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This Community Grants Program aims to work in partnership with community groups and individuals to create a sustainable, active, healthy, inclusive and empowered Merri-bek. The Program is based on Council’s Community Grants Policy and provides support for new and innovative initiatives that respond to emerging community needs.

It is a competitive process and limited by the amount of funds available. Applicants are not guaranteed funding, nor the full amount requested. Projects funded previously cannot be guaranteed funding in future years. This needs to be considered when developing an application. Read the guidelines here.

Community Strengthening Grant

To support projects that enhance the Merri-bek Community and aim to address areas such as social inclusion and community participation, environmental sustainability, healthy and active living and creating vibrant spaces.  Funding up to $7,000.

  • This funding supports one-off community projects that benefit the Merri-bek Community and aim to address areas such as:

    • social inclusion and community participation
    • environmental sustainability
    • healthy and active living
    • creating vibrant spaces.

    Preference will be given to projects that address Community Grants Objectives,  Funding Priorities and must show:

    • Benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Migrant and refugee communities, people with disability, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual plus, Transgender and gender diverse, Intersex, Queer, Asexual and Aromantic communities (LGBTIQA+), women, youth, children or seniors.
    • How organisations partner together
    • Clear benefits for people living in Merri-bek
    • How environmental impact has been minimised.

    Community Grants Program guidelines (PDF 396Kb) provides further information about this grant category and other funding opportunities.

  • Open for applications 3 January - 3 March 2023.

  • Up to $7,000

    • 12 months
    • Project to occur 1 July 2023 - 30 June 2024
  • Organisations, groups and clubs

    • Be a Not-for-Profit community group, organisation or club,
    • Be incorporated or auspiced by another incorporated organisation,
    • Have adequate public liability insurance,
    • Have acquitted previous Council grants and have no outstanding debts to Council,
    • Be able to supply financial statements and requested supporting documentation,
    • Ensure the proposed activity is consistent with Local, State and Federal laws.
    • Temporary staff costs to implement the project (e.g. project worker, instructor etc.)
    • Printing, advertising, translation, promotional activities
    • Equipment or community venue/meeting room hire (up to $500)
    • Costs to encourage participation (e.g. Transport, disability support, interpreters)
    • Catering and refreshments (up to $300)
    • Volunteer expenses
    • Small equipment that is useful long term to the community and is needed for the project and aligns with the Community Grants Objectives (Up to $500)
    • Communications, media, advertising and marketing.
  • Funding may not be used for:

    • Projects that do not align with the Community Grant Program Principles and Community Grants Objectives
    • Fundraising activities - projects that are for general fundraising and fundraising events, competitions, trophies, prizes or awards.
    • Permanent public art installations
    • Projects that have already started or have been completed
    • Activities that are part of an organisation’s regular program or that duplicate an existing program
    • Items that are part of an organisation’s core business or normal operating expenses e.g. salaries, insurances, utilities, rental of business premises.
    • Projects that are the funding responsibility of other levels of government
    • Privately-owned, for-profit businesses
    • Further information on the grants program, what we won't fund view the Community Grants Program Guidelines (PDF 1287Kb).
  • To apply online go to our grants website to complete and submit the application form.

    Our page on applying for community grants provides further details about the application process and information around reporting and other requirements for grant recipients.

Organisational Establishment Grant 

To support newly established organisations or groups over three years to grow and become independent. Funding up to $10,000 per annum for 3 years.

  • This funding aims to support newly established organisations or groups over three years to grow and become independent.

    Funding will be provided for 3 years only; it is expected that the organisation be self-maintained and suitably self-sufficient at the end of the funding term. Applications will be accepted every 3 years for this category.

    • Open for applications 3 January – 3 March 2023.
    • Applicants will be notified of outcome in May 2023
  • Up to $10,000 each year for 3 years 

    Payment annually - up to $10,000 is paid each financial year, a total of $30,000 over 3 years

  • Funding is for 3 years

    • 1 July 2023 - 30 June 2026
  • Organisations, groups and clubs

    • Be a Not-for-Profit community group, organisation or club,
    • Be incorporated or auspiced by another incorporated organisation,
    • Have adequate public liability insurance,
    • Have acquitted previous Council grants and have no outstanding debts to Council,
    • Be able to supply financial statements and requested supporting documentation,
    • Ensure the proposed activity is consistent with Local, State and Federal laws.

