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Community Grants

The City of Whittlesea’s Community Grants are available all year round. The grants are available to people in the City of Whittlesea to support local programs, events, projects and initiatives.

Community Grants Guidelines

Download the Community Grants Guidelines and find out more about our upcoming training opportunities below.

If you require this document in a different format please contact us feedback@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.

Read our Grant Guidelines here

Subscribe to our Community Grants e-news here

Information Sessions

The City of Whittlesea offer free information sessions to help you familiarise yourself with our Community Grant program, including eligibility, what funding is available and how to apply. Residents and community groups located in the City of Whittlesea can speak directly to our Community Grants team in these sessions and learn more about our online application process.

The next Information Session will be held on Thursday, 15 February, from 6pm - 7pm at the Mernda Social Support Centre. For more information on this session, please contact mernda.community@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.  Registration for this session is free.

Grant Writing Workshop

The City of Whittlesea is excited to offer free grant writing workshops to help you easily and effectively apply for a City of Whittlesea Community Grant. Residents and community groups located in the City of Whittlesea can learn how to write grant applications and familiarise themselves with the new online application form. 

The next Grant Writing Workshop will be held online, on Thursday, 22 February from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. For more information on this session, please contact community.grants@whittlesea.vic.gov.au or visit our event page here. Registration for this session is free.

Grant Categories

Find out more about each grant category, including the eligibility criteria, by clicking the category below. 

Individual Grants

  • All applicants must apply two months prior to enable time to process. For example, if you require the grant for attendance to a leadership workshop in October, you must apply by August. 
  • No grant will be funded retrospectively.
  • One application per individual each year
  • Parents/Guardians will need to apply for those under 18 years old

Arts and Culture – e.g. Creative performers, artists

Community Leadership – e.g. Attending leadership development opportunities to support their community

Sports & Recreation Competitions – e.g. Individuals 25yo or younger

Sustainable Environment Initiatives - e.g. All individuals. Under 18 years old must have a Parent/Guardian apply on their behalf.

Individual grants are available monthly for up to $1,000.

Assessment Criteria 

Weight

Explanation of Opportunity - how the grant will help the applicant and wider community (if applicable)

50%

Evidence of Financial Need

40%

Budget

10%

  • Registration fees
  • Course fees delivered by a Registered Training Organisation
  • Travel and accommodation – up to $500 per application
  • Clothing or uniforms
  • Materials and equipment

In addition to the items on page six of the guidelines, grants are excluded from funding:

  • Computer equipment
  • School, TAFE or Uni fees

It is essential for your application to have supporting documents as priority will be given to applicants with all supporting documentation.  In addition, Council staff will contact third parties to verify details of your application where required.

Arts and Culture

  • Artist’s CV and/ or
  • Evidence of the opportunity relevant to their art or cultural practice

Community Leadership

  • A demonstrated history of volunteering, participation and taking leadership in the community/ community group
  • Evidence of the leadership development opportunities to support their community
  • Courses that are delivered by a Registered Training Organisation

Sports & Recreation Competitions

  • Evidence of financial need (e.g. Health care card holder)
  • Evidence of selection in the event/ competition
  • The list of costs to participate

Sustainable Environment Initiatives
In line with the Sustainable Environment Vision, the applicant must complete:

  • A project plan of the initiative they want to achieve and its objectives
  • Impact of the initiative
  • List of costs

Small, medium and large

Small, medium and large grants offer supports to social enterprises, not-for-profit community groups, organisations and businesses to undertake activities that have a broad community benefit. 

Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply for grants to deliver projects and events that have a community benefit in line with the Whittlesea 2040 vision:

  • Connected Community
  • Liveable Neighbourhoods
  • Strong Local Economy
  • Sustainable Environment

All small, medium and large grants have three sub-categories:

  • Council Programs
    Council will offer programs because of identified need in community through community planning and feedback. e.g.  female Participation in Sports
  • Projects
    Community groups, social enterprises and businesses can apply for grants to deliver projects that contribute towards the Whittlesea 2040.
  • Events and or Festivals
    To celebrate our diverse community eligible applicants are encouraged to apply to run events or festivals that celebrate who you represent in the City of Whittlesea. Applications for events must ensure it meets all the Festival and Events requirements including;
    a. Traffic management strategy
    b. Health and safety considerations and permits where applicable
    c. Risk management strategy
    d. Communications and/or media plan

  • Be a registered Not-for-profit classified by the Australian Tax Officer
  • Incorporated Groups
  • Social Enterprise and
  • Businesses
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or qualify to submit a Statement by Supplier
  • Hold current public liability insurances appropriate to the proposed project or event
  • Provide all supporting documentation to support your application
  • Provide legitimate quotes showing ABN from potential supplier for items $500 or more
  • Applicants must apply three months in advance for their proposed event to ensure it meets all requirements for the Festival and Events approval.  Events applied for must be delivered in the following quarter.

