The Funding Centre is the best place to go to get information on grants and fundraising in Australia.
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.
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, including the free help sheets provided on all our websites, and the GiveNow online fundraising services. We aim to reach as many organisations as possible so we can make our tools as cheap as possible.
The creation of Our Community in 2000 was made possible through the passion and inspiration of the founding team of staff and volunteers, and the social capital investment provided by a forward-thinking group of social investors. We are sustained by our ongoing commitment to contribute to the health and vitality of the Australian community sector, and we are delighted to be assisted in that aim by a number of leading groups, businesses and individuals.
Some of the Our Community Group’s other offerings include:
- Our Community – Knowledge, tools and training for Australia’s 600,000 not-for-profit organisations on essential topics including marketing and media, insurance, leadership, advocacy, technology and finance.
- GiveNow – Australia's first and best giving platform, providing no and low cost donation and social fundraising services to Australian not-for-profits.
- Institute of Community Directors Australia – Accredited training, short courses, advice and tools for not-for-profit sector board members and those who support them.
SmartyGrants – A unique suite of grantmaking services, including an groundbreaking online grants management system, data intelligence, and grantmaking intelligence.
The Funding Centre has strong linkages with all these other Our Community Group initiatives. You can read more about Our Community here.
The EasyGrants Newsletter and associated grants database was created in 1995 as the first consolidated grants newsletter in Australia and went on to become the very first product of the Our Community Group. While other grants newsletters and websites of varying quality have come and gone, EasyGrants has endured, unlocking essential funding for not-for-profit organisations of all sizes across the country, while providing a financial backbone for Our Community throughout its formation years and beyond.
The online Funding Centre seeks to lead the fundraising knowledge revolution in Australia through the provision of low-cost or free information and tools, including online and hard copy materials and face-to-face training.
The Funding Centre, as with the Our Community Group as a whole, is evolutionary as well as revolutionary. We have a number of staged developments in train.
Money management is imperative
Fundraising is just the first part of financial literacy. To make the most of their fundraising dollars, all organisations must become more efficient and effective money managers.
Money is good
They may not work for profits, but not-for-profit organisations do need money. Fundraising for most not-for-profit groups remains narrow, limited, ad hoc and precarious. Grants are good, but a mixture of grants alongside many other sources of funding is much, much better.
Information is power
All not-for-profit organisations, regardless of their size, type or political might, should have easy access to timely, practical, jargon-free information about all relevant funding opportunities.
Technology is good
From online and telephone-based donations to crowd-sourcing to powerful new communication tools, the technological revolution has offered unprecedented opportunities for not-for-profit organisations to improve their fundraising capabilities. Many of these new tools are cheap. But access to good-quality information and skills can be expensive. Grassroots groups must not be locked out by these barriers.
Small is good
Small to medium not-for-profits punch above their weight when it comes to creating stronger, healthier communities. Most are entrepreneurs of the highest order, yet many are engaged in a soul-destroying struggle for the basic funds they need to operate. Accessible training coupled with timely and relevant information can help to mitigate this problem.
Funders must radically change their structures and practices
From tax laws that disadvantage some of the most effective community builders to clunky application processes to disrespectful monitoring practices, there is so much that needs to be fixed when it comes to providing funding in Australia. We have laid out our arguments for grantmaking reform in the Grantmaking Manifesto.
Teach them to fish
In order to be strong and sustainable, not-for-profits need to stand on their own two feet. They should not be spoon-fed information about funding and grants, but instead given the tools to develop their own knowledge and expertise. Every not-for-profit organisation in Australia (and every business and government entity that needs funds) should have or be given a Funding Centre subscription – a vital tool in helping them to seize control of their own financial destiny.