Open grants and the economics of applications 

With so much competition for grant funding, it’s vital that your submission contains economic analysis that is accurate, relevant and compelling. This is the perfect time to talk to Peak’s Grants Office team about ensuring yours will stand out.

Open grants and the economics of applications 



By Matthew Kelly, Senior Economic Advisor – Grant Office Program, Peak Services 

Matthewkelly resized

Matthew Kelly

The economics of grant applications 

The State and Commonwealth governments regularly announce grant funding programs for local government, industry, and community groups.  A robust economic analysis forms a critical component of successful funding submissions and is often a requirement above a certain funding threshold. Key components include: 

  • An Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) which will measure the direct and flow on job and value add impacts of a project through construction and once operational 
  • A Cost Benefit Assessment (CBA) which will identify the long-term net socio-economic benefits of a project to the community.   

The aim of incorporating an economic analysis is to allow the funding body to compare the relative merits of often diverse projects. With economic and social benefit criteria often accounting for a majority of the weighting used to evaluate applications, accurately quantifying the forecast benefits of a project is critical.  

With many applications being for community-based initiatives, a key challenge is the valuation of non-market (or non-monetary) benefits associated with projects and infrastructure such as water and waste, public realm enhancements, and recreational infrastructure.     

The Peak Services team has extensive experience in overcoming these challenges, having estimated economic benefits for a range of local government and community-based initiatives through a variety of suitable non-market valuation methods, such as: 

  • Hedonic pricing (impact on surrounding house prices) 
  • Contingent valuation (survey method) 
  • Travel Cost Method (CVM) 
  • Benefit transfer (application of benefits from previous relevant published studies).  

Some common pitfalls include rushed submissions which do not allow adequate time with engineering and cost estimates to prepare a thorough EIA and CBA analysis, and the inclusion of unrealistic or unjustified economic assumptions.  

Aside from quantifying the economic and social impacts of an initiative, a quality economic analysis will assist in building a clear and compelling narrative for the project. This will include analysis of key associated demographic and economic indicators to support a project’s case for funding. The economic analysis should consider the interrelationships between the project, key established or emerging industries, and the local community.  

I have found over the past 10 years of conducting economic assessments that in an increasingly competitive funding environment, a comprehensive economic analysis based on robust and justified assumptions makes a significant difference to the success rate of client’s funding applications. 

Open grants relevant to Queensland councils and their communities 

Funding opportunity 

Available funds 

Closing date & time 

Between $2,500 and $20,000 

8 Mar 2021 - EOI / 22 Mar 2021 - Applications Close 

Initiatives, programs and campaigns to help improve the health of all Australians 

18 Mar 2021 12:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Open to the Coordination Units responsible for managing the new rural primary care rotations as part of their role coordinating end-to-end training for rural generalist 

18 Mar 2021 12:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Identified projects are jointly funded between the Department of Transport and Main Roads and council, with a maximum of 50% funding from the Department 

22 Mar 2021 

From $250,000 to $500,000 

22 Mar 2021 2:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Up to $50,000 will be available for Indigenous-owned businesses and up to $100,000 will be available for Indigenous-owned community organisations. 

22 Mar 2021 12:00 am (ACT Local Time) 

From $250,000 to $5 million 

24 Mar 2021 12:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Approximately $40,000 

26 Mar 2021 11:30 pm (ACT Local Time) 

From $500 to $10,000 

28 Mar 2021 

$198 million 

28 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Limit of $350,000 per project over three financial years 

29 Mar 2021 

From $75,000 to $225,000 

29 Mar 2021 2:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

The minimum grant amount is $500,000 and the maximum grant is $25 million 

29 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

$20,000 - $350,000 

29 Mar 2021 11:30 pm (ACT Local Time) 

From $10,000 to $250,000 for eligible business to support trade business event attendance  

30 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

$35 million 

31 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Provides the highest-performing researchers with funding for salary and significant research support package 

31 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Provides funding for research infrastructure, equipment and facilities 

31 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

$10 million available 

31 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Between $5,000 and $50,000 

31 March 2021 

$10 million 

31 Mar 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

The minimum grant amount is $10,000 and the maximum is $25,000 

1 Apr 2021 12:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Investment in local arts and cultural priorities, as determined by local communities, across Queensland. 

2 April 2021 

Supports employers to create jobs to work with people aged 24 years and younger. 

30 Apr 2021 5:00 pm (ACT Local Time) 

Destination event funding – single-year funding for developing events seeking growth ($10,000 - $25,000 per year) and significant event funding – single-year or up to three years of funding for events that can demonstrate a strong track record of growth or growth potential ($25,000 - $100,000 per year).

June 2021 

In the last couple of years, Peak’s team has assisted Queensland councils to prepare over 60 grant applications and has secured on behalf of Council in excess of  $50 million in funding, including $10 million for Indigenous councils in less than 12 months.  

Our Grant Program Office's expertise and experience in grant writing, coupled with our knowledge of infrastructure and communities, allow us to prepare your submission independently, with only minimal supervision and review from Council. 

To learn more about how we can help you secure more grant funding for your council, please contact Senior Advisor - Grant Program Office, Zoe Dark on or 0427 139 988. 

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