In addition to the items on page six of the guidelines, the small, medium and large grants are excluded from funding:

  • Individuals
  • Projects, activities or events that are political in nature
  • Gifts vouchers, gifts, prizes, trophies, scholarships, donations, other grant programs
  • Projects already underway, completed or committed to prior to applying
  • Activities or events that do not comply with relevant government orders of the day
  • Air travel or accommodation
  • Events, activities or projects that are not open to the public or where access is restricted.

Small grants

  • Amount:      Up to $3,000
  • Frequency:  Monthly
  • Assessment Criteria:

Assessment Criteria

Weight

2040 Goals

45%

Target Audience

20%

Not previously funded

10%

Areas of Lower SEIFA

15%

Budget

10%

Medium grants

  • Amount:      Up to $20,000
  • Frequency:  Quarterly
  • Assessment Criteria:

Assessment Criteria

Weight

2040 Goals

50%

Target Audience

15%

Not previously funded

5%

Areas of Lower SEIFA

10%

Budget

20%

Large grants

  • Amount:      Up to $40,000
  • Frequency:  Quarterly
  • Assessment Criteria:

Assessment Criteria

Weight

2040 Goals

50%

Target Audience

15%

Not previously funded

5%

Areas of Lower SEIFA

10%

Budget

20%

Unincorporated grants

  • The group has been meeting on a regular basis for at least six months at the time of application
  • The group has a minimum of six members
  • A minimum of 50% of members reside in the City of Whittlesea
  • The group is established in the City of Whittlesea
  • The group has Rules of Association of a Statement of Purpose or a Mission Statement
  • Unincorporated groups can only apply once for this grant

Unincorporated group grants are available quarterly for up to $1,000.

In addition to the items on page six of the guidelines, grants are excluded from funding:

  • Public Liability Insurance to cover organisation/group.
  • Incorporation costs.
  • Materials and equipment to support organisation set-up.
  • Group promotion and member recruitment.
  • Costs for regular meeting venues not listed in the ‘what won’t be funded’ section below.
  • Costs to set up a webpage.
  • Facilitators to support development of strategic plans, governance systems.

  • Groups of a political nature
  • Groups already incorporated
  • Incomplete applications
  • Costs for meeting venues that are located in:
    • A place promoting gambling and serve alcohol, or a
    • Council owned venue.

  • Quotes for costs associated with setting up your group
  • A business plan showing the proposed start up social/ business enterprise
  • Evidence supporting your proposed business plan or project could include (but not be limited to) minutes of a meeting confirming proposed move to start up a social/ business enterprise.

Emergency grants

Eligibility

  • Not-for-profit community groups, incorporated organisations, social enterprises and businesses

Grant Amount

Up to $1,000

Timing Frequency

As received

Eligible Items

  • Reduce financial impact of emergency and unforeseen events
  • Enable eligible applicants to continue to operate or quickly return to normal operations

What won't be funded

In addition to the items on page six of the guidelines, emergency grants are excluded from funding:

  • Emergency initiatives already delivered in community by other key community organisations or the State.
  • Insurance excess for covered event

Supporting Documents

  • Quotes
  • Evidence of current financial status
  • Other documents relevant to the proposed emergency project or activity

  • Impact on the normal operations of the applicant. Applicants need to show evidence of how the event occurred and its detrimental effect on normal operations.
  • Financial hardship or risk the fee will create for the applicant. Applicants need to describe how the fees incurred due to the emergency event will create financial hardship or risk. Applicants will need to provide evidence of their financial status by means of bank statements, proof of loss, recent copy of financial accounts or letter of current standing from a financial accounts.
  • How the community will be impacted if normal operations are interrupted. Applicants need to describe how their normal services/activities help their local community

How do I apply?

