Tips and FAQs - Community Grants
This page provides frequently asked questions in relation to the Community Grants Program.
Who can apply?
We provide a variety of grants to different entities:
- Not-for-profit community groups
- Incorporated associations
- Applicants through an auspice arrangement
- Commercial businesses
- Registered schools
- Community groups.
Not all grant streams/types are available to all entities so please check below and the specific grant stream fact sheet before you apply.
Applications from Schools, P&Cs, P&Fs and other educational institutions must be in accordance with the eligibility for the grant stream they are applying for and satisfy the following additional criteria:
a. There is an identified community need for the project or activity
b. The project or activity provides benefit to and is accessible to the wider City of Stirling community (clearly outside the Education Department’s area of responsibility)
c. There is a financial or in-kind contribution of at least 50% or more to the project or activity.
How do I apply?
Once you have confirmed that you and your activity is eligible within the City’s Community Grants Program, you need to submit your application through SmartyGrants.
SmartyGrants lets you complete sections of your application in stages, save your progress and return to it later so you don’t need to complete it all at once. Your application will be stored online, so there’s no need to save it to your computer.
What are the different grant types?
Within each grants stream, four different grant types are available, each with their own requirements. A total funding pool of approximately $1 million dollars will be available.
|Grant type||Package||Available||Outcome notification|
|Quick response||Up to $2,000||Available year round||10 business days|
|Small grants||$2,001 - $5,000||Available quarterly||30 business days from round closure|
|Medium grants||$5,001 - $20,000||Two rounds per year||30 business days from round closure|
|Large grants||$20,001 +||Two rounds per year||50 business days from round closure|
Applicants will not be able to receive more than two grants within the same financial year.
What will be funded?
To be eligible for a grant in the City’s Community Grants Program applicants must:
- Be based within the City of Stirling and/or provide the activity within the boundaries of the municipality
- Demonstrate that the program, event or activity benefits the City of Stirling community
- Demonstrate that the program, event or activity aligns with one or more of the City’s Sustainable Stirling 2022 – 2032 objectives
- Hold an adequate public liability insurance policy
- Disclose if the activity has received funding outside of the grants program
- Demonstrate they have the resources and experience to deliver the activity
- Be able to appropriately acknowledge the City of Stirling’s support
- Have complied with all terms and conditions, including project delivery and acquittal reports, for any previous grants
- Have no overdue debts to the City.
Grants are provided across five areas referred to as grant streams. Activities funded through the Community Grants Program must demonstrate that they support the City of Stirling’s overall vision and the priorities outlined below in one of the following grant streams:
Active and Healthy Communities
- Promote active and healthy lifestyle choices
- Facilitate access to recreation and leisure opportunities
- Increase access to health services and support.
Locally-led and Creative Communities
- Facilitate social connections and access to services locally
- Build strong relationships with our multicultural and diverse community
- Support the City’s cultural sector to create vibrancy in local areas
- Improve the liveability and identity of local areas.
Activities that encourage the community to:
- Transition to net zero emissions
- Conserve and protect water resources
- Connect with nature and improve biodiversity in the City
- Reduce waste generation and divert waste from landfill.
- Increase participation in community life
- Increase visitor and economic activity in local areas
- Encourage and support tourism growth.
Innovative and Productive Communities
- Attract and promote investment and partnership opportunities
- Support innovation and entrepreneurship in local business
- Activate local centres to increase visitor and economic activity.
Please see more information here.
What won’t be funded?
The City of Stirling does not provide grants for activities that:
- Support recurrent operational funding, including but not limited to, wages, salaries or administrative overheads - an exemption applies to community group insurance
- Are outside of the City of Stirling local government area
- Are commercial, have the potential to make significant profit or be self-sustaining
- Promote the core beliefs of political or religious groups
- Duplicate existing services already delivered by the City
- Donations or fundraising for recurrent operations
- Have received another City of Stirling grant for the same activity in the same financial year
- Are the funding responsibility of other levels of government.
How much can be requested?
