Applying for a content grant? Read these tips.

January 27, 2021

SYN podcast incubator particpants

Thinking about applying for a Content grant? Here’s a few ideas to think about as you prepare your application, as well as some examples of activities we’ve supported in the past.

Consulting your community

As part of your community broadcasting licence, you are required to encourage members of your community to get involved in your operations and programming. This includes the content you create at your organisation.

In Funding Ideas: from original concept to funded content, Jo Pratt (Station Manager at 4EB) and Neil Turner (Manager of Pilbara and Kimberley Aboriginal Media) talk about how to generate and develop ideas in and with communities, and how to turn these ideas into fundable content.

Here are some of their top tips:

  • Ideas are not hierarchical and can come from anyone involved with your organisation including management, broadcasters, volunteers, technicians, etc.
  • Consultation, exploration and validation of ideas is important. Communicate with relevant beneficiaries and communities and seek permission, advice and information where appropriate (e.g. CBF Indigenous Engagement Protocol).
  • Document community and station consultation as an ongoing process. This material will help you with grant planning, grant making and grant reporting.
  • Take note of changes along the way (changes aren’t bad – they are mostly necessary). They form an important part of the reporting process and provide valuable information and insights for future projects.
  • Invest in your participants/volunteers to help write the grant, collect information, and document the process. Also build participant upskilling into your project. This can help an organisation build capacity and aid succession planning and distribution of corporate knowledge and skills.

Content project we funded:  Killing of the Bilikin brothers

This animation produced by PAKAM is an early contact story told by Tudor Ejai in Bardi language. Recorded and transcribed by C.D. Metcalfe in 1969, the story is about the spearing of two white men at Cygnet Bay on 29 May 1885. The project involved consultation with the local community, training in animation production and the documentation of important cultural material.

Watch the Killing of the Bilikin brothers >

Increasing diversity in community media programming

We are committed to supporting projects that increase diversity of programming and amplify stories not represented in other media. The guiding principles in our Supporting Content Framework help us decide how we invest in content that:

  • improves access and equity, enhancing the diversity of programming choices for audiences
  • is an active expression of diverse stories, arts and cultures
  • is broadcast either locally or shared with broader audiences via multiple community stations, developing the sector’s national profile
  • is guided by the principles of self-representation/people telling their own stories.

These stories feature perspectives and aspects of culture not adequately represented in other media, such as:

  • local stories by local content makers valued by local communities
  • alternative views and community-focused content
  • under-represented producers and/or participants in Australian media including women, young people, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people living in poverty, LGBTIQ+ people, and people with a disability
  • projects that acknowledge the unique status of First Nations people as First Australians, and include people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as the drivers of projects; and adhere to the CBF Indigenous Engagement Protocols.

Content project we funded:  Music Masala – a spicy blend of music and life

This radio series broadcast on 4EB focuses on 17 emerging musicians from migrant and refugee communities. The project included recording new music and interviews with the artists, their families and communities.

Read more about Music Masala >

Content project we funded:  Dee-brief

Based on real women’s stories, Dee-Brief  is a dramedy web series exploring what happens after a long-term break up. This improvised series by a female-driven team tells a universal story through a new lens. It was launched on C31 Melbourne and Geelong and YouTube.

Watch Dee-brief episodes >

Supporting creativity and excellence in content production

We support content projects that clearly demonstrate one or more of the areas listed below:

  • resource-intensive video or audio content such as a fictional series or long-form documentary including a high proportion of spoken word content
  • content of national significance or by producers collaborating across Australia
  • content that raises the profile of community media
  • content that demonstrates multiplatform engagement, such as podcasts, social media, digital radio, live events, art forms and online distribution
  • resource-intensive music content requiring in-depth music research, artist interviews, live music and multiplatform content.

Content project we funded:  SYN Podcast Incubator

The SYN Media Podcast Incubator is a mentoring and professional development program for five emerging producers all under the age of 26. Each production team in the program receives an industry mentor, production training and close support to develop their podcast idea.

In 2020, the SYN Podcast Incubator won the CBAA Awards 2020 for Excellence in Digital Media. Many of the projects we support go on to win awards.

Explore incubator podcasts >

Need help with your grant application?

Get in touch with our Grant Support Team – they are always happy to answer your questions and provide advice on your project idea and what you should include in your application before you submit. The earlier you do this, the better!

Our Frequently Asked Questions and Guides also have lots of useful information that will help you prepare your application.

Find out more about our grants, key dates and recent successful grantees.

Applying for a grant

Our grants are allocated twice a year, with the majority of funding being allocated early in the year as part of the first round.

You can apply for a CBF grant online.

Photo: Four of the podcast incubator participants. Courtesy of SYN Media.

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