Get that Grant: Influencing Decision Makers

Ensuring your grant application has some ‘buy-in’ for your local MPs and interest groups is a very savvy way to bolster its chances of success. Here’s why – and how.

Get that Grant: Influencing Decision Makers


By Zoe Dark, Senior Advisor – Grant Office Program, Peak Services

Grants are commonly used to deliver on policy outcomes from all levels of governments. Every year, billions of dollars in grant funding is announced, applications are submitted, and a portion of them are funded.

Although billions might sound like a bottomless pool of funds and your project might only be a drop of water in that pool the reality is funds are spread across a multitude of policies and departments, and the grant game is very competitive. Dollars are capped and decision makers must accept that the funding of one project may well mean the rejection of another project.

So, besides a solid application, with sound costings, a well-constructed project plan, well narrated arguments, evidence with credible statistics and realistic cost benefit analysis, how do funders determine which projects to fund? Does the squeakiest wheel get oiled? Here are a few tips on demonstrating need, policy outcome achievement, and gaining widespread support for your project. 

Strategy and policy alignment: Don’t just sell the benefits to your target group and/or your organisation. Keep in mind that grants are widely used to deliver government policy outcomes. So do some research and take a wider look at how your project contributes to achieving broader strategies and policy results from a local, regional, state, and national prospective. Clearly reference the synergies in your application or project plan.

Ask your local MP: Does your project help solve an important issue? If so, you could write to or meet  with your local members to request action on this issue. They will often be able to raise your concerns through the media, highlight the issue in a speech at parliament, and move a motion in parliament to seek the support of the parliament. Your MP may also be able to raise your issue with the relevant minister, shadow minister, or portfolio holder. If you approach your MP, be sure to clearly explain what your project is planned to resolve, demonstrate the need of your project and the intended outcomes.

Write to the relevant minister: Write a clear and concise briefing paper, no longer than a few pages, that includes a summary, rationale for why the issue needs action and reference your research. Provide an overview of your solution including the cost and intended outcome and outputs, be clear about what you want from the minister in your recommendations for example, access to funding opportunities, a policy change, raised awareness or an inquiry.

Communicate your project to elected representatives and stakeholders such as Mayors, chambers of commerce and peak bodies: These movers and shakers are likely to network with decision-makers on a regular basis. Provide them with a briefing paper on your project, include project scope, cost, the issues your project will resolve and/or opportunities it will create. Highlight the benefits to your target group and explain how it aligns with their objective.

Open grants relevant to Queensland councils and their communities

Funding opportunity

Available funds

Closing date

Murray-Darling Basin Indigenous River Rangers Grant Opportunity and Guidelines - National Indigenous Australians Agency

$3.071 million

18 May 2021

Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund

$75,000 to $2 million

31 May 2021

Arts Sustainability Fund

From $100,000 to $5 million

31 May 2021

Queensland Destination Events Program

  • Destination event funding – single year ($10,000 to $25,000 per year)
  • Significant event funding – single year or up to three years ($25,000 to $100,000 per year)

1 June 2021

Drought Communities Programme - Extension

  • Tier one  – maximum funding available up to $1 million
  • Tier two  – maximum funding available up to $500,000

1 June 2021


Queensland Destination Events Program

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

Screen Australia Funding

Numerous programs available

1 July 2021

Boosting Business Events Australia Program

Minimum request of funding for $10,000 up to a maximum of $250,000

30 September 2021


Amount varies according to the funding relief measures to local governments and state agencies:

  • Counter Disaster Operations
  • Emergency Works for essential public assets
  • Immediate Reconstruction Works for essential public assets
  • Reconstruction of essential public assets

30 September 2021

Recovery for Regional Tourism program

Varies per region

30 September 2021

DASCS - Domestic Airport Security Costs Support

$90 million

30 September 2021

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) and State Disaster Relief Arrangements (SDRA)

Grants and concession loans to small business, community organisations and local governments to recover from an event where a coordinated, multi-agency response was required, and State expenditure exceeds the Commonwealth’s small disaster criterion, set at $24,000 for 2020-21

Activated as required

Early Childhood Nutrition Grant Opportunity- The Public Health and Chronic Disease Program 

$400,000 to $2.4 million 


Jobs for the picking in paradise this winter

Please see website as there are several elements.

Ongoing at this stage

Ideas Program

$10,000 to $100,000


Landcare Australia - EOI

$5,000 and $15,000

EOI Always Open

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 Zoe Dark on or 0427 139 988.

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