Apply for Community Grants

Bimbadeen Primary School students and members of the Melba Support community


The Community Grants program supports community-based projects that build the social and cultural life of the region. It is a platform for groups and individuals to lead projects that address community concerns and aspirations.

Our community grants program opens on the 1 June each year.  Applications for the 2019/20 year are now closed and the applications are currently being assessed. Applicants will be notified of the outcome in November.

2020/21 Applications

Interested in applying for grant funding in 2020?

Get a head start on your ideas for next year by reading the 2019 Grants for Community Guidelines and selection criteria. Please note that these guidelines and selection criteria may change for the 2020/2021 grant period.

After reading the guidelines and selection criteria, refer to the specific criteria relevant to the grant stream you are applying for:

Applications will open again on 1 June 2020

2020 Grant Recipients

Want to see some examples of successfully funded projects? View our list of 2020 Grants for Community recipients.

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

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., Council is actively promoting child safety and reducing the factors that lead to children being harmed. As a Child Safe organisation, Council reviews grant recipients where projects or programs may involve direct or incidental contact with children.

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.


Further information on auspicing arrangements can be found here


Memorandum of Understanding between Auspice Organisation and Applicant document example can be found here


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 2020 Grants for Community program round covers the calendar year, 1 January - 31 December 2020.

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 for the 2020 Grants for Community program will be made from November 2019 onwards.

What time period does the 2020 round cover?

The 2020 Grants for Community program round covers the calendar year, 1 January - 31 December 2020.

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