Future Directions of the WIA Grant scheme –WIA Board requests member comment on what best to do…
The 2007 Grant committee made a number of remarks about the future directions of WIA grant schemes and the WIA Board believes that these are matters on which the comments of members should be sought. The scheme is an important element of supporting the development of amateur radio and the Board needs help from WIA members in getting the scheme right. Affiliated Clubs in particular should consider what could be done to make the scheme more appropriate given the comments by the Grant Committee
Comments on the following remarks provided by the 2007 Grant Committee should be forwarded to the Secretary WIA no later than 1 December 2007. Email comments to email@example.com or by post to the Secretary WIA at PO Box 2175 Caulfield Junction Vic 3161. Subject head emails or mark envelopes “Future Direction of WIA Grant Scheme”
The committee felt that the scheme is not working very well. Innovation is not being stimulated. No applications were received for digital communications, APRS or any other newer technology or innovative projects. This is somewhat disappointing. It is suggested that the WIA promote innovation in special interest areas to direct clubs to focus on new areas.
Many clubs have an overwhelming focus on operating and maintaining a repeater communications system, often involving repeaters in multiple bands. Many grants request funds to maintain, repair, or re-establish repeaters. Most of the technology involved is well established.
Few grant applications focussed on promotion of amateur radio or the WIA. Most promotion was incidental to the project being applied for.
In particular, incentives to develop on-going training programs, or to plan to exploit forthcoming publicity opportunities, are not delivered best through annual competitive grants but as expression of a policy developed by the Board with funding set aside for these areas..
The grants scheme requires a reporting mechanism. It is suggested that the procedures similar to government grants include the following requirements:
Detailed estimate for the project including quotes for larger items.
Following the grant, feedback on progress and notification when the project is complete.
Notification of funds spent on the project.
Confirmation of the achievement of the objectives.
Each of the above takes time to manage, and we should not expect a fully professional project proposal.