Planning for Funding Success

It’s planning time in the Peak Grant Program Office.

Planning for Funding Success


It’s planning time in the Peak Grant Program Office

Mount Isa City Council Successful in highly competitive BBRF 100 Years Celebrations 2023

Mount Isa City Council Successful in highly

competitive BBRF 100 Years Celebrations 2023

As many councils are busy refining their priority project lists and eagerly waiting for funding announcements from some of the nation’s largest competitive funding rounds, Peak’s grants team is busy refining systems to ensure their Councils’ 2022-2023 priority projects have the best chance of being funded. 

From policies, procedures, project scoping templates, and tailored funding strategies, the grants office has developed a library of resources designed to assist the Council’s maximise funding opportunities and keep funders happy post-funding agreement. 

"We have been working closely with Peak Services in relation to our grant writing and submissions for funding in recent months and have had great success, the team are professional and have prepared submissions with a very high success rate. Quality work." - Carpentaria Shire Council

Projects that haven’t been fully scoped, costed, planned, and co-ordinated are let down by lack of evidence and rushed applications. We have skilled writers that understand the level of detail and evidence required in today’s competitive funding environment. We are working with our partner councils to get their priority projects investment-ready. 

Having a project plan outline ready for each of your priority projects is critical to demonstrating your projects are investment ready and being able to respond to grant program requirements to a high standard. 

Rarely can you piece together a grant application on an ad hoc basis that ticks every box an application needs to be competitive.

Peaks Grant Program Office Leader Zoe Dark says having a 3 to 5 year priority projects plan is essential and she offers some great tips to kick start your focus on getting projects grant-ready. 

“From the concept stage, identify and track what needs to happen to make your vision investment-ready. The key is to start planning and reach out early! Our team can target appropriate funds and quickly assess the readiness of each project."  Zoe Dark, Peak's Grant Program Office Leader

Then, when it comes to application time our efforts are focused on demonstrating how your project will deliver on its promise and the funder’s priorities…no time is wasted chasing information.  

For example, community engagement and support.  We may know the projects will help solve a critical issue and are well supported in the community, but how can we evidence this better than your competitors? Everyone seeks letters of support, but can we evidence meaningful collaboration or buy-in from partners? Is there a better way to demonstrate support through a different medium such as a survey and/or participation?  

As competition for funds, skilled labour and materials are increasingly becoming a constraint we need to clearly demonstrate capacity to deliver. Good planning is necessary!

We can also help advocate for project needs with briefing documents and audit published corporate documents to ensure your priority projects are evidenced as a key action to achieving your vision.

“Completing a pre-grant project checklist on all your priority projects is a great start to better grants management and more success!  Zoe Dark, Peak's Grant Program Office Leader

Here’s an example of our pre-grant project checklists

Hinchinbrook Shire Council Successful
 in Building Our Regions (Round 5) Business Case for Multicultural Indigenous Precinct


Hinchinbrook Shire Council Successful

in Building Our Regions (Round 5) Business

Case for Multicultural Indigenous Precinct

1. In Scope and Out of Scope 

  • What will this project do, what won’t it do? 

2. Outcomes and benefits

  • What are the intended outcomes and benefits?

3. What is the need?

  • What problem/s will this project solve or what opportunity will this project provide
  • What evidence do you have to support this such as – a feasibility study, social and economic statistics, news articles, or academic research. 
  • Is this project highlighted in your published plans?

4. How will you do it?

  • Outline each step from developing tender documents, procurement, construction/program delivery, and evaluation.

5. How long will it take to deliver each milestone? 

  • If you have a good idea of how long it will take to deliver each milestone you can easily adapt to funders’ timelines when applying for grants 

6. Who will do it

  • What skills and experience do the project team have to demonstrate capability?
  • List examples of similar projects successfully delivered in the past
  • Will you be using contractors, how will you engage them, and are they available?
  • When tailoring your plan for a grant application Consider seasonal influences and market trends like the wet season or competition for materials. Remember funders don’t necessarily want to see who can deliver outcomes the fastest, they do want to see that your plan is achievable, and you have considered and incorporated project constraints into your plans

7. Where will this project take place? 

  • Add site address and GSP coordinates 
  • What evidence do you have to be able to use this site? Consider building/land approvals, applications, title deeds, and cultural heritage requirements

8. Budget 

  • These days most infrastructure grants require detailed costing estimates from Quantity surveyors or quotes. 

Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council Successful in Building Our Regions (Round 5) Business Case for Ranger Station

Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council Successful

in Building Our Regions (Round 5) Business

Case for Ranger Station

  • Ensure you add in a good level of contingency to show you are managing the risks of escalating costs and unforeseen budget overspends. While it’s important to demonstrate good value for money it is more important the project is achievable and won’t be left unfinished due to budget constraints. 
  • Will you or any other partners contribute cash or in-kind to this project, what evidence is there to support this, such as 
    • Letters of confirmation of contribution 
    • Copy of budget
    • Copy of Council resolution 

9. What are the risks and how will you manage them?

10. Stakeholders

  • Who are they and what is their interest in the project? 
  • Do we have evidence of their involvement and/or support? 

11. Evaluation method? 

  • How will you know if your project was a success, add ways to measure and evaluate the project’s success for example if the project’s intended outcome was to reduce youth crime, ensure you compare available data pre and post-project deliver, set a goal such as reducing youth crime in the area by 20% by year two 
  •   Increase referrals to youth support services by 25% by year one

12. How will you communicate your success?

  • Develop a brief communications strategy that highlights the communications needs of the projects and acknowledges the funder 

13. Regularly review the above steps in collaboration with your grants team to identify information gaps and seek to address them before announcement of funding. 

If you need assistance identifying grants or writing an application, contact our Grant Program Office by email to Zoe Dark

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