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Community grants

The community grants program provides funding to support and empower people and communities to become engaged, to connect and to take local action.

Aim of community grants 
Eligibility criteria
Application assistance  
Other funding opportunities


Community grants for projects taking place in 2016 open at 9am on Monday 11 May and close at 5pm on Monday 22 June 2015.

Public briefing session

All applicants are encouraged to attend the public briefing session, particularly if new to the City of Melbourne grants.

The session provides a brief overview of the program, and grants officers will be available to provide general advice and to discuss your specific project.

Date: Tuesday 19 May 2015
Time: 9.30 to 10.30am
Venue: Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
RSVP: email

Please include in your email:

  • your full name
  • contact phone number
  • which organisation you represent
  • if you require an interpreter and the language you speak

Aim of community grants

To contribute towards Council’s vision for the city, community grants are provided to schools and not for profit sports and community organisations to improve people’s quality of life. The program has a focus on local and / or vulnerable people.

Applicants are required to outline how they will contribute to one or more of the outcomes listed below.

  • People are healthy.
  • People are safe.
  • People are connected and participate.
  • People have knowledge and skills.
  • People feel they belong.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply for a community grant applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be a school in the City of Melbourne or a not-for-profit constituted body such as an incorporated association, or be sponsored or auspiced by one. 
  • Organisations must be located within or offer a project within the City of Melbourne municipality. You can view or download the City of Melbourne boundary map.
  • Applications must have a focus on local and / or vulnerable communities.
  • Applicants must have fully acquitted previous completed grants and have no outstanding debts to the City of Melbourne. 
  • A single project, event, activity or program will only be considered for one City of Melbourne grant program at a time. 

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For full details about the 2016 grants, including the assessment criteria and other necessary information, read the guidelines.

Note: If you are prompted to login when opening the document below, please select 'Cancel' and the document will open (you may need to do this more than once). Alternatively, you can download a copy of the document to your computer by right-clicking on the link and selecting 'Save Target As...'. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause potential applicants.

Community grants 2016 guidelines (Word 123kb
Community grants 2016 guidelines (PDF 83kb)

Council Strategies

Whilst it is not essential that you align your projects to a Council Strategy it is a good idea to ensure you are aware of what Council’s priorities are. Below is a list of Council Strategies that may align to your outcomes.

Beyond the Safe City Strategy 2014-17  
Preventing Violence Against Women Strategy  
Pathways: Homelessness Strategy  
International Student Strategy   
Melbourne for All People  
Active Melbourne strategy

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Funding levels

Up to $3000:

  • This level of funding is aimed at supporting smaller, ongoing social support or communications activities that build community connections.
  • Generally applications are made by local community groups with minimal or no staffing, run by volunteers. Generally the organisations are membership based with little other opportunities for funding.
  • Funding can contribute to administrative, core operational costs and recurring activities.
  • These applications have a shorter application form.

Between $3001 and $10,000:

  • Applications above $3000 can only be funded two years in a row for the same project and must be focussed on a new initiative beyond core business activities.

Between $10,001 and $20,000:

  • Applications above $3000 can only be funded two years in a row for the same project and must be focussed on a new initiative beyond core business activities.
  • The same application form is used for applications between $3001 and $20,000, though it is expected that applications over $10,000 will have more thoroughly addressed and responded to the questions on the application form.


Applications will be managed online via SmartyGrants.

Applications open at 9am, Monday 11 May 2015 and close at 5pm on Monday 22 June 2015.

Applications will automatically be closed by the SmartyGrants system at 5pm. Do not leave submitting your application until the last minute. If there is heavy use of the system with others submitting applications, there may be delays which will affect your ability to fully lodge your application before the deadline.

Application assistance session

These sessions are for people who may:

  • be applying for a grant for the first time and / or
  • have difficulty with the language on the forms and / or
  • have difficulty with access to or familiarity with technology (ie. online application system)
  • at the assistance sessions, people can make a one on one booking with a staff member to get assistance or you can choose to take a seat at a computer and work on your application, Council staff will be there to assist you.

Come prepared and read through the guidelines and application forms so you are aware of the type of information required. Bring with you:

  • An email address
  • An idea that you plan to apply for
  • A draft version of the application you may have started already online
  • If you can’t access the application form, let us know when you book and we will provide you with a hard copy.

Online application assistance sessions will be held as following

  • Wednesday 10 June, 1.00pm to 4.00pm - Multicultural Hub, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
  • Tuesday 16 June, 9.30am to 12.30pm - Kensington Town Hall, 30-34 Bellair Street, Kensington


Bookings for these sessions are essential as there are a limited number of computers available. To make a booking please email or call 9658 9901. Make sure you include in your email:

  • your name
  • your organisation or group name
  • a contact phone number
  • if you need an interpreter, please include the language you require
  • if you require one-on-one assistance.

Other community funding opportunities 

View a list of all City of Melbourne funding opportunities.

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Don’t pay for free grants information

Message from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

If you are considering applying for a grant, please be careful of cold-callers or websites that charge for grant-related services when such assistance is already available for free.

Visit the ACCC for information and tips on how to protect your business or project.

If you have queries about the City of Melbourne’s grant application processes, please contact us.