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If you are a not-for-profit organisation and would like to consider applying for a Discovery Grant - here is all you need to know!
Discovery Grants do not fund:
The maximum grant amount is $50,000.
We invite ALL charitable organisations to apply (DGR Item 1 Status is not required), who:
Eligible organisations which have an impact investing project – existing or about to commence – which requires capacity-building to ensure its success/de-risking may also be considered.
The Impact Investment Ready Discovery Grant provides grants to help not-for-profit organisations explore pathways towards financial sustainability and lay the foundation for future investment proposals.
WHAT CAN BE FUNDED
WHO CAN APPLY
THE PURPOSE OF THE DISCOVERY GRANT
The intent of the Growth Grants is to help enterprises with the greatest chances of success to secure capital investment. It has been designed based on global best practices and has incentives that help to achieve this outcome. We recognise that a significant level of responsibility sits with the providers to secure capital investment for the enterprise. Therefore, payment is split into two parts: 70% of the approved amount will be paid on approval of the grant, and the remaining 30% once the enterprise proves that it has secured the investment sought.
WHAT IS A PERFORMANCE-BASED PAYMENT STRUCTURE?
Grantees will have the unique opportunity to present to the Growth Grant investor circle Twentyfive*25 and explore the potential for support and funding with the members. Twentyfive*25 members include individual investors, family offices, trusts and foundations, and investment companies interested in financing mission-driven organisations. More details on the next roundtable are be provided in the application form. More information about Twentyfive*25 can be found here.
DOES IMPACT INVESTMENT READY FACILITATE ACCESS TO INVESTORS?
Growth Grants cannot be seen as a way to subsidise the due diligence for any provider that invests in the enterprise, while also performing the relevant capacity building work. The Growth Grant Panel requires full disclosure if the provider expects to take an equity component in the enterprise or a performance fee upon the successful capital raise. If the aggregated amount of the equity component and performance fee is greater than 10%, this will reflect unfavourably on the applicant, even though it will not automatically make them ineligible for a grant.
CAN PROVIDERS INVEST IN ENTERPRISES THEY PERFORM CAPACITY BUILDING WORK FOR?
The types of Providers vary for each applicant depending on the characteristics and needs of the business. A list of providers who have successfully secured a grant and investment with an enterprise are listed in the “Providers” section of the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant website. Applicants can either connect to one of these Providers, or find an appropriate Provider themselves.
HOW DO ENTERPRISES FIND PROVIDERS?
Providers can be organisations or individuals that services like advisory, legal, financial, or intermediary services that help the applicant to become investment-ready. When a provider takes three enterprises from successful application through to investment they will be credited with a Gold Star provider rating. If a provider is successful in receiving grant funds through the enterprise they are working with and fails to secure investment for the enterprise on the agreed conditions two times, they will not be able to apply for further grant funding. This is to ensure that the quality and effectiveness of the services provided to enterprises will give them the best chance for success.
WHO CAN BE A PROVIDER?
Yes, enterprises can only apply for a grant partnership with a provider – without exception.
DOES THE APPLICANT ALREADY HAVE TO BE IN CONVERSATION WITH A PROVIDER?
Grant leverage refers to the ratio between the grant amount and the investment raised. For instance, if an enterprise receives a grant of $60,000 and raises $1,200,000 in equity and debt funding, the leverage is 20.During the Growth Grant's first 18 months of operation, grantees who have successfully secured capital achieved an average leverage of 24.
WHAT IS GRANT LEVERAGE?
All applications will be reviewed for completeness and key eligibility criteria. Those that meet the initial review will then proceed to the judging panel. The panel decides which applicants will be invited for an interview.After the interviews, the panel decides on approval or decline of the applications. Unsuccessful applicants who make it through to the panel interview will receive feedback and may be invited to apply in future rounds.
HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK?
In general, Growth Grants are not repayable. However, the Panel reserves the right to provide grants under the condition of repayment upon achievement of defined performance thresholds. Under such condition, the repayment is to be considered as a mutual agreement between the Panel and the enterprise with the interest to maximise the ecosystem support of the Growth Grant funds, not an obligation. All further details are determined on a case by case basis.
ARE GROWTH GRANTS REPAYABLE?
Impact Investment Ready accelerates the impact investing ecosystem through support of mission-driven organisations with two grant programs. Growth Grants enable impact businesses to become investment-ready and grow, Discovery Grants support not-for-profit organisations that want to explore pathways towards financial sustainability.
WHAT IS IMPACT INVESTMENT READY?
