Getting a grant that will help boost your business or kick off a project that’s dear to your heart is the most amazing feeling. And to be honest, it’s a feeling that doesn’t happen very often because the competition for receiving a grant is intense.
Even the best ideas and best grant writers aren’t often successful in getting a grant.
But if you’ve never applied for a grant before, it’s even harder. You may not know what’s expected or even how to get started with your grant application.
And because it can take A LOT of work to apply, you want to make sure that you’re giving yourself every chance of succeeding in getting that grant.
Today’s guest on the OBL podcast is Sandy Blackburn, from Social Outcomes. She’s an expert in researching, designing, costing, implementing, measuring and financing impact. And she has helped evaluate a lot of grant applications.
And Sandy knows that the first step towards even having a chance at being successful is to understand whether what you do to help your customers is actually working. Whether it’s successful in generating short and long-term success in terms of achieving the desired outcomes.
In the interview, Sandy shares with us a key tool for measuring successful outcomes, the ToC or Theory of Change framework.
The Theory of Change framework has been around for a long time (it used to be known as Program Logic), but not that many people know how to use it effectively … especially when needing to show that your business is making a difference (which you need to do in grant applications).
In the interview we talked about:
[1:53] What a Theory of Change is
[3:03] How Sandy got started working with the whole Theory of Change concept
[5:14] The logic behind Theory of Change
[11:21 The novel idea that businesses should be measuring how successful they are at helping their customers achieve their desired outcomes
[12:07] Things to think about before starting the grant application process
[17:02] Where to start if you’ve never done a grant application before
[19:52] Key steps in planning the grant application process
[23:40] Figuring out how much money to ask for
[25:17] Why you need to include a dollar amount for measuring your outcomes
[27:06] The most common mistake grant applicants make and how to avoid it
[29:35] How you can work with Sandy on a 1-to-1 basis to develop a Theory of Change for your business
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Sandy has worked across all sectors to create positive social impact both locally and internationally over the last 35 years. She is the founder and Managing Director of Social Outcomes, one of Australia’s leading for purpose businesses that specialise in researching, designing, implementing, financing and measuring impact.
Sandy has served on the Australian Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Global Steering Group since its inception in 2013 and is the first female Non-Executive Director of the largest philanthropic foundation in Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of the Freemasons.
Through her work in social innovation, international development, impact investing and social enterprise development, Sandy has developed a pragmatic approach to impact design and measurement in a wide variety of organisational settings. Sandy is also an experienced facilitator, a best selling author and sought after public speaker.