    Specifically Community groups must:

    • Be based in Merri-bek
  • Community groups must:

    • Be based in Merri-bek
    • Administration and running costs
    • Small equipment that is of significant need to the organisation and supports the Community Grants Objectives
    • Incorporation fees
    • Insurance
    • Governance training
    • Volunteer training and capacity building
    • Strategy development
    • Rent.
  • Funding may not be used for:

    • Projects that do not align with the Community Grant Program Principles and Community Grants Objectives
    • Fundraising activities Projects that are for general fundraising and fundraising events, competitions, trophies, prizes or awards.
    • Permanent public art installations
    • Projects that have already started or have been completed.
    • Activities that are part of an organisation’s regular program or that duplicate an existing program
    • Items that are part of an organisation’s core business or normal operating expenses e.g. salaries, insurances, utilities, rental of business premises.
    • Projects that are the funding responsibility of other levels of government
    • Privately-owned, for-profit businesses.
    • Further information on the grants program, what we won't fund view the Community Grants Program Guidelines (DOC 498Kb).
  • To apply online go to our grants website to complete and submit the application form.

    Our page on applying for community grants provides further details about the application process and information around reporting and other requirements for grant recipients.

Facility Improvement Grant

This funding supports changes to community facilities or assets that will help community members participate more in community life.  Priority is given to community-led projects that increase community access and participation, demonstrate collaboration between groups and result in greater use of facilities.

Two types of grants are available under this category.
Small Capital Projects
Smaller project - funding up to $10,000

  • This funding supports changes to community facilities or assets that will help community members participate more in community life.  Priority is given to community-led projects that increase community access and participation, demonstrate collaboration between groups and result in greater use of facilities.

    Preference will be given to projects that:
    - Encourage greater participation in community life
    - Address Community Grants Objectives and Funding Priorities
    - Meet the needs of the community
    - Show how organisations partner together
    - Plan for long term sustainability.
    - Plans, permits or site audits may be required, depending on the project.

    Read the guidelines for help about this category.

     

  • Open for applications 3 January - 3 March 2023.

    Applicants will be notified of outcomes in May 2023.

  • Up to $10,000

    • 12 months
    • Project to occur 1 July 2023 - 30 June 2024.
  • Organisations, groups and clubs

    • Be a Not-for-Profit community group, organisation or club,
    • Be incorporated or auspiced by another incorporated organisation,
    • Have adequate public liability insurance,
    • Have acquitted previous Council grants and have no outstanding debts to Council,
    • Be able to supply financial statements and requested supporting documentation,
    • Ensure the proposed activity is consistent with Local, State and Federal laws.
  • Preference will be given to projects that:

    • Encourage greater participation in community life
    • Address Community Grants Objectives and Funding Priorities
    • Meet the needs of the community
    • Show how organisations partner together
    • Plan for long term sustainability
    • Plans, permits or site audits may be required, depending on the project.
  • Funding may not be used for:

    • Facilities where there is little or no public access
    • Purchase of land
    • Projects that are considered as routine or cyclical maintenance works (e.g. general painting, replacement of fixtures, drainage, roofing) 
    • Equipment, except as part of facility upgrade
    • Wages or salaries for project management, unless an external person is appointed to manage the project
    • Projects that do not align with the Community Grant Program Principles and Community Grants Objectives
    • Fundraising activities/ projects that are for general fundraising and fundraising events, competitions, trophies, prizes or awards.
    • Permanent public art installations
    • Projects that have already started or have been completed
    • Activities that are part of an organisation’s regular program or that duplicate an existing program
    • Items and expenses that are part of an organisation’s core business or normal operating expenses e.g. salaries, insurances, utilities, rental of business premises
    • Projects that are the funding responsibility of other levels of government
    • Privately-owned, for-profit businesses
    • For further information on the grants program and what we won't fund view the Community Grants Program Guidelines (DOC 498Kb)
  • To apply online go to our grants website to complete and submit the application form.

    Our page on applying for community grants provides further details about the application process and information around reporting and other requirements for grant recipients.

