To survive and thrive in a changing world, a not-for-profit organisation must develop a fundraising plan that rests on the seven pillars of fundraising: Grants; Donations; Crowdfunding; Membership/Alumni; Events; Sales; Community-Business Partnerships (Sponsorships).
Many organisations run into trouble because they only have one or two sources of funding, or because they only have two or three people really involved in raising money. If any of the sources or any of the people go away, the organisation will likely find itself in trouble.
The key to sustainability is to pull from as many pillars as possible at once.
There are many dozens (probably hundreds or even thousands) of ways that a not-for-profit organisation can raise money, but in essence all of these can be boiled down to fit under one of seven headings:
- Community-Business Partnerships (Sponsorships).
Your aim should be to draw income from as many of these pillars as possible.
You can do some internet searching and ringing around to government and community development officers and peak bodies, but that's really just a stop-gap. If you want a steady stream of information about grants, delivered to you in an easily digestible format, on a timetable that suits your needs, you need to become a member of the Funding Centre.
A Funding Centre subscription gives you access to Australia's most comprehensive grants database, plus customised email alerts and a monthly summary newsletter, along with access to password-protected areas of the Funding Centre website.
GiveNow is Australia's first and best giving platform, providing donation and social fundraising tools for not-for-profit organisations. Like the Funding Centre, it's an enterprise of Our Community.
You can set up cause pages on GiveNow to collect donations directly from your donors. You can also encourage your supporters to create a CrowdRaiser™ - a page that individuals or teams can set up to raise money for your organisation. These are typically for events like birthdays, fun runs or personal challenges.
Our Community's Institute of Community Directors Australia has produced a series of relevant compact courses, providing practical online training that can be completed at your own pace.
We've produced a handy index of the permits and permissions relating to each state and territory in Australia. Here you can find out what you need to do in order to stay inside the law when collecting donations from the public in your state, along with details about raffle permits and other fundraising restrictions.
About the Funding Centre
The Funding Centre is the best place to go to get information on grants and fundraising in Australia.
It includes Australia's most comprehensive grants database, as well as help sheets and tools to help not-for-profit organisations become more successful fundraisers.
The Funding Centre's newsletters, help sheets and tools really do work to help you build a stronger, more sustainable organisation. The online database is Australia's most comprehensive and accurate, and the EasyGrants newsletter has long been the most-loved tool of Australian grantseekers of all sizes and types.
But don't take our word for it - you can read what other not-for-profit organisations have told us about how our tools have helped them on our Testimonials page.
The website and associated tools and newsletters are an initiative of Our Community, a world-leading social enterprise that provides advice, tools and training for Australia's 600,000 community groups, as well as services for business, government and the general public.
No. We're a privately held social enterprise that provides a number of valuable services to the community sector, as well as to businesses, government and the public.
We believe that a business can be both commercially sustainable and community focussed. In fact, we know that to be true – we've been around long enough to prove it!
The amount you're charged will depend on what type of organisation you are (not-for-profits generally pay less) and how many users you want to include in your subscription.
Yes, you sure can. We offer a 14-day free trial of the Funding Centre so that prospective subscribers can explore the features and benefits of subscribing.
Regrettably, we're not able to provide free subscriptions. In fact, most of our subscribers are from small, volunteer-based organisations.
Like other Our Community initiatives, the Funding Centre is built around a self-sustaining social enterprise model. Our paid products and services help to subsidise the free or reduced-cost ones. We aim to reach as many groups as possible so we can make our tools as cheap as possible.
You can access the free information available on any Our Community website at any time, but our paid products are paid products – they're generally discounted for not-for-profits, but you can't get them for free.
Subscriptions entitle users to 12-months access to the Funding Centre. We do not provide pro-rata refunds should you require less than 12-months access. If you are leaving your role and your subscription was paid for by your employer, you can contact us to request the subscription be transferred to another employee.
We welcome the submission of information from grant providers. We will use the information provided to create a listing for your grant programs in our database, accessible to Funding Centre subscribers.
You can email your grants program documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there are any gaps in the information you provide, a staff member will be in touch.
You can also submit your grant information online at our submissions page here.
