Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Hints and Tips

  • Please make contact with us for a conversation about your work. Our office is open all year round and we welcome the opportunity to talk about your work in the community. We recommend doing this before a grant round opens.
  • Enquiries for all grant levels is necessary and should be made well in advance of the opening day of the grants round.
  • Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole – if your project does not easily fit to one of the focus areas of a program, or our funding criteria, you would be better to use your time applying to another trust or foundation with funding criteria that are more appropriate for your project. If you are not sure, please submit an enquiry via our Contact Us page.
  • Avoid acronyms – assume we don’t know what they mean. The only exception is your organisation name, which should be written in full the first time. Then an acronym is acceptable.
  • Ensure that your budget is accurate and reflects the full cost of the project including the value of in-kind support.
  • For grants seeking funding over multiple years, make sure the timeframes for annual milestones align with the timeframes in your budget as successful applicants will be asked to report on milestones in order to receive their next grant instalment.
  • Once our grants staff have given you the go ahead, you have at least three weeks to submit your online application. Please don’t leave it to the last day.
  • If you are going to include letters of support, make sure they are not identical! If they are genuine about supporting your work, they should be able to write the letter themselves.
  • Read the case studies and check the grants database from recent years to get a feel for what we fund.
  • The online application form has strict word limits. We recommend that you don’t generalise, but include specific facts and figures, for example “this project will benefit five communities and approximately 5,000 people” rather than “this project will benefit many communities”.
  • While we recommend drafting your application in Word, avoid using bullets, quote marks and tables are they don’t work in the online form.
  • Write in clear simple English, please avoid jargon.

We also have a Library and References page with useful information under the Resources section of our website.

If you are unsure about any part of the grants process, please visit our FAQs for further information.

You can also send us an email or call (03) 9999 3000