There are different types of grants including quick grants of up to $2,000 and large grants over $20,000. Please refer to the guidelines here.
Please don't under or overestimate your request. It’s important to request the amount that will support your initiative, has a strong case to support it, meets relevant assessment considerations and demonstrates value for money.
How long is the process?
Upon closure of each grant round, the notification times vary depending on grant type. This can range from 10 business days to 50 business days from round closure. For more information, please refer to the Community Grant Guidelines.
What makes a strong application?
One that shows that you’ve thought everything through and demonstrates that you know what you are doing – Please consider the following questions:
- What does your activity deliver for the community?
- How does it align with the City’s priorities?
- How are you going to evaluate your project?
- What are the ongoing benefits?
- How will you sustain your project into the future after the grant runs out?
- Using statistics and evidence will help support your application.
There will be lots of other groups competing for these grants so it’s important that you know:
- What you want to do?
- How you are going to do it?
- Why you are the best group to do it?
The most common mistakes are:
- Not answering the questions that are being asked – we have made this simple for you. Be specific, tell us exactly what you are going to do, why you need to do it and what you expect to achieve as a result (what will the outcome be?)
- Not having the correct documentation. You must have this ready when you apply. Examples include Certificate of Incorporation, Public Liability Insurance, a Profit and Loss Statement and any quotes.
- If you don’t have these things – it may delay your application or you may miss out completely.
- Make sure your budget is reasonable and has a good level of detail. Be honest with your costs as our assessors will question things that sound too high or too low.
If you’re unsure about anything please contact our Grants Team – we are here to help.
There are also plenty of online resources available to you. The Funding Centre is an online resource for not-for-profit organisations and has tools and resource to help you write grant applications.
When are the key dates for applications?
Quick response grants
|Value||Opening date||Closing date||Notifications|
|Up to $2,000||First of each month||20th of each month||10 business days from round closing|
|Value||Round||Opening date||Closing date||Notifications|
|$2,001 - $5,000||Round one||1 July||31 July||30 business days from round closing|
|Round two ||1 October ||31 October|
|Round three||1 February||29 February|
|Round four||1 April ||30 April |
|Value||Round||Opening date||Closing date||Notifications|
|$5,001 - $20,000||Round one||1 July||31 July||30 business days from round closing|
|Round two||1 February||29 February|
|Value||Round||Opening date||Closing date||Notifications|
|$20,001 +||Round one||1 July||31 July||50 business days from round closing|
|Round two||1 February||29 February|
How many grants can I receive per year?
The City’s Community Grants Program is a very competitive process. Applicants cannot receive more than two grants per financial year. Of the two grants, only one of these can be a quick grant (under $2,000).
How will grants be assessed?
The grant process is a very competitive process and funds are awarded based on merit so there’s no guarantee that you’ll be funded every time.
After you submit your application, the first thing our officers do is check that you’re eligible. This means that you meet our requirements and that all of your documents are in order. If that’s all okay, then your application will be assessed by a panel of officers.
Quick response grants are assessed when they are submitted, and we should get back to you on the outcome within 10 business days.
All other grant applications are scored and then ranked against the other applications submitted during that grant round.
Recommendations for funding are then presented for approval by a delegated city officer if they are under $20,000 and to Council if they are over $20,001
All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome.
Successful applicants will receive a letter of offer and a grant agreement to sign before any funding can be paid.
What if I am successful?
Successful applicants will receive a letter of offer and a grant agreement to sign before any funding can be paid.
Grant agreements include the terms and conditions for the activity in which the City will make the grant available - this includes:
- How long the contract is;
- What your responsibilities are;
- What the City is expecting your project to be (based on your application).
It is important that you read this contract and understand the terms and conditions included.
All successful applicants must sign and enter into this agreement before any funds can be distributed.
Once all required documentation has been signed and received by the City, the grant funds will be transferred via EFT to the nominated bank account.
What conditions will apply for my grant?
This depends on what grant you are applying and successful for. Please refer to the guidelines here, or more specific information on each grant stream here.