No, Our Community does not provide grants. We have an online grants database and newsletter service which lists grants currently available.
Using the Funding Centre website
Recover your password (you will be taken to the Our Community website).
If you can no longer access the Funding Centre, it may be because your subscription has expired. You can check your subscription by following these steps:
- Login to Our Community at this address: https://www.ourcommunity.com.au 'My Account' (box at top right of page)
- Click 'Renew your newsletter subscriptions'
- 'Expired' will appear in red if your subscription is no longer current
To ensure security and continuity, we'll redirect you to the Our Community website whenever you need to provide us with secure information (such as bank details to purchase a product or book training).
You will also need to go to the Our Community site whenever you need to change or reset your user name or password.
To view the grants database, select the magnifying glass icon on the left-hand side navigation bar. Search by keyword, provider, location, category and/or eligibility and click “Go” to search. You can also leave the “Search Grants” box blank and click the “Search” button to find all open grants in the database.
The Funding Centre allows subscribers to set a profile so that you receive information about the grants that are most relevant to you. Your profile determines what grants are sent to you in your monthly newsletter, and how your grant search defaults are set up (we refer to these collectively as your grants list).
This function was designed in response to feedback from grantseekers who said they didn't wish to wade through pages upon pages of grants information; they told us they wanted less but more targeted information.
Of course, if you'd like more rather than less, or you're not sure what sort of grants you're eligible for, you can set your profile parameters as wide as you like and take in all the grants that are available.
Below are some explanations about what the different parameters will mean to your grant search results.
- Grant Categories (“What grant categories are you interested in?”)
Some grants fall clearly into one category only, while others may be relevant across a number of categories. To ensure you get to see all the grants that you might be eligible to apply for, we nominate one major category for each grant on our database, as well as one or a number of secondary categories where relevant. Your grants list will include any grant that has been given either a primary or secondary categorisation that fits your profile (though in the EasyGrants Newsletter or BusiGrants Newsletter it will appear under the primary category heading).
- Grant restrictions (“What type of organisation are you?”)
Most grantmakers specify what sort of organisations or entities can apply for their grants. Some are available only to not-for-profits, some only to businesses, some only to local governments, some only to not-for-profits with deductible gift recipient status, some only to schools, and so on. To ensure that you only see the grants that you're eligible to apply for, we allow you to specify the type of organisation that you are. If you tell us that you're a not-for-profit without DGR, for example, we'll exclude from your grants list those grants that only DGR-endorsed not-for-profits can apply for.
- State/s and Local Government area/s (“Where do you operate?”)
Tick the state or states in which you operate. You may choose more than one state. We'll exclude from your grants list any grants not available in your state (we automatically include any grants offered nationally, so long as they fit your other profile settings). You may also nominate a local government area or areas. By doing so, your grants list will automatically include any grants available to organisations operating only in those areas (for example, those provided by your local council). If you don't specify a local government area, you won't be shown grants offered only in that local government area.
- Alert frequency (“How often should we email you about changes to grants?”)
Some people are happy to receive their monthly EasyGrants or BusiGrants newsletter with a summary of all the grants they're eligible to apply for, others want to know as soon as there's a change to a grant they're following or that fits their profile. You can request daily or weekly email alerts, or you can ask to never receive email alerts. Your alerts will include major changes (e.g. new opening or closing dates) to any of the grants that fit your profile or have been identified as one of your favourites. Alerts will be usually be emailed to you overnight.
Any changes you make to your profile settings will remain in place until you log in and change them again. You can change them any time you like, and as many times as you like.
If a grant is not showing up you need to click “clear” in your refined search as the categories you have selected in your initial set up might not match the categories selected for the grant.
To add colleagues to your organisation's multi-user subscription:
- The administrator of the subscription needs to login to the Funding Centre
- Click on the down-arrow next to “Dashboard”
- Select "My Subscription"
- Click on the “Manage Subscription” button
- Enter login and password again
- The page will list everyone on the subscription, with the administrator at the top
- To remove a current subscriber from the list, next to the subscriber's email address click on “Remove” in the action column
- To add a new person to the subscription, click on the blue “Add New Subscriber” box found on the right side of the page. In the pop-up box, enter first name, last name and email address then click “Add”. The system will automatically send the new subscriber an email informing them they have been added to the Funding Centre subscription.