For more information on how to apply, click through to the smartygrants links below:

Frequently Asked Questions

We anticipate a 6-week turnaround from when grant rounds close and when we will notify you of the outcome of your application. We expect your project or event to be delivered the following quarter. If your project falls over multiple quarters, we expect you to start delivering it by the following quarter after you receive your funds.

For example, if you apply on 1 July for a $10,000 grant, it will start to be assessed after 31 July and we will aim to notify you of the outcome by mid-September. We would then expect the project or event to be delivered by 31 December (or started by this date if the project falls over multiple quarters).

Grants timeframe

Yes, you can use part of your grant to cover traffic management. Traffic management plans will need to be submitted as part of the event approval process. Council does not provide event traffic management as part of our services.

Community grants cannot be used for building projects, capital works or facility maintenance.

Anything that is not yearly would be considered a regular event.

A media pack is being designed by the Communications team and notification about your acknowledgement level will be provided in your Conditions of Grants form.

If your organisation is registered for GST it will be paid on top of the grant amount. If it is not registered for GST, it will not be included.

You can run an event or project that is targeted towards a specific group however City of Whittlesea has a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination.

You can add additional contacts if you are partnering with another organisation so that people at the other organisation can enquire about or take actions on the grant.

An example of in-kind contributions can be staff or volunteer hours, venue hire, or donated goods and services, funding received from other bodies – must not be double dipping and this will need to be demonstrated.

Volunteer hours are calculated at $42/hour for in-kind contributions.

At this stage there is no waiver process for grant recipients hiring Council venues. Incorporating this will be considered over the coming years.

Not at this stage. Upon application, you were approved for the event to be run in the City of Whittlesea. 

We may consider this in the future.

All staff, volunteers, contractors or consultants are required to declare their conflict of interest when applying for grants. There are a few levels to conflict of interest: actual conflict of interest (e.g. the person applying for the grant is a staff member, volunteer, contractor or consultant with City of Whittlesea); potential conflict of interest (e.g. someone on the team works with Council but they’re not the person applying for the grant); or perceived conflict of interest (e.g. a third party may perceive a conflict of interest by your involvement both in the group and with Council). If in doubt, please err on the side of caution or contact the Grants team if you need more assistance.

Grants assessors will be from a range of teams across council. Assessors will consult with subject matter experts in the field before finalising their assessments.

Grants are open all year around and will not close. The dates provided are the dates that the assessment process will begin.

It is highly unlikely that the grants budget will be used up in the first quarter. The grants budget at Council has been increased by 33% and all applications over $3000 will be approved by a group of senior leadership and executives.

There will be no direct feedback for acquittals unless it is requested. Project or event outcomes will be summarised, collated and reported to Council with others in the same quarter.

Aside from State Government regulations, fundraising permits do not need to be obtained except for collections on public land (e.g. highway collections). Further information on fundraising permits can be found online at Fundraising permits - Whittlesea Council

Co-contributions are required for businesses or not-for-profit groups or organisations exceeding $300,000 gross annual income. Co-contributions for not-for-profits can be in-kind support (e.g. volunteer hours, venue hire, grant from other funding bodies etc).

You can apply for an ABN online at www.abr.gov.au/business-super-funds-charities/applying-abn.

The auspice letter should include:

  1. Auspice organisation name and ABN
  2. Applicant name
  3. Grant type
  4. Project or event name
  5. Grant amount applied for and
  6. Be signed by the correct delegate in the auspice organisation.

You can find a link to an auspice letter template here.

Grants are assessed by:

  • Adherence to City of Whittlesea’s 2040 goals
  • Target audience
  • Not previously funded
  • Areas of lower SEIFA
  • Budget

You can read more about the Whittlesea 2040 goals at Whittlesea 2040: A place for all - Whittlesea Council.

If you have an event in December you would want to apply for the grant for your project or event in Q2. Once the quarter is closed, it will go through the assessment process and you will be notified on the outcome within about 6 weeks. You would then hold the event by the end of December and acquit the grant the following quarter.

Please note that due to the release date of the Grants program in 2023, you could apply for December funding in Q3 however it will result in a tighter timeframe between the grant notification and the event date.