Sports Clubs and Grants

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Grants are a double edge sword for clubs.  Many clubs successfully generate huge amounts of funds through grants while others spend many hours writing unsuccessful grant applications. So what are the secrets to writing a successful grant?

What is a Grant?

Put very simply, a grant is a sum of money given by one organisation to another for a specific purpose.  The critical point here is grants are offered for a specific purpose.

Who Offers Grants?

Grants are provided by a wide variety of organisations but the biggest providers are the different levels of government.

  • Local Government – allocate significant amounts to improving their community facilities while also offering smaller amounts aimed at building community activities and community group capacity through local clubs.
  • State – much of facility development funding comes from state government.  State government will also offer grants to community groups which compliment government policies.  State government funding is also available to assist in supporting events within the state, especially in rural areas
  • Federal – a lot of federal government funding is focused on elite sport and also facility development.

There are a lot of other places clubs can access grants including:

  • Philanthropic trusts and foundations – for example the Ian Potter Charitable Trust or the Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation
  • Many commercial organisations – such as Australia Post Community Grants or Sports Cover Sponsorship Fund

Where do you Find Upcoming Grants?

The best place for sports clubs to find open grants is the grants page of the Sports Community website, Also, our fortnightly newsletter (which you can subscribe to free on the website home page) lists all open grants including those which have just opened and those about to close.

The only grants not listed are those from local government because there are over 550 different local government bodies throughout Australia so make sure you regularly check your local government body to know what grants they offer and when they open.

Applying for Grants

OK, first the reality when applying for grants.  It is rare for clubs to be successful with all of their club grant applications.  It is not uncommon for many clubs’ success rates to be as low as 1 in 4.

Many clubs get really disheartened with such low success rates and stop applying all together, which is such a pity.  While many grants are oversubscribed, we talk to so many local government bodies and other grant providers who lament the fact their grants are undersubscribed.

Create a Grants Team

Most clubs nominate one person to identify and submit grant applications but ideally clubs should nominate a small group of people to work together on grant applications.  The more grant applications your club writes the better your grant applications will become.

Writing Successful Grants

Once you have identified the grant your club wishes to apply for, the most critical part of the application process is to fully understand the objectives of the grant provider.

You must tailor your grant applications specifically to meet the objectives of the grant provider.  If you can’t meet the objectives of the grant provider STOP.  Don’t waste your time applying for that grant.

Other really important points to remember when writing your applications are:

  • Build a relationship with the funder, prior to commencing the application give the funder a call and talk about your project and their objectives.  They will quickly tell you if they are a potential funder while giving you an opportunity to “sell” your club.
  • Get support for your application from the broader community.  Letters of support from influential people within your community will greatly enhance your chances of being successful even if they are not required by the funder.
  • Clearly define and understand what your club will use the funding for.
  • Clearly define the problem or program that requires the funding and the solution the funding will provide
  • Keep your application as short and concise as possible
  • Be creative, you need to capture the attention of the reader, remember they may be reading hundreds of applications
  • Make sure you answer all the questions in the grant application and provide all supporting information requested, such as financial statements, quotes or plans.

Keep Applying

Writing successful grant applications may look very easy from the outside but the reality is grant writing is fraught with challenges.  The more grants your club writes the better your club will become.  Good luck!


Steve Pallas

Managing Director

Sports Community

Telephone: 03 5973 6404