- The administrator of the subscription needs to login to the Funding Centre
- Click on the down-arrow next to “Dashboard”
- Select "My Subscription"
Your subscription type will appear next to the words “Subscription Type.”
Clicking on the star next to a grant name will add that grant to your dashboard.
See below for more information about how the dashboard works.
You can search for a grant being offered by a specific funding provider by selecting from the drop-down “Provider” menu on the grant search page. You can also search by keyword, and filter by the following:
- The region that the grant is being offered
- The categories that the grant belongs to
- The applicant eligibility requirements
You can refine your search using the filters on the left-hand side of the grants search page. You can sort those grant results by the following:
- Grants most relevant to you
- Amount being offered
- Grant name
- Grants with application dates closing soon
- Grants most recently updated in the database
Login to your Funding Centre account and visit the My Settings page. Ensure that you have at least one local government area selected as well as the state or territory in which you operate. You can choose up to five local government areas. Once you've hit save, your preferences will be updated. We will only notify you about grants available to organisations located in the local government area(s) you have selected, as well as the state/territory(ies) selected. Nation-wide grants are automatically included.
You can adjust these settings when you conduct a grants search by clearing the search results and starting again with the local government areas you wish to search within selected.
Using Funding Centre Alerts and newsletters
The EasyGrants Newsletter and BusiGrants Newsletter are the PDF newsletters you receive attached to an email once a month that includes a summary of the latest fundraising tools and news, plus a list of all the currently available grants that fit your profile. It's the new and improved version of what we used to call the Funding Centre Scoop. All Funding Centre subscribers receive either the EasyGrants Newsletter or BusiGrants Newsletter, depending on their subscription type.
Funding Centre Alerts allow you to keep track of changes to grants in between newsletter editions. You can opt to receive them daily or weekly (or not at all). Your alerts will consist of a text-based email with a brief summary of any major changes made to active grants that fit your profile or that you have identified as a “favourite”. You can change the frequency of your alerts by altering your profile settings.
The newsletters are sent in PDF format – the most common filing system on the internet – and you will need Adobe Acrobat to read them. This can be downloaded for free at the Adobe website here.
If you would like your newsletter to be converted to Word document format please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
The EasyGrants Newsletter, BusiGrants Newsletter and Funding Centre alerts are available only to paid-up subscribers. Subscribers have a log-in and password that allows them to view more information on the website. Those without a paid subscription are not able to log on to the website.
We don't permit sharing of passwords or accounts – if you require more than one user you should take out a multi-user subscription.
Some grants fall clearly into one category only, while others may be relevant across a number of categories. To ensure you get to see all the grants that you might be eligible to apply for, we nominate one major category for each grant on our database, as well as some secondary categories where relevant.
Your personalised newsletters will include any grant that has been given either a primary or secondary categorisation that fits your profile, but it will appear only under its primary category heading.
You can opt to receive alerts daily, weekly or never. Your settings will stay in force until you change them again. You can change them whenever and as often as you like. Changing the settings for your email alerts will not affect the frequency of your newsletters.
EasyGrants Newsletter is a customised newsletter. If you have only selected one or two categories in your settings your newsletter will be limited.
All Funding Centre subscribers receive either a EasyGrants Newsletter newsletter or BusiGrants Newsletter, sent via email as a PDF attachment, roughly once a month.
You can opt out of receiving EasyGrants Newsletter at any time by making a change to your profile setting. On your account homepage, select "Newsletter" in the left-hand column. Untick the box next to "Receive EasyGrants newsletter (PDF) in the email".
You can opt out of Funding Centre Alerts – the daily or weekly plain text emails that provide a summary of major grant changes that fit your profile – at any time by making a change to your profile setting.
The alerts you receive are determined by your profile settings and your favourite grants (you can make a grant a "favourite" by clicking the star next to the grant name in your search summary). If you're not receiving the right kind of information, you should review both of these.
We aren't able to exclude specific grants from your listing (we try to keep things simple) – if they fit your profile and favourites they're in; if they don't they’re out.