How will the decision be advised?
We will notify you in writing of the outcome of your application. Please refer to page 8 of the guidelines here to see when you will receive notification of the outcome of your application.
Approval of a grant does not imply that the City has given any other approval. Applicants should note that many activities (including events and projects) that require approvals or permits from the City of Stirling or any other State Government agencies will need to be obtained separately or the City may revoke the grant.
If your application is not successful, the decision does not necessarily reflect the worthiness or community benefit of the proposal. The City’s Community Grants Program is a very competitive process and the number of applications may exceed the funds available. All applicants are encouraged to arrange a phone or face-to-face meeting with the Senior Grants Officer to discuss feedback from the assessment panel on their application.
How are payments made?
Once contracts are finalised, payments are processed with a standard period of a 30-day turnaround time from the invoice date or within seven days of providing your details for a direct transfer as a RCTI (Recipient Created Tax Invoice).
Does my group need an ABN?
Your group may need to supply an ABN as part of your application. An ABN refers to an Australian Business Number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If your organisation has an ABN, it must be included in your application.
The holder of the ABN is either:
- Registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or
- Not Registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
It’s a good idea for any incorporated group to register for an ABN. You can read more at the ATO website.
What if my group doesn’t have an ABN?
If your organisation doesn’t have an ABN, you’re requested to complete a Statement by Supplier Form and lodge it together with your application. The form is available on the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website.
If you don’t have an ABN and don’t supply this form, we are obliged to take 46.5% of the grant allocated and send this to the ATO.
For information about taxation, contact the ATO on 13 28 66 between 8am and 6pm Monday-Friday, or visit www.ato.gov.au.
If you want to talk to a Tax Officer and require an interpreter, you can call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 12 14 50.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and have access to appropriate TTY or modem equipment, you can phone 13 36 77.
If you have access to TTY or modem equipment, you can phone the Speech to Speech Relay Service on 1300 555 727.
Why do we need public liability insurance?
All applicants for the City of Stirling Community Grants Program will need adequate public liability insurance.
We understand that Public Liability Insurance (PLI) may cost a significant amount, however the risks of not having PLI could cost your group much more.
Your community group/organisation will most likely interact with the public as part of running your activities or events. While it’s unlikely anything will go wrong, mishaps can occur, and a member of the public could be injured or property could be damaged.
PLI protects your group/organisation against the liability to pay damages for a bodily injury, death, or for property damage that occurs as a result of an activity you run.
It also covers the legal costs you would face if you had to defend a claim for bodily injury or property damage.
Because of the enormous potential costs your group could face if something went wrong and you didn’t have PLI, we only fund groups who manage the risk by having PLI.
Why doesn’t the City of Stirling’s public liability insurance cover our activity?
The City of Stirling has taken out its own very specific Public Liability Insurance (PLI) policy, which covers specific activities and locations.
The Community Grant Program funds community-led events and activities and therefore is outside the scope of City’s PLI.
How do I organise public liability insurance?
Can the City organise our public liability insurance?
There are many variables when calculating PLI, such as the type of activities being run, how many activities take place, and where.
Each group is unique and needs to have its own PLI.
We don’t have public liability insurance yet, can we still apply?
To help new groups apply for grants, you are able to apply for our Quick Response grants before you have PLI but if your application is successful, you must prove you have PLI by the time you sign your contract, or you won’t receive the money.
What about other insurance?
PLI doesn’t cover everything you may expect it to. You may need separate insurance when required, such as volunteers’ insurance to cover volunteers in the event of an injury claim, or building and contents insurance, to cover damage to a property in your organisation’s control (if you’re renting a space).
What does it mean to be incorporated?
Groups can be set up for many social, sporting and community purposes. Incorporating an association provides a simple and affordable way for you to establish a group as a legal entity.
As an example, if an unincorporated group needs to rent a property or arrange insurance, an individual member would need to sign under their name, placing them at personal financial risk.
An incorporated group can instead do this under the group name, which shares and reduces the risk to individual members.
