Expanding the grants officer's role can have many positive knock-on effects. When a grants officer's job entails improving the knowledge and skills of grantseekers and building community capacity, the potential benefits include improved understanding of community needs, better quality applications and acquittals, and more funding from more sources flowing into the community.
What is it?
A grants officer holding an expanded role ("grants officer plus") typically aims:
- to formally share and spread knowledge (many grants officers already do this informally).
- to empower communities and build community capacity.
- to improve awareness and knowledge through advertising and promoting available grants, whether they are offered by the grants officer's own organisation or other organisations.
- to improve grantseekers' skills, thus improving their chances of winning grants.
- to provide advice to grantseekers (via workshops, meetings or the phone) on identifying grant opportunities, writing grant applications and writing grant acquittals.
- to increase the funding flowing into an area.
What are the nuts and bolts?
A "grants officer plus" typically takes on some or all of the following tasks:
- circulating bulletins promoting grant opportunities.
- providing hands-on assistance with grant applications.
- facilitating workshops timed to coincide with funding rounds. Workshops might cover searching for funding, identifying funding programs, planning projects, developing budgets, writing grant applications, and managing projects.
- encouraging grantseekers to "think outside the box".
- suggesting "do's and don'ts" and "tips and tricks".
- providing advice on the evidence needed to support applications.
- providing hands-on assistance with acquittals.
- referring grantseekers to other sources of relevant information.
- organisational development.
- asset mapping.
Where has it been done successfully?
Some grantmakers are already putting "grantmaking plus" into action:
- in geographically isolated areas, smaller communities, and rural and regional areas.
- in areas where a growing population challenges authorities' abilities to meet funding needs.
- in areas where skills are low.
- in areas that struggle to attract funding and support.