Arts and Culture grants Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is an auspice?

City of Stonnington requires that all individuals and groups who do not have an ABN, are not incorporated and are not a registered not-for-profit organisation to be auspiced. Auspice organisations are able to apply for a City of Stonnington Arts and Culture Grant on behalf of individuals or groups.

If the grant application is successful, funds would be paid by the City of Stonnington to the auspicing organisation, who would administer the funds and acquit these funds on behalf of the individual or group. A requirement of the grant application would be a clear written agreement between the individual/group and auspice organisation.

2. Do I need an auspice?

Individuals, arts collectives and businesses will need an auspice if you:

  • do not have not-for-profit status
  • do not have an ABN
  • are not incorporated

An auspice must be a not for profit incorporated association. If you are a Not-For-Profit Incorporated Association, you do not need an auspice.

3. Can individuals or non-incorporated organisations apply for a grant?

Yes, but you MUST be auspiced by a not-for-profit incorporated association.

4. How much funding should I apply for?

This is a question we commonly receive in the Arts and Culture department. Unfortunately, we are not able to advise you of what dollar amount you should request.

However, what we can advise you is: be realistic about how much your project is going to cost and have a clear and Comprehensive budget detailing all costs involved with your project. The grant application form includes a budget template, which can be very useful. Go into as much detail as possible about how the funding will be allocated/spent.

We recommend applying for up to 70% of the overall project cost. It is important to have diverse sources of revenue. Council cannot be the only financial contributor to the project.

In-kind support and other funding sources (e.g. fundraising, sponsorship, box office and artist contributions) will help strengthen your application when being assessed.

You need to be prepared that you may be awarded part funding.  When submitting your application Consider whether the project could still go ahead if it were only part funded.

To see more of what projects have been fully or part funded, view the successful grant recipients section on the grants page.

5. How many projects are awarded full funding or part funding?

City of Stonnington typically funds between 35 and 40 projects per year.

There are many factors that affect the number of projects awarded funding, including what the overall approved pool of funds is for that financial year or how many applications are received in each category.

Council and the Grant assessment panel strongly believe in supporting as many projects as possible. This can culminate in higher numbers of applicants being awarded part funding.

The panel will determine how strong the application is by assessing it against the criteria. The overall score can determine if the project is fully or partly funded or unsuccessful.

6. Can I apply for venue in-kind and a financial grant together?

Yes you can apply for both and in fact, we encourage you to do so. Particularly if it will help with covering venue costs.

7. Can I work with other Council departments or community groups?

We love to see projects collaborating with other community groups or Council departments. Engaging with these groups has a broader benefit for our community in Stonnington.

It’s good to start conversations with these groups as early as possible.. The conversations can sometimes be slow moving due to things such as resourcing and schedules, so please allow plenty of time to engage with external groups. Having letters of support from these groups can be beneficial to your application.

8. How do I go about contacting other Council departments?

The City of Stonnington website is great way to start researching other Council departments and local community groups you might want to engage with in regards to your project.

The Arts and Culture Grant Officers are also able to help provide contact details of other Council departments. Before contacting us, we encourage the applicant to have a clear idea of what groups they are looking to engage.

9. What happens if the dates change for my project?

We understand that project timelines sometimes change. Please communicate any changes to Arts and Culture Grant Officers via email or phone. We will always need you to confirm your request in writing. your email or request will need to clearly explain the reason the dates have changed and outline the new proposed dates. Officers will sign off on these date changes however please be aware that anything significant changes approval by upper management may be required.

10. What happens and what do I do if something in the project changes?

Again, we understand that as you begin working on your project that sometimes things happen. Please communicate any changes to us and we will review them. Change approvals will not be granted for anything that significantly varies from the original scope of the project.

11. Who is on the assessment panel?

The assessment panel is a made up of a mix of Council staff such as members of the Arts and Culture, Finance or Sustainable Environment units. Actually anyone at Council could be invited to assess the grant applications! This is why, when writing your application, please very clearly explain the who, what, where, how and why. Not everyone on our panel has an arts background. In addition to Council staff members, we engage an external expert from within the arts industry.

12. What marketing support is available from City of Stonnington’s Arts and Culture team?

At Council we have an internal Communications team who work across a variety of Council projects.

As an Arts and Culture Grant recipient, it is your responsibility to market your project and you will not be able to rely solely on Council’s Communications team.

Council is able to assist in ways such as tagging and sharing on our Facebook page, and What’s On Stonnington channels.

Applicants are also able to email What’s On Stonnington directly at

Your email should include:

  • project name
  • description
  • dates
  • times
  • ticket information
  • any other information relevant to your project.

Sometimes this information can be included in Council EDMs and promoted through Council’s social channels. We do our best to support and promote projects when we can, but this can vary depending what else is happening at Council.

If your project is taking place at Chapel Off Chapel, you can also request directly through Chapel Off Chapel that your project be included in their EDMs.

It will be a requirement that the Stonnington logo be displayed on your marketing collateral. Council’s Communications team must sign off on your use of the logo. Therefore, all marketing collateral must be sent to the Arts and Culture Grant Officers for them to seek logo approval on your behalf before going to print and distribution. We do request that collateral is sent to Officers in a timely manner as approvals can sometimes take a little time.

13. Can I meet with the Arts and Culture team to discuss my project?

Yes, we love meeting with applicants to discuss potential projects and we are here to help you as much as possible through the process. This is a great way to workshop your idea and we can help point you in the right direction if you are unsure about aspects of the process. We can also assist in putting you in touch with other departments. Meetings can take place face-to-face or via video conference.

To arrange a meeting, please email or phone 8290 1231.

14. What if I don’t have Public Liability Insurance (PLI) in time before the application is due?

Ideally, we like all applicants to have current PLI to submit with their application. If you aren’t able to obtain it or it’s expired when submitting your application, include a copy of your past PLI and explain that you will be renewing it, or alternatively that you will be taking it out closer to your project date. If you fall into either of these categories, we ask that you advise the Arts and Culture Grant Officers so that we are aware of it. You will be required to send through your Certificate of Currency for the PLI once you receive it from the insurance company.

15. What if my auspice agreement hasn’t come through in time?

Preferably, we would like applicants to have finalised their auspice agreement prior to submitting their application. However, if for some reason you have not received the final agreement prior to submission, there is approximately a one-week extension that you can receive to submit your agreement. After this time, pre-eligibility checks commence. If you require this extension, please include in your grant application all correspondence you have had with your auspice organisation whilst advising that the agreement will be provided within the week. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit this agreement via email to Arts and Culture Grant Officers.

16. Do I need an event permit? If yes, how do I apply?

If your project is a festival, event or celebration on Council-owned land such as in a park, garden or open space, you will need an event permit.

Visit the business permits page for more information.

Email with any questions regarding your event permit.

17. Can I apply for a Arts and Culture Grant AND a Community Grant?

We advise speaking with an Arts and Culture Grant Officer if you are interested in applying for both an Arts and Culture Grant and a Community Grant through City of Stonnington. There could be a component of your project that ties in with the Community Grant guidelines, however it is best to gain Council advice on this. Please be aware that your project cannot rely solely on Council funding.

18. Are there out-of-round Grants?

Please contact the Arts and Culture Grant Officers at or 8290 1231 to discuss the possibility of submitting an out-of-round grant.

19. Any other questions?

Please email or call 8290 1231 for more information.