How to Win the Lottery

Forget the $60 million Powerball jackpot this week – I know of a much larger prize pool with much better odds!

According to Philanthropy Australia, trusts and foundations in Australia collectively give away more than $500 million in grants each year.  The chance of successfully obtaining a grant is far greater than the 1 in 76 million chance of winning Powerball – so why are so many organisations not going after a slice of the pie?

The most recent Giving Trends statistics suggest that around 24% of organisations in the third sector are not currently applying to trusts and foundations.  These organisations seem to have the view that applying for grants is too much of a gamble.  But what they don’t realise is that grant-seeking is really a game of skill, not chance. By honing your grant-seeking skills and taking a more strategic approach to trust and foundations, it is possible to minimise effort and maximise reward.

OKP is well-known in the sector for helping organisations to get more out of their trust & foundation programs.  Today we wanted to give you an insight into our approach and shares some tips designed to improve the success rate of your grant applications.

Do your research Thoroughly researching trusts & foundations and grant opportunities will ensure you don’t waste time applying to organisations whose funding priorities don’t match your needs.

Play by the rules Make sure you follow the correct process for applying and adhere to deadlines.  Include all the information that has been requested and keep to the point when answering questions.

Quality over Quantity –  The more carefully you select which trusts and foundations you would like to apply to, the more likely you are to be successful.  Channel your time and energy on preparing a few high-quality, well-researched proposals.

Be clear and compelling It is important that you are very clear about your funding need and what you hope to achieve.  While there may be hundreds of reasons your project needs support, try and stick to a few of your most compelling key messages.

Get personal While many trusts and foundations have an online application process, building personal relationships with staff and trustees will increase your chances of success.  Every application should start with a phone call to the organisation you are applying to confirm details and discuss your proposed application.

Ask for feedback Ask someone (or a small group of people) to read through your proposal and give you feedback on the clarity and strength of the proposal (and point out any typos).

Looking to grow your fundraising income in 2018 and beyond?
O’Keefe and Partners can assist your organisation with:

Direct Mail Appeals
Appeal Letters
Fundraising Strategy
Major Gift Programs

For more information about the fundraising and development services provided by
OKP Philanthropy & Marketing, please phone 1300 721 799 or email

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