Utilising Community Engagement to Boost Grant Success
While grants programs are powerful tools to support social change, developing and nurturing deep community relationships and robust local connections is the key to successful partnerships.
It’s the hyper-involved organisations that understand the true challenges and hopes of their local community. They’re the ones who are tuned in. Through navigating local landscapes for some time, they are trusted, highly collaborative and sought-after partners from a grant programs point of view.
To ensure your enterprise is developing and utilising community connection, here are a few tips on how to boost your grant success:
Often overlooked as a given, developing a strategic, consistent communication plan underpins the importance and impact of what you are trying to achieve. Be transparent and relevant to your audience to ensure they understand the social purpose that governs your decisions.
Community organisations want to partner with large organisations that care about more than their bottom-line. Partnerships should have a mutual benefit, so genuinely listen to what your community organisations need, what their goals are and what challenges they face before offering them something that may be one size fits all. You want to build a reputation as a transparent partner that truly listens.
Identify local organisations you want to partner with and reach out to them. Meet with their leaders to develop a full understanding of what they do and the challenges they face. Let your mutual concerns and missions drive your work together. Look for ways to enhance each other’s impact. When there’s deep mutual trust and respect, resource sharing becomes the next natural step.
With these tips in mind, if you know a change-maker within your community, that one individual who drives positive change, who stands shoulder to shoulder with other community organisations, who gets things done – Nominations for the Westfield Local Heroes close on March 15th. Now is your chance to make a change in someone’s life.
It’s easy to recognise your hero and put them in the spotlight, so why not get started on boosting your community engagement today?
The Westfield Local Heroes recognition and grants program was created to discover, celebrate and contribute to what’s important to local communities and to recognise the role models making positive change. In 2020 Westfield launched Magnolia Place, the first multi-service approach to domestic and family violence assistance and prevention anywhere in Australia. The founder of Magnolia Place is a twice successful Westfield Local Hero. The Westfield team discovered Chris and his organisation, StandbyU, through Westfield Local Heroes. But it was their ongoing relationship with him and their genuine curiosity and desire to help that helped make Magnolia Place a reality. Initiatives such as this wouldn’t have been possible without:
- Discovering the change maker behind the initiative through grants and recognition program.
- Celebrating their achievements and promoting their work to increase awareness within the community.
- Contributing financially to the cause and providing employee engagement opportunities to deepen the relationship and understand the social need.
Individuals are nominated and voted for by their communities, with three successful heroes per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation or group.
Westfield Local Heroes are positive community role models who work in a diverse range of sectors and with a varying degree of experience. They include environmentalists, innovators, community volunteers and leaders, welfare service providers, first responders, essential workers, health and medical experts, educators, social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.