Apply for Community Grants

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The 2024 Grants for Community Program will support local community groups and creatives to implement projects they design and deliver.

The guidelines outline the intent of the grants to foster mental and physical wellbeing, increase social connection, facilitate cultural and heritage development, and celebrate local communities. This funding also enables grassroots communities to access valuable resources to respond to local opportunities and issues. 

Outcomes realised are often creative, innovative and build resilience, social engagement, capacity, leadership, and community networks. 

The 2024 Grants for Community program has three streams:

  • Arts and Heritage: provides opportunities for community expression, to tell stories, connect with one another, and contribute to a sense of creativity, identity, and wellbeing.
  • Festivals and Events: supports community groups to deliver activities that enhance local culture, celebrate community spirit, and contribute to the liveability of Yarra Ranges.
  • Community Development: focuses on people and social connection, building community capacity around the principles of respect, equality and locally led responses to opportunities and needs. 

All three streams support strength based and community-led activation around projects that realise community aspirations. The mental wellbeing benefits of these kinds of activity and social connection are important and more so in the aftermath of the height of the pandemic and natural disasters.

Learn more about the grant process by reading our Grants for Community Guidelines.

Applications open 1 June 2023 and close on 17 July 2023 (3pm).

Funding announcements will be made in November. 


2024 Applications for Grants for Community

Interested in applying?

Please familiarise yourself with the 2024 Grants for Community Guidelines and Selection Criteria relevant to the grant stream you are applying for:

There’s also a handy pre-application checklist to assist you to prepare. 

Information and Workshops available:

Grants for Community Information Sessions

Learn more about the Grants for Community program by attending an online information session. Tailored sessions, designed to support each funding category, are available for local not for profit community groups and creatives.  Topics include:

  • program overview
  • discuss eligibility
  • funding categories
  • things to consider before applying
  • how to apply and where to find support


  • Online - Wednesday 21 June, 2024 - 1:00pm-2:30pm
  • In person - Wednesday 21 June, 2024 - 6:00pm-7:30pm at Yarra Ranges Civic Centre – 15 Anderson St, Lilydale.

Find our more and register via our 2024 Grants Information Sessions (Online) Form.

Grant Writing Workshop

Build your understanding of what is required to successfully apply for grants. This fun and hands-on workshop will focus on transforming your ideas into fundable concepts and will walk you step by step through the grant making process. Includes:

  • Where to find the money
  • Introduction to the grant making cycle
  • Writing a killer 50-word grab
  • Understanding the assessment criteria
  • Working with partners
  • Answering the questions in the application form
  • Building a project budget (for a grant application)
  • Support material

When: Wednesday, 24 May 2023 | 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Location: In person, the community room – Yarra Ranges Council Civic Centre 15 Anderson St, Lilydale.

Learn more by visiting the event page.




Grants for Community FAQ's

Have a question about applying for grants for community? Check out our list of frequently asked questions below.

How much funding can be applied for?

Up to $10,000.  Three grant streams are available to cater for a variety of projects - Arts & Heritage, Festivals & Events and Community Development.  The maximum grant amount available in each category is $10,000

Our project involves working with children, what do I need to know?

Council is committed to promoting child safety and ensuring compliance with the Victorian Child Safe Standards. As a Child Safe organisation, Council requires projects or programs which involve direct or incidental contact with children to have appropriate measures in place.

Applicants will be stepped through what’s required as part of the online application process.

I am working on my budget. What do I need to consider?

Applicants are expected to provide a budget aligned with outcomes for the project duration. Budgets need to demonstrate considered planning, be realistic and justifiable for the proposed application.

Do I need to provide quotes?

Yes, for all individual expense items which exceed $500.00

Is a project cash or in-kind co-contribution required?

Whilst not mandatory, co-contributions (including cash or in-kind) will be considered favourably. Full and confirmed details of any co-contributions must be outlined in your application.


Examples of other contributions may include you as the applicant; individuals contributing skills or time; state government funding; not for profit organisations; or local business sponsorship.

Can I include indirect, overhead and administrative costs in my grant application such as wages and project management fees?

