BLOG POST 10:
COMMUNITY APPROACHES TO MENTAL HEALTH
Initial Fundraising & What To Use Funds For
Funding is often a tricky thing to consider when looking to improve mental health outcomes across a community. However, it is important to start considering this early on to ensure funds are available to support action plans and priorities as they are developed.
Initially small ideas can be generated to raise funds such as:
- A sausage sizzle
- Car wash day
- Event costs for an event
- Long table lunch for Mental Health
- Quiz Night
However, as we all know these things take a lot of time and preparation to run. While this may be ok initially, we want to look towards long term funding that will support the development and implementation of a Community Wellbeing Plan.
Some KEY CONSIDERATIONS that the team should give to funding as they move forward include:
1. The need for a treasurer – to balance the books and keep records of any grants, and distribute funds as required.
2. Explore becoming an Incorporated Body – this will help with future grant applications and funding requests
3. Set up a bank account for the team to use for Action Team funds for events and action plans
4. The employment of a dedicated grant writer (on a contractual basis) as soon as possible – This seems like an outlay of cost but is absolutely critical to the success of funding. Having a dedicated grant writer means that time can be spent sourcing potential grants, developing relationships with the grant providers and skills can be refined and improved. In my first Community Action Team that I formed we hired a grant writer and outlaid $1000 which we barely had. It really was a last ditch effort to get some funds in order to make things happen. A year and $350 000 worth of grants for our team later and we haven’t looked back!
5. Get on the notification list for grants. You can do this by searching for grants and being added to a newsletter or searching for govt grants and adding a notification when key words in a grant come up. Of course if you have employed a grant writer they can do this for you. This ensures that you don’t miss out on important grants as they become available.
6. Ensure that you keep taking photos, keep records and receipts and ask for feedback when you carry out grant funded activities. This makes it easier when acquittal time comes and puts you in a good light for future grant opportunities from that association.