Your community group may not want to become incorporated, particularly if you only ever handle small amounts of money, and have no need to enter into legal agreements. However, many grants are unavailable to unincorporated groups, and this is why auspicing is suggested in these situations.
For more information on incorporation, please refer to The Funding Centre website.
What is auspicing?
You can approach a larger organisation to partner with your community group/organisation to fund a grant. This is helpful if you are otherwise ineligible for the grant (for example, if your group is not incorporated.)
The ‘auspice organisation’ takes responsibility (legal and financial) of the grant on your group’s behalf.
They will sign your grant agreement, receive and distribute grant funds under the grant agreement,
ensure activities or events are completed, and submit accountability and evaluation reports on your behalf. Your group/organisation will still be known as the ‘grant recipient’.
Important information on auspice organisations:
- The auspice organisation you choose must be incorporated and have an ABN
- The auspice organisation accepts legal and financial responsibility for the grant and will need to meet all eligibility criteria and provide public liability insurance coverage for the project(s)
- Grant money will be paid to the auspice organisation, not the applicant.
If you choose to apply for a grant as part of an auspice agreement, you need to provide the auspice organisation’s contact details, ABN, their most recent financial report, and evidence outlining your agreement with them.
Please see an example of a letter for auspice confirmation here.
What is an income and expenditure statement?
Whether it’s called an Income and Expenditure Statement or a Profit and Loss report, this is a summary of income and expenses for your group that shows how much money has actually been spent against what type of activity, i.e. $150 on catering for five events, $200 on printing, $300 on advertising, $2,600 on wages. You can see an example as part of a board’s financial report here.
What reporting is required?
Once you have completed your activity you will be required to submit a report to the City of Stirling to acquit the grant via SmartyGrants.
Acquittal reports provide feedback to the City on the success of the approved activity, relevant data, images or video and any lessons learnt. You must provide detailed financial reports. You may be asked to provide further documentation and evidence of expenses.
If the grant is valued at more than $20,001, we may request you provide audited financial statements on acquitting the activity.
Acquittal reports for quick response grants must be submitted no later than one month after the activity has been completed.
All other grants require final reports to be submitted no later than three months after the agreed completion date of the activity, unless otherwise agreed in your funding agreement.
As part of the Community Grants Program accountability process, we reserve the right to audit any and all grant recipients for compliance with the grant conditions and expenditure of grant monies received.
- Be mindful of what you have stated in your application because we’ll be asking you how your plans went
- This is a great way to tell the City how your activity went and who benefited, what you learnt and what you achieved
- We love it when you include photos or feedback of the people that were part of your activity.
What happens if my grant funded activity changes?
Sometimes activities don’t always go as planned. If anything happens to change what you expected to happen, please let us know straight away. Don’t leave it until your acquittal report is due.
If you can’t deliver what is agreed in the grant agreement you may be required to return a portion of these funds.
We would prefer that you contact us early, before your activity is completed and request a variation. This alters the expectation of your grant agreement and may include an extension to your timeframes or an alteration to your outcomes.
What happens if my organisation details change?
Please let us know as soon as possible if the details of your organisation change as this may affect your grant agreement.
Can a grant decision be requested to be reviewed?
All decisions regarding grant outcomes are final. You can apply for a grant again if you are unsuccessful, or you can ask for feedback or assistance from the City by emailing email@example.com.
Can I submit a request during the closure period?
Due to the grant process and rounds of funding available, we can not accept an application outside of this process.
Can someone from the City help?
The City’s Grants Team is here to help you through every stage of your application process. We can help by:
- Providing information and advice on the City’s Community Grants Program
- Directing you through the City’s grants information portal on our website
- Helping you to set up a SmartyGrants account and help you upload information
- Answering any questions relating to the application and assessment process.
We will also hold information sessions at the start of each grant round in various locations throughout the City of Stirling.
Please note that we can’t write your application for you or develop your project budget. It is important that we remain impartial so that we can give every applicant the same level of support.
