Securing community grants

Local Impact enjoys an impressive track record securing grant money to build progressive community-based programs, partnerships and enterprises.

‘Grant writing has successfully attracted significant funding into our community here in the west of Melbourne,’ says Andy Moutray-Read, CEO of Local Impact. ‘The organisations the funding supports then circulates that money throughout our community.’

Local Impact, and its forebear the Inner West Community Foundation, since inception have collectively been awarded $750,000 in grants from:

  • federal, state and local government sources
  • philanthropic bodies including Ecstra, Hobsons Bay Community Fund, Torquay Community Enterprises and the Community Enterprise Foundation
  • companies including Westgate Tunnel Project, Greater Western Water and Financial Planners Association.

Some of the programs into which these funds have been invested include:

  • Community Bike Hub – refurbishing and returning to the community over 500 bicycles, expanding its volunteer workshops and running courses for secondary students on all aspects of bike repair and maintenance
  • Westsider Newspaper – publishing each month local writers who cover the topics and issues that matter most in the west
  • Money Mentor – providing financial literacy programs for local secondary school students
  • The Helpdesk – which supplied vital information to members of the public during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic
  • To-Leap – partnering with community leaders to develop and deliver mentoring and leadership programs into those communities.

That is a great return by any measure. Real money delivering real programs connecting people, resources and ideas to meet social needs. Successful grants range from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars.

The Local Impact team continues to review and refine its grant writing processes to leverage its expertise and share the value within the community.

‘Looking ahead, we aim to develop opportunities around grant writing, such as workshops to mentor community grant writers, and reviewing or writing grants on behalf of our community clubs and organisations in a sustainable way.’

While finding new funding sources is critical, it is not just about the money. The programs must connect people and community organisations, says Andy, with support given to the key individuals and community developers who drive the programs.

‘By increasing the volume of grants received and invested into our community we can begin to deliver self-sufficient social enterprises, and with it a sustainable and resilient community.’

It is an exciting moment for any organisation, perhaps more so for a not for profit, when its vision and the financial means to realise it are in balance. For Local Impact it is a moment well within reach.