Federal, State and private funding sources for playspace projects.

20/07/2013 4:04
During  recent consults I’ve had discussions with different people about funding of projects. Projects could mean the purchase of books to foster an understanding of natural concepts, the redevelopment of part or the whole of a playspace, adding edible gardens, water tanks or even a fairy garden.

Two things became evident from my conversations. Firstly there isn’t a great awareness of the availability of external funding for these projects e.g. payments grants, bequeathals,  etc. And the second is those people who are aware of some of them,don’t usually disseminate the information because they believe they are competing for a limited pool and the more people knowing lessens the chances of them being successful.

So, I’m going to list a number of links to Federal, State, Corporate and Private funding sources, for projects similar to those listed above, that I know of and hopefully you can add to my list ?

The quickest way to find a suitable Federal Government grant is to use the Federal Portal – The Australian Government Funding Grants Directory.

Each State has different funding for a different variety of projects, usually based on their economic state, perceptions of areas which require fostering and developmental and community lobbying. For an idea as to what is available from your State try The Grants Assistance Finder 

Local Council grants and programmes are more intensely focussed on regional need but like the State Government can focus on areas which they consider require fostering and developmental. A good example is a City Council which operates in a municipality adjacent to where I live. They have a community grants scheme, rebates on rainwater tanks, they provide free mulch delivery and native plant seedlings to any Early childhood institution within their area, they also provide free seed saving workshops and subsidise the cost of compost bins and worm farms. Our council DOESN’T. Sometimes its just the luck of the draw, sometimes it’s a matter of stimulating awareness of your needs before the council responds (usually publicly because it’s great press for them)

In this category you will find corporate entities providing grants from their own profits (possibly as a way to offset their tax liabilities and garner community support ) and administering grants and bequests on behalf of clients. The ANZ small grants project is an interesting example of  the later. They have at least three grants that provide funding of between $2000 and $20000 for projects relating to environmental education, sustainability and children’s education.

A number of centres I have worked with in the past have derived funding from local community organisations like the Lions Club and the Rotarians as well as the Variety Club (see their guidelines) and have obtained donations of plants and materials from large hardware and garden chains. There is also a scheme, ClubGrants, wherein any registered club who derives significant income through gambling has to set aside a portion of the income for distribution to local charities or projects.

Finally, sometimes the opportunity to apply for grants & funding can relate to you as an enitity e.g. if you are a private centre there are a number of government funding programmes relating to business establishment and development or if you are keen to innovate on paper you can talk you way into a grant. eg. BUPA provide grants to promote well being, thus children + nature + healthy eating = Grant.  If you are looking for a funding source that fits you perfectly you may be waiting a while. Sometimes it pays to make the grant fit you.
An interesting tool I have used in the past as a director searching for funding is a register of grants available in Australia produced by Grant Search. I cant vouch for its latest editions but it was exceptionally useful when I used it. Other organisations that may be of interest are Philanthropy AustraliaGrantslink, Junior Landcare and Community Builders.

Can you add to this list ?

Tess Michaels