Impact investments are investments that are intentionally made into organisations that deliver measureable social and/or environmental outcomes alongside financial returns.
WHAT IS AN IMPACT INVESTMENT?
EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT CAN BE FUNDED
EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT WILL NOT BE FUNDED
Impact investments are investments that are intentionally made into organisations that deliver measureable social and / or environmental outcomes alongside financial returns.
ARE DISCOVERY GRANTS REPAYABLE?
Discovery Grants are not repayable.
All applications will be reviewed for completeness and key eligibility criteria. Those that meet the initial review will then proceed to the Grant Committee.
The Grant Committee makes a final decision on the approval or rejection of the application.
While there are generally no interviews to evaluate applications, the Grant Committee may contact applicants in case of further questions.
WHAT WAS FUNDED IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE DISCOVERY GRANTS?
Impact Investing Discovery Grants Awarded – Round 1 June 2017
The Grants Selection Committee received 65 application for Discovery Grants from not-for-profits across Australia seeking funds to build their capacity in Impact Investing. The Selection Committee awarded grants to 6 organisations for a total of $280,500, namely:
Capital Idea! A Regional Social Impact InitiativeUniversity of Canberra$50,000
Capital Idea! will train and deploy a network of skilled business advisors and administer a small grants program to assist social entrepreneurs in the Capital Region to develop sustainable and impactful social business models that will attract social impact investment, including venture philanthropy.
Total Environment Centre Inc
TEC was established in 1972 and among other environment protection work manages and directs the Boomerang Alliance campaign of 47 groups which is seeking to reduce dangerous marine plastic pollution (see: http://bit.ly/2ieaE6E). The impact investment project seeks to develop a non-profit business for collection infrastructure for donated containers and transport logistics. Having internally undertaken a research and investigation phase we are now moving into developing a business case and a pitch to potential investors, as well improving Board skills for the new enterprise.
SisterWorks Creative Enterprises
SisterWorks is a non-profit social enterprise that supports women of migrant, asylum seeker or refugee backgrounds to become financially independent and happily settled in Australia. SisterWorks focuses on sustaining the charity aspect (i.e. the training and mentoring of the women) and developing the business aspect of the organisation. The SisterWorks Creative Enterprises Project focuses on the latter and involves: boosting the organisation’s capacity to support more women to support themselves; achieving 50% self-sustainability; and becoming impact investor ready to achieve scale.
Governance and Strategy Capacity Building to Support Impact Growth and Enterprise Sustainability
Green Collect generates social benefit through the creation of new employment and training opportunities for communities facing significant disadvantage. The enterprise creates jobs by working with businesses to achieve the highest possible environmental outcomes for a wide range of discarded office resources. Green Collect deals with ‘hard to recycle’ office items and create new solutions that keep harmful materials out of landfill by finding the best reuse, upcycling or recycling pathways. This project will enable Green Collect to undertake critical capacity building work in areas of governance and strategic planning to guide business growth and identify financing required to achieve overall enterprise profitability to grow its impact.
Investment Ready for Ear Health
Telethon Speech & Hearing Ltd
Telethon Speech & Hearing Ltd (TSH) is a charitable organisation that helps children with hearing or speech and language impairments learn how to communicate, socialise and learn. Recognising how difficult it is for families to navigate the complex and costly system of supports (particularly for disadvantaged families), TSH delivers ear health services for children and adults. In a competitive charity market, TSH is looking to improve its impact, sustainability and support for Western Australians through social investment for the acquisition and running of ear health/audiology clinics throughout WA.
BikeRescue Social Franchise Model
Dismantle supports at-risk young people in Western Australia to achieve their potential. The social enterprise engages youth, aged 12-17 through BikeRescue, a 10 week bike engagement program that uses hands-on learning to facilitate engagement, mentoring and transitions to further education and employment pathways. Dismantle delivers BikeRescue in partnership with youth service providers, ensuring appropriate wrap around support is available before, during and after the program. To date, Dismantle has supported over 500 young people in Western Australia through over 60 WA based partners. Dismantle is facing increasing demand for BikeRescue and is exploring delivering their BikeRescue program through a social franchise model, which will enable them to scale up in a more sustainable and effective way, increasing the impact that they are having with young people across Australia.
Who We Are
Guidelines & FAQ
The Growth Grant
Level 13, 114 William Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Telephone: 0478 544 523
Telephone: 1300 605 449 (tollfree)
The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is managed by:
Grant decisions are made by an independent expert panel:
Independent Advisor on Impact Investing
Good Shepherd Microfinance
National Australia Bank (NAB)
Impact Investing Australia