Yes, there are grants available to help. Check with your local council - most offer sports grants to help with individual or team travel costs. State government and federal government also have grants available throughout the year. You can also check with state sports institutes and the Australian Sports Foundation.
There are a number of grants available for disability programs to encourage all-abilities programs, sports, education, and equipment. These are offered by private organisations/foundations, as well as local, state and federal governments.
Yes, there are grants available. In the “advanced search”, choose “Start Up” category to find what's on offer.
Windows users can use screen-reading software to read the EasyGrants newsletter PDF. Two of the most commonly-used are JAWS and NVDA.
Using the Funding Centre dashboard
The dashboard allows you to curate, store and manage all of the grants you are interested in, in one place. You can use the dashboard to track grants you find in the Funding Centre database, as well as grants you add manually and grants you import from a SmartyGrants account.
You can use the dashboard to store notes and documents about your grant, set yourself tasks and keep track of key milestones.
When you log in to your Funding Centre account, you will be taken directly to the dashboard. If you are already logged in, you can access the dashboard by clicking the purple 'Dashboard' button at the top-right of the page or clicking on the 'home' icon in the left-hand navigation bar.
You can connect your Funding Centre account to your SmartyGrants account to bring your grant records across automatically. Here's how:
- Log into your Funding Centre account and navigate to your dashboard
- Click the 'Connect to SmartyGrants' link on the right-hand side of the page (below the 'Dashboard' header). You will be taken to a SmartyGrants login page
- Sign in with your SmartyGrants credentials (note: these may be different to your Funding Centre credentials)
Once you have signed in, your SmartyGrants applications and acquittals will appear in the Funding Centre table.
You only need to connect to SmartyGrants once. Once you're connected, your Funding Centre dashboard will automatically sync every time you log on. Any new grant interactions you have in SmartyGrants (e.g. if you apply for another grant or submit a report) will automatically appear on your dashboard.
SmartyGrants is Australia's most-used and best-loved grants administration system, and, like Funding Centre, is an enterprise of Our Community. To find out more, visit SmartyGrants.
You can archive grants that you no longer want. To do so, select the Options drop-down button next to the grant that you would like to hide, and select 'Archive'. You can un-archive grants at any time.
- Use the grants search tool to find a grant that is of interest.
- Click the star icon to the right of the grant name to add it to your dashboard.
The system will prompt you to assign the grant to a project by giving it a Project Title. You can add or edit the Project Title later.
Once you have added the grant to your dashboard, you will be taken to the 'Manage Grant' page, where you can enter further information about the grant manually.
- Click the 'Add Grant' link at the top of the 'Grants List' page. This will take you to the 'Add Grant' page.
- Once you have entered all of the required information, click 'Create' at the bottom of the screen.
- You will be redirected to the dashboard homepage, where your grant will have been added
You can edit or update the status of a grant by clicking the 'Options' drop-down button in the right-hand column of the table and selecting 'Manage grant'. This will direct you to the edit page.
In the top left-hand side of the dashboard homepage, click the purple 'Current' drop-down button and select 'Archived'. This will take you to a page showing all grants you've previously archived. To reinstate a grant to the dashboard, click the black 'Reactivate' button in the right-hand column.
To go back to all of your current programs, click the 'Archived' drop-down button and select 'Current'.
You can either:
- Search for the program by name using the 'Search current list' tool at the top of the dashboard page, or
- Use the sorting icon at the top of each column to change the sort order by Project Title, Grant round/Funding Provider, Round Status, Closing Date, Status, Amount Requested or Task.
Go to the 'Manage Grant' page of the grant that you want to record a task against. Underneath the 'Tasks' heading, click the 'Add New Task' button. Here you can give your task a title, due date and description. You can mark the task as complete by selecting the checkbox to the right. You can assign yourself as many tasks as you want.
You can control which tasks are shown on your dashboard. Select the 'Show in dashboard' checkbox for the task that you want to show on your dashboard underneath the 'Task' column.
For your changes to be recorded on the 'Manage Grant', you need to select either the 'Save Changes' or 'Save & Close' buttons.