You may also find some useful information such as assistance with writing grant applications here.
How will Stirling’s support be acknowledged?
Can I ask Elected Members about my application?
It’s important to know that you can’t talk to Elected Members about your application to try and influence the process. This is called canvassing and is prohibited.
Can a City officer or Elected Member be my reference?
Elected Members and City officers cannot act as references as this could be an actual or perceived conflict of interest.
Is there anything else I should know?
The City has the right to reclassify any grant application into another grant stream if it deemed appropriate.
The City may withdraw support from an applicant if they are deemed non-compliant with any Council policy or any written agreement entered into.
Tips for making your activity a success
Make your project environmentally sustainable
Consider how you can reduce the environmental impact of the project and ensure sustainable use of resources.
Some suggestions include:
- Offer recycling and composting at your event
- Work with local vendors, suppliers and businesses that use locally and responsibly sourced ingredients and recycled or eco-friendly packaging and cutlery
- Consider setting up water stations to reduce the number of plastic bottles
- Avoid/reduce the use of single use items (i.e. balloons, straws, packaging, low quality merch)
- Encourage use of alternative transport methods and public transport.
Consider access and inclusion or how to make your activity accessible
The City supports accessible events that can be enjoyed by the whole community.
If you’re organising an event, you’ll need to consider:
- The event layout - for example, stall location for best access for those with access issues
- Providing parking spaces for people with disabilities
- Installing portable, accessible toilet facilities, marquees or first-aid cabins
- Designating small areas close to a stage for people using wheelchairs
- If there is access with no steps or other barriers from the arrival point at the venue, through the main entrance(s), to all the areas being used by participants
- If possible, provide contact details on promotional material for access enquiries in alternative formats such as (for example, large print, audio, electronic, translating services, other languages):
- Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS) 131 450 or visit the TIS website
- National Relay Service 13 36 77
- The Australian Network on Disability has some great tips and tricks for making your event accessible. You can also include funding in your budget to make your event more accessible.
Learn more about the City's access and inclusion initiatives here.
How to include an Acknowledgement of Country
The City is Stirling is located within Mooro Nyoongar Boodja – Mooro people’s land, which is part of the greater Wadjak Nyoongar area. The City of Stirling encourages recipients of funding to make an Acknowledgement of Country where appropriate. An Acknowledgement of Country recognises and acknowledges the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land. It also recognises the unique connection between the Nyoongar people and Country, their valued contribution to local community and cultural life, and their relationship with the City of Stirling.
It can be a verbal announcement at the commencement of the activity or placed on your activity program or website. You may also wish to involve the services of an elder to conduct a Welcome to Country. This initiative supports the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan.
Examples of Acknowledgement of Country:
- I/We would like to acknowledge that this event is being held on the traditional land of the Wadjak people of the Nyoongar nation and pay my respects to the Elders both past and present
- I/We would like to show my/our respect and acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Wadjak people of the Nyoongar nation, of Elders past and present, on which this event/meeting/function is taking place
- I/We respectfully acknowledge the past and present traditional owners of the land on which we are meeting, the Wadjak people of the Nyoongar nation. It is an honour to be standing on Nyoongar Country
- I/We would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Wadjak people of the Nyoongar nation, and pay my/our respects to the Elders both past, present and future for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Aboriginal Australia.
Evaluating your activity
An evaluation process should be demonstrated which details how you will assess if the activity met its intended aims.
Things to evaluate include:
- Numbers - how many people attended/interacted with your activity
- Promotions - Detail the promotions you did and note any media mentions/shares/articles generated prior to or because of your project
- Financial success - did the project represent value for money, run on budget etc?
- Satisfaction and impact - A survey completed by stakeholders and participants of your project will assist you in gaining an understanding of demographics, how satisfied people were with the project, and if the aims of your project were met.
Things to consider when writing up a survey
- Keep it short and simple
- Try using online survey software to assist you collate the responses
- Ask a volunteer to assist at the event - asking questions and completing on the spot at the event using a tablet or similar.