Funding and grants available to clubs
By Lesley Bates
Part of the Regional Bowls Managers’ role is to source grants of interest to our clubs and districts. One of my favourite grants is the Community Gambling Fund, as this is available five times a year and each round has about $10 million on offer. Initially set up when poker machines were introduced to Queensland, nowadays the funding comes from general revenue but the original name has been kept.
Eleven of my clubs in North Queensland received over $300,000 for a variety of proposals in round #106 such as playground facilities, kitchen renovations, replacement of shade covers, air-conditioning, lighting, a POS system, an upgrade of the green and equipment.
The support from the help desk staff when you call 1800 633 619 is superior and your call is answered within three rings. The setup of the portal is easy. All you need are current financials, certification from your bank and general details about club contacts and the club’s function. I have prepared a check sheet so if these details are readily to hand, the portal can be set up in 30 minutes.
The next round #110 will be open until the end of June so there is still time to apply. You will need quotes for budgetary purposes but they do not have to be sent with the application. This is why it is important to have a strategic plan in place, I call it a wish list of things to be done within the club. Having quotes on hand makes grant applications easy and your builder/supplier can easily update these quickly when they are needed.
Bowls Australia and Bowls Queensland are happy to provide references (three referees are required). These references do not need to be in writing, so check personally with your referee and send a follow up email about the grant and what you are proposing. Politicians are a great source of support. Your club should establish a relationship with their State, Federal and Regional Council representatives and welcome them to the club for a visit. When the grant is assessed you might be asked for extra information. Successful grant recipients are announced five months after the closing date and you cannot proceed with any work or purchases until this is received. You will be required to document your spending, this is referred to as acquittal and you will be told of this due date. If there are delays in the project, you can request extra time to finish. Regional Councils run grant writing courses and many clubs employ the services of grant writers, so there is help available. It is a great source of joy when my clubs or districts have been successful. Grants play an important part in helping future- proof our clubs so whilst they are available, make sure you are “throwing your hat in the ring”. I wish you success in your endeavours.