Development with Nick Twining
In our role as Regional Bowls Managers, we are frequently asked about securing grants. These grants come in many forms and from many different sectors. Grants provide clubs with opportunities to do improvements they are not in a position financially to do themselves. With the added pressures of ageing members and declining memberships of clubs around Australia, increased competition within the hospitality sectors and wild weather events, these grant opportunities are welcomed.
Grants aren’t as easily obtained as they once were. As times become tougher financially, the people deciding on who receives money will be looking at a few things. For example:
- Is there a business or strategic plan in place?
- Is the club in a viable position – will it still be trading in three years?
- What opportunities will the money provide?
- Does this cater for everyone?
Strategic/ Business Plan
Separate from our everyday bowls events, a business plan encompasses many factors, including knowing your local demographic and plans to grow your business each year. It gives a clear insight into the collective plan set down by your committee to continually grow your club. This may mean taking a chance and launching a Jack Attack program on a Monday night. Good news from another State shows that a Jack Attack event launched in such a positive manner at one club is now a local LGBTI go to, with a green full of social bowlers enjoying an accepting and non-judgemental environment. A night where the club used to close at 6pm now trades solidly until 9pm.
The importance of formulating a plan like this is critical. A club in my area, Yungaburra, has the best business plan I’ve seen so far. This club is in a small town, but has been very successful in maintaining their business and it is very pleasing to see.
Becoming all inclusive
No divide should exist between men’s and women’s bowls. I visited a club last week that I hadn’t been to in some time, that used to hold a men’s bowls event that filled three rinks at best. I was pleasantly surprised to see this event is now an Open event and had a green full of people. A small step in the right direction.
Ask yourself, is your club wheelchair accessible? Do you cater for people of all abilities? Of all cultures? Does your club have a junior bowls or schools program? The above mentioned groups can open up new lines of grants for running programs and events. This can often lead to new members, financial benefits and media attention.
Making Life easier
The COVID pandemic forced the world to evolve. Has your club evolved? One club in my area has a fantastic website, good social media coverage and a fully automated membership system. This system sends membership invoices out to current members reminding them of renewal. We are currently in a time poor society, so the person here that normally volunteers countless hours is now free to help out with multiple other tasks. For more information on this, feel free to reach out to Marlin Coast BC, they can provide more details.
In closing, the best chance at securing a grant is ensuring you have the following things in place. A business or strategic plan, solid programs in place or plans to do so, quotes for services (if applicable), letters of support, (think outside the square here) and be sure to provide details of how the grant will benefit your club and local community by giving projected facts.
Queensland has the best RBMs at your disposal, do not hesitate to reach out to your local Regional Bowls Manager, we are all too happy to help.
RBM – NORTH QLD
Nick Twining 0429 213 207 firstname.lastname@example.org
RBM – CENTRAL QLD
David Barnes 0429 442 818 email@example.com
RBM – SOUTH EAST QLD Micheal Sorrensen 0447 507 040 firstname.lastname@example.org