Churches of Christ in Queensland Grant Applications

Winning Commonwealth community care grant application

Bidding for funding grants in the community care space is a highly competitive process, made even more challenging when applications have tight word limits. BidWrite assisted Churches of Christ in Queensland to win Commonwealth Home Support Programme Growth Funding, by fully articulating the organisation’s credentials using tightly focussed key messaging.

Who are Churches of Christ in Queensland?

Churches of Christ in Queensland is one of Australia’s largest and most diverse not-for-profit organisations, operating services throughout Queensland and Victoria, with the support of thousands of staff and volunteers. Active in the areas of children, youth and family services; retirement living; home and community care; and residential aged care services, it provides Christ-inspired care and compassion to vulnerable people at different stages of their life journey.

How do you position an organisation in a crowded industry?

Churches of Christ in Queensland had identified an increased demand for community-based aged care services in the Townsville, Wide Bay and Darling Downs regions, particularly for people living with dementia. A successful grant application would provide funding to enable the large not-for-profit to provide additional tailored care and support, helping more seniors to live safe and well at home.

Importantly, it would also mean that Churches of Christ in Queensland could broaden their service offerings in these geographical areas, providing clients with a ‘one stop shop’ to accommodate their various care needs.

The 2019-20 Commonwealth Home Support Growth Funding represented an important funding opportunity. However, as noted by Debbie Sporer – General Manager Community Care, “the application for community care grants tends to be a highly competitive process. Our application needed to clearly define our points of difference and the 1000 word limit demanded a succinct but comprehensive articulation of our credentials.”

Due to the significance of the grant application, Churches of Christ in Queensland wanted to take every step to ensure a successful outcome. However, as their in-house bids and tenders consultant was busy managing other funding applications they decided to approach BidWrite to assist them in writing the submission.

From the outset, Debbie was impressed, stating that “during our initial selection process, we found BidWrite very easy to deal with. We were also reassured by their obvious skill at developing and writing submissions. They clearly articulated their track record of winning applications and the value they could add to the process. We found BidWrite to be responsive and timely in their interactions with us and this was a key requirement as the grant submission required a quick turnaround.”

How the winning submission was created

Churches of Christ in Queensland applied to deliver ten service types across the Townsville, Wide Bay and Darling Downs regions. With the application limited to 1000 words, this required decisions about where and how to focus the messaging.

After an initial kick-off meeting, Nicola Nixon, BidWrite Bid Consultant, said “our expertise helped us to work with Churches of Christ in Queensland to create an overall framework for responding to the submission and identifying the most critical themes to incorporate.”

The submission focussed on three key messages:

1. Client Needs

As not all evaluators would be completely familiar with the range of services, geographic regions or the complicated care needs of older people, one of the most critical messages to include was why the selected services were needed in these regions.

Further, the regions covered by Churches of Christ in Queensland’s application either had no current provider or were already struggling to meet demand. Clearly articulating this need from a client perspective provided assessors with a compelling reason to award a grant to the organisation.

2. Methodology

In addition to the services themselves, articulating how they would be delivered was also important. With word limits precluding a detailed delivery methodology for each service, BidWrite and Churches of Christ in Queensland instead emphasised the organisation’s Positive Wellbeing Model of Care framework that underpins their service delivery. This described the processes supporting the way clients are cared for and the initial training and preparation of the carers themselves.

3. Benefits and Experience

As well as the services and their delivery, it was also important to reinforce why Churches of Christ in Queensland should be a chosen provider. To distil this, BidWrite and Churches of Christ in Queensland worked together to itemise the benefits the organisation could offer, identify key experience-based skills and provide specific evidence for each.

For instance, due to the public funded nature of the grants, compliance and reporting were key considerations for evaluators. By detailing Churches of Christ in Queensland’s experience with providing similar reporting for other organisations, this demonstrated their competence and experience in meeting compliance requirements.

Through adopting a focussed key message approach, BidWrite and Churches of Christ in Queensland were able to craft a succinct, but compelling submission.

The Result

Churches of Christ in Queensland were successful in their submission, securing a six-figure grant for 55% of the service types applied for, across two of the three regions of interest. Importantly, they are now able to provide critically needed services in these regions.

This result delighted Debbie, who says that “the growth funding will enable us to better respond to changing community requirements and individual needs of older people. By extending our existing program and expanding our footprint in areas with the greatest need for the services we provide, we can help build a seamless age care system for the future and ensure more people get the assistance to which they are entitled”.

And when asked about their BidWrite experience, Debbie was again positive, commenting that “BidWrite was very responsive. They did what they said they’d do, when they said they’d do it. After such a positive experience, we would absolutely work with them again.”