowledge exchange, 
  • advice on specific applications and whether to apply for funding or not, 
  • strategic advice on project planning and matching to grant opportunities, 
  • monthly refreshing of their grants calendar, and more. 

We also (very happily!) offered our writing services, to develop strong applications when the philanthropy team was particularly pressed for time. 

“The added value and support Strategic Grants’ monthly management process has provided has significantly boosted our internal capacity and capability.”

Kerry, Philanthropy Manager – Major Gifts & Foundations for Guide Dogs Queensland

Their impact 

One year on, Guide Dogs Queensland’s grant-seeking strategy is still going strong. Their customised GEMS calendar has identified hundreds of suitable grant applications for them to apply for, and the team has seen major grant-funding success from leading Australian grant-makers, including securing extra funding for school camps and salary funding for an assistance desk.  

“The added value and support Strategic Grants’ monthly management process has provided has significantly boosted our internal capacity and capability and, in particular, given us the time and confidence to apply for a number of grants which otherwise would have been too big a stretch,” said Kerry, Philanthropy Manager, Major Gifts & Foundations. 

“The Strategic Grants team has also provided invaluable support in assisting with our application writing. This has enabled us to submit a number of high-quality applications for a wide range of complex projects in record time. 

“We are looking forward to, and confident of, a highly successful 2021-2022 thanks to the ongoing support and expertise of Strategic Grants.” 

Two people smiling, one has vision impairment.