Large Capital Projects
Larger project - funding up to $40,000

  • This funding supports changes to community facilities or assets that will help community members participate more in community life.  Priority is given to community-led projects that increase community access and participation, demonstrate collaboration between groups and result in greater use of facilities.

    Preference will be given to projects that:
    - Encourage greater participation in community life
    - Address Community Grants Objectives and Funding Priorities
    - Meet the needs of the community
    - Show how organisations partner together
    - Plan for long term sustainability
    - Plans, permits or site audits may be required, depending on the project

    Read the Applicant Information Manual (PDF) for this category.

    Read the Guidelines here.

  • Expression of interest (EOI):

    • Are open May to November each year for the next funding round
    • An interview will be required for all EOI applications and are conducted within the EOI period.

    A full application will be raccepted between 3 January - 3 March 2023 and include all information such as plans, permits or site audits.

    • Full application due: 3 January - 3 March 2023
    • Notification of Outcome: May 2023
    • Project Delivery: 1st July 2023 – June 2024
    • Up to $40,000
    • Payment of funds will be in two instalments. A full evaluation and acquittal report is required for the second instalment to be paid at the completion of the project.
    • 12 months
    • Project to occur 1 July2023 - 30 June 2024
  • Eligible Applicants:

    Organisations, groups and clubs

    • Be a Not-for-Profit community group, organisation or club,
    • Be incorporated or auspiced by another incorporated organisation,
    • Have adequate public liability insurance,
    • Have acquitted previous Council grants and have no outstanding debts to Council,
    • Be able to supply financial statements and requested supporting documentation,
    • Ensure the proposed activity is consistent with Local, State and Federal laws.
  • Preference will be given to projects that:

    • Address Community Grants Objectives and Funding Priorities
    • Meet the needs of the community
    • Plan for long term sustainability.

    Applicant must contribute 25% of the total project value

    Applicants are required to:

    • show how community groups collaborate to encourage greater use of the facilities by a range of community members
    • contribute at least 25% to the cost of the project
    • complete a two-part application process:
    1. Submit an EOI
    2. Applications that require an EOI will undergo a preliminary assessment process, including an interview and site visit where necessary, the EOI process will determine if the Applicant is eligible and ready to submit a full application form in the next funding round, including plans, permits or site audits, depending on the project.
    3. Part 2 of the application process- Applicant must submit full costings, include detailed plans, timelines with evidence of the Applicant’s capacity to deliver the project on time and within budget.
  • General facility improvements that encourage greater  community access, equity and participation;

    • Environmental initiatives
    • Multipurpose community facilities
    • Facility improvements to support people with disability accessing the venue.

    What funding can cover:   

    • Indoor or outdoor building materials,
    • Costs of permits or audits,
    • Contractor fees (such as builders, architects, building surveyors etc.)
  • Funding may not be used for:

    • Facilities where there is little or no public access
    • Purchase of land
    • Projects that are considered as routine or cyclical maintenance works (e.g. general painting, replacement of fixtures, drainage, roofing) 
    • Equipment, except as part of facility upgrade
    • Wages or salaries for project management, unless an external person is appointed to manage the project.
    • Projects that do not align with the Community Grant Program Principles and Community Grants Objectives
    • Fundraising activities- projects that are for general fundraising and fundraising events, competitions, trophies, prizes or awards.
    • Permanent public art installations
    • Projects that have already started or have been completed.
    • Activities that are part of an organisation’s regular program or that duplicate an existing program,
    • Items and expenses that are part of an organisation’s core business or normal operating expenses e.g. salaries, insurances, utilities, rental of business premises.
    • Projects that are the funding responsibility of other levels of government.
    • Privately-owned, for-profit businesses.
    • Further information on the grants program, what we won't fund view the Community Grants Program Guidelines (DOC 498Kb).
  • To submit an Expression of Interest online go to our grants website to complete and submit the application form. 

    Once submitted a Council officer will be assigned to you to conduct a site interview.

    Our page on applying for community grants provides further details about the application process and information around reporting and other requirements for grant recipients.

More information and help on grants

Visit our page on applying for community grants to find out more information on the application and assessment process as well as templates, help sheets, information about reporting and other requirements for grant recipients.