The timeline feature allows you to keep track of key milestones. One timeline is created for every grants record. Any time attached to your grant (opening dates, closing dates, tasks, etc) is automatically attached to your grants record timeline. Some of these times are controlled by you, some are fed in from SmartyGrants or Funding Centre.
You can access the timeline by clicking on the 'Options' drop-down button in the right-hand column of the dashboard and selecting 'Timeline'.
This refers to the amount of money you are hoping to receive or have indicated you have applied for through this grant.
You can add unlimited attachments to an application. The file format must be in DOC(x), XLS(x), JPEG, PNG, PDF and TEXT format. The largest file size you can attach is 10 MB.
Each time you reload the dashboard it will automatically sync with your SmartyGrants account.
No. Once you have connected the dashboard to your SmartyGrants account, you are not able to disconnect.
No, you can only connect your dashboard to one SmartyGrants account.
You must click the 'Save Changes' or 'Save & Close' buttons to save any changes you have made.
If you haven't saved, you can click on 'Cancel' button to discard your changes or refresh the page to go back to your original record, but there is no 'undo' button – once a page is saved your changes can't be reversed.
You can sort the grants in your dashboard in alphabetical or numerical and ascending or descending order. Click on the category field that you want to sort by. To switch the order, click again.
Archived grants cannot be deleted from the dashboard. An archived grant will remain hidden on the archive page unless you choose to reactive it.
The Funding Centre Insights page allows you to see all of the tasks you have set yourself in one place. Upcoming, completed and overdue tasks appear alongside round application due dates and status of corresponding grants. The charts shown at the top of the table provide a visual overview and can be used to filter items in the table by task type and grant status.
As an example, you may want to see only overdue tasks for grants that you have applied for. You can filter out all other tasks by selecting the overdue section of the tasks chart, and the applied section of the grants chart. The corresponding table will filter out all other tasks and grants, except for ones that you have applied for and have overdue tasks set against.
This may happen if you haven't set any tasks for a particular grant. The table only displays grants that have associated tasks set against them.
The table can be filtered in two ways:
- By clicking on a section of the chart. This will filter out all other sections and only display information about the selected section in the table below.
- Click on the heading of the section that you want to filter from the table, which is located at the top of the donut chart. A strike will appear through the heading and it will be filtered out of the table below. To reverse this action click the heading once more.
The grants calendar is an essential tool for keeping your grants organised and your tasks on track. It includes grant deadlines and key dates related to your grant activities, such as upcoming & overdue tasks.
When you add a grant to your dashboard it will appear in your calendar. The same goes for when you remove a grant from your dashboard.
You can filter the calendar by round open or closing date, EOI open or closing date and task status. Select the tick box located underneath the category that you no longer want to see to remove it from the calendar view.
The iCal feed allows you to pull the information from the Funding Centre grants calendar into another calendar such as Google, Microsoft Outlook or Mac calendar. Activating the feed means key dates will be in your external calendar so you don't have to be logged in to Funding Centre to know about your grant activities and updates.
Select the Activate button at the bottom of the calendar to activate the iCal feed. You will be given a URL which you can then import into your chosen email calendar. Once you have activated the feed, follow the instructions on the calendar page to proceed.
Your grant information will remain in the external calendar after your subscription expires, however the information will remain static and will not be updated with new round information. If a user renews their Funding Centre subscription following an expiration period, any grant information that was previously added to their external calendar will once again update automatically through the dashboard.
The iCal feed can be disabled once it has been activated. To deactivate, click on the Deactivate button at the bottom of the calendar. If you deactivate the feed, it will not remove any previously transferred data from your grants calendar but will prevent any new information from syncing.
No. The iCal feed is one way from the Funding Centre grants calendar to your external calendar. To edit a record in your external calendar you will need to edit it on the Funding Centre dashboard.
On the Grants search page, enter the details for the kinds of grants you'd like to search for using the grants search tool. Then click the "Saved Searches" button at the top of the search box, and select "Save Search". Enter a word or two to identify the search description and click "Done". You can save multiple searches and locate them by selecting the "Saved Searches" dropdown button.
You can remove a saved search by clicking on "Saved Searches" and selecting the red 'x' located next to the saved search.
