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Grants & Funding

What is a grant?

“A grant is where a sum of money is given by an organisation to another for a specific purpose.”

The key piece of wording here is the grant is provided for a specific purpose.

A common mistake clubs make when applying for grants is that their application does not fit the purpose of the grant so it becomes automatically ineligible.


It is really important that you and your club take the time to understand what the grant provider is trying to achieve, what important grant information they are looking for and then tailor your application to meet their needs.


Why do organisations offer grants?

Organisations will offer grants for many reasons. The most obvious reasons will relate specifically to sport and include:

  • Club development, leadership and governance training and development

  • Uniforms

  • Travel for competitions

  • Facility Improvement

  • Increasing participation

Sports clubs are also able to apply for grants which may not seem to have a direct link to the sport but with a bit of creative thinking clubs can successfully apply for grants that seek to:

  • Increase community development

  • The inclusion of minority groups such as people with a disability or CaLD groups

  • Economic development – these are great grants if you are considering running a major event that will benefit the wider community

  • Development of community facilities and infrastructure


If your club has a need then they will almost certainly need a grant.


One thing to keep in mind though is that grants are generally only open for a short period each year. It is absolutely crucial to allocate a person in your club who has the specific responsibility of monitoring grants and ensuring you don’t miss out on applying for grants that are suitable for your club.


Grants can be very competitive

Many grants go unallocated because of a lack of applicants. However, many grants are highly sought after.

It is also not uncommon for the larger grants to have hundreds or even thousands of grant applications. Sometimes, no matter how good your application is, you may not be successful.

For example, in its first year the Australian Sports Foundation’s Giving4GrassRoots grant had more than 900 applications. On the other hand, they only gave out 34 grants, so there were a lot of good applications that missed out and didn’t include important grant information.


So, while understanding that grants are highly competitive, the challenge is to give you and your club the best opportunity while minimising the time and most importantly the stress involved in creating your grant application.


You will quickly see the actual completion of the grant application doesn’t take that long, more time is often taken collating supporting material. Once you have everything together the first time it becomes a lot easier after that to submit grant applications. The more grant applications your club makes the better it will become.


Who provides grants?

Another common mistake is that grants are provided only by government and while it is true that the major providers of grants for sports clubs are the three levels of government:

  • Local councils

  • State governments

  • Federal government

Other organisations offer grants, such as:

  • Other government agencies

  • Philanthropic trusts and foundations

  • Commercial organisations

Other grant programs and resources


Key grant programs and resources that support sport and recreation projects include:

Image by Michael Longmire
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