It is Council's expectation that grants are used only for the approved project and not to contribute to the grantee’s general overheads, administration or other indirect costs. However, Council also recognises that some indirect, overhead and administrative costs may be directly attributable to the project or activities being funded. In such cases, consideration will be made to fund these expenses to a reasonable level. 

Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

I have a question about my submitted application, who can I contact?

For all application enquiries please call the Community Partnerships Team on 1300 368 333 or your designated Council contact. 


Alternatively you can email  (Please include your application reference number in the email subject heading)

What support documents are required?

Support letters are well regarded and helpful. Ensure letters are relevant to the application and support your case for funding.

What is an “Auspicer” and what is their role in the grants process?

A community group that is not incorporated must have their application ‘auspiced’ by an incorporated organisation. The auspicing body is legally responsible for the funds and enters into the Funding Agreement with Council.

Please note that information on the auspicing body will need to be provided in the application, including their ABN, financial report and contact details. Grant applicants can allocate a small auspicing fee as part of the application.

Read more about auspicing arrangements.

View an example of a Memorandum of Understanding between Auspice Organisation and Applicant document.


What happens once my application has been received?

You will receive an automated email acknowledging your application has been lodged.  All applications undergo a pre-assessment eligibility check by a Council officer before being assessed by an independent panel of relevant Council staff and community representatives.

Panel members review applications before putting forward recommendations to Council for approval.

Will all applications receive funding?

No. The application process is competitive and it is anticipated that requests for funding will exceed the funding available. Successful applications will be those which best meet the grant program objectives and can demonstrate community benefit, impact and strategic value, and capacity to deliver the project in response to the selection criteria.

If successful, am I guaranteed to receive the full amount of funding requested?

No. Successful applicants are not guaranteed to receive the full amount of funding requested. Council reserves the right to recommend grant amounts which may differ from the amount requested.

If successful, how long do I have to start and complete the project?

Up to 12 months. The Grants for Community program covers the calendar year, 1 January – 31 December.  


Can I submit an application after the closing date?

No. Due to the high volume of interest late applications cannot be accepted.

When will I find out if my application was successful/unsuccessful?

Generally, the process of evaluation, assessment and approval takes approximately 3 months from the funding round closing date. Funding announcements are usually made in November. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Incorporated not-for-profit organisations or community based groups/individuals that have no outstanding debts or acquittals with Council.

Do I or my organisation need to be based in Yarra Ranges?

No, however project outcomes must benefit the Yarra Ranges community. 

Is it possible to change the project after the grant has been paid?

It is possible to vary your project, but this must be discussed with the appropriate Council officer as soon as possible.

I received a grant last year. Can I apply again?

Yes. If your group has a new or developed project that fits the selection criteria, it will be assessed.

If you are seeking to fund a recurrent Festival or Event, your application will be again assessed on its merit in conjunction with all other applications.

You MUST have also completed an acquittal report for your previous grant.  Any future grants application will NOT be considered if the acquittal report has not been completed.

Can I apply for a grant to buy equipment?

Specialist equipment may be purchased as part of a broader project. Outcomes must provide broad, ongoing, community benefit.

What happens is we cannot finish our project in time?

This should be clearly communicated to your designated Council officer as soon as possible. If you are facing challenges or difficulties in implementing your project get in touch and we will support where we can.

Do you provide feedback if an application is unsuccessful?

Yes, an opportunity for feedback exists and will be offered as part of the unsuccessful notification process. 

Are infrastructure projects eligible within the Grants for Community program?

No. Infrastructure based projects are not eligible.  Council's Capital Development Grant may be able to provide support for specific capital projects related to recreation.  For further information, please contact the Recreation and Active Living Team by calling 1300 368 333. Find out more about capital development grants

Do I have to supply an event management plan if my grant is for a Festival or Event?

Yes, once your event is registered an event management plan will need to be submitted before your event is held.



Previous grant recipients

Want to see some examples of successfully funded projects? View our list of previous Grants for Community recipients.

You can also watch the 2022 Grants Celebration video.

Interested in hearing about grant and free training opportunities? Join our mailing list!