Copyright, disclaimer, privacy and security
We worry about security as much as you do. We take all reasonable steps to ensure the security of the personal data we hold from such risks as loss or unauthorised access, destruction, use, modification or disclosure of data.
We want to ensure that all of our customers can interact with us with complete confidence online.
- We've created a secure transaction environment for commerce on the internet. Our e-commerce system uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to ensure your experience is safe, sound and secure at all times.
- TLS/SSL locks all information passed from you to us in an encrypted envelope. This makes it almost impossible for it to be intercepted by an unauthorised party, as long as your browser and local network support the use of encrypted data transmissions. .
- TLS/SSL is the system used by all reputable e-commerce sites. The industry standard for encryption technology, TLS/SSL is compatible with all major browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera and more. .
If you have comments or questions regarding our security, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Any time we ask for financial information from an individual or an organisation we use industry practice and protocols. All such information is encrypted when transferred over the internet using certificates from Thawte, an industry leader in internet safety. Your browser will show a green bar with our name "Our Community Pty Ltd" whenever an encrypted TLS/SSL connection is in use, which confirms that your data is being transmitted securely and you're transmitting it to us.
All account and profile information located on our website is password-protected to provide additional security. All transactions conducted on our site are treated with the privacy and respect that all such transactions deserve.
For more information on our security measures, refer to Our Community's Privacy/Ethics policy (see below).
If you have comments or questions regarding our security, please contact email@example.com
We're committed to protecting your privacy. Establishing a trusting relationship with our users is both good manners and good business.
If you have comments or questions regarding our privacy statement, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our template policies may be reproduced and altered without restriction by any not-for-profit community organisation for any non-commercial purpose.
Any Our Community and Funding Centre online help sheets that are not taken from a password protected area of the website/s may be used or reproduced* for any non-commercial purpose as long as:
- You obtain permission first by emailing email@example.com – please include information about what sort of organisation you are (e.g. not-for-profit; consultant working for a not-for-profit; government agency; etc.), and what you wish to use the information for. Please also provide a copy of or link to the material you would like to use; and
- Any print article you create contains a small credit line "courtesy of www.ourcommunity.com.au", and any online use contains a direct link to the www.ourcommunity.com.au website; and
- Reproduction or use of Our Community's original material by a government body or consultant does not involve wasteful duplication – we prefer that you link to the material on our website, rather than moving it to your own.
*We recommend that you link to rather than reproduce our online materials. We update our content regularly to take account of legislative changes and to refine and improve content. If you copy the information, you take a snapshot of information available at that time; if you link to it, you'll ensure you always have access to the latest version. Please note the disclaimer below.
Important Note: We generally do not grant copyright clearance for reproduction/use of any of our materials for written/online guides that are produced by consultants for a fee. If in doubt, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: Information provided through the Our Community website and publications is intended as a guide only. Neither Our Community Pty Ltd nor its staff or representatives are responsible for any actions taken by, or losses suffered by, any person on the basis of, or in reliance upon, any information in the newsletter, or for any omission or error in this information service.
The EasyGrants Newsletter, BusiGrants Newsletter and Funding Centre Alerts are copyright Our Community Pty Ltd.
No part may be reproduced by any process other than for the purposes of and subject to the provisions of the Copyright Act. EasyGrants Newsletter, BusiGrants Newsletter and Funding Centre Alerts are available only to Funding Centre subscribers and must not be redistributed for any purposes other than discussion among a not-for-profit fundraising committee.
Peak bodies and local, state and federal government agencies are advised that Funding Centre newsletters and alerts are not to be redistributed through any membership structure.
Like many other Our Community initiatives, the Funding Centre is built around a self-sustaining social enterprise model. Our paid products and services help to subsidise the free or reduced-cost ones. We aim to reach as many groups as possible so we can make our tools as cheap as possible.
Our newsletters take a lot of time and knowledge to prepare; the grants landscape requires daily monitoring, the fundraising articles and help sheets are researched and written by experienced fundraisers and journalists.
For these reasons, copyright will be rigorously enforced.
If you know someone who could use the information provided by the Funding Centre, please encourage them to become a member.
Yes. Feel free to spread the love (just not the newsletters and email alerts).