Arts and Culture Grants FAQs

View frequently asked questions related to Arts and Culture grants including information on auspice, funding, support and application requirements.


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

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

You will need to be auspiced if you are an individual or group that:

  • does not have an ABN
  • is not incorporated
  • is not a registered not-for-profit organisation.

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. The auspice organisation will administer the funds and acquit these funds on behalf of the individual or group. A clear, written agreement between the individual or group, and the auspice organisation, is required in the grant application.

What is an auspice?

Auspicing is when a larger organisation helps an individual or community group to apply for a grant, and if successful, manage and oversee elements of the grant.  

Often auspice organisations will enter into agreements to assist individual artists and local community groups so that valuable community projects get off the ground.

To apply for the grant, you will need to enter into an auspice arrangement with a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has an Australian Business Number (ABN).

What does the auspice organisation do?

The auspice organisation is responsible for ensuring that grant funds are utilised as outlined in the formal sponsorship agreement. This may include:

  • receiving, banking, managing, and administering the grant funds
  • ensuring that the applicant uses the funding on time
  • making sure the money is accounted for (acquitted)
  • signing the acquittal form.

An auspice organisation may also provide additional support and request additional involvement, such as:

  • providing insurance for the project
  • acting as a mentor for the successful applicant
  • monitoring project progress
  • a fee for auspice services, negotiated between you and the organisation.

What auspice arrangements are required for a grant application?

As part of the grant application, you are required to provide the following information on the auspice organisation:

  • contact information
  • financial documents
  • evidence that the organisation is an appropriate legal entity (such as their Certificate of Incorporation)
  • an Auspice Agreement Form.

It is important to spend time with the auspice organisation so that they understand your proposed project and you both agree with the arrangement. Once a written Auspice Agreement Form has been obtained and signed, you must provide a copy as part of your application.

To apply for the grant, you will need to enter into an auspice arrangement with a not-for-profit incorporated organisation that has an Australian Business Number (ABN).

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 you have not received the final agreement prior to submission, you may be eligible for a one-week extension. After this time, pre-eligibility checks will commence.

If you require an extension, please include the following in your grant application:

  • all correspondence with your auspice organisation
  • notice that the agreement will be provided within one week. 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit this agreement via email to an Arts and Culture Grant Officer.


How much funding should I apply for?

This is a common question. While we are unable to advise you of the dollar amount you should apply for, we do suggest that you:

  • be realistic about how much your project is going to cost
  • have a clear and comprehensive budget detailing all costs involved with your project.

The grant application form includes a useful budget template. Include as much detail as possible on how the funding will be allocated and spent. 

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

In-kind support and other funding sources will help strengthen your application. These may include:

  • fundraising
  • sponsorship
  • box office and artist contributions.

You must prepare to be awarded part funding. When submitting your application, consider if your project will still go ahead if part-funding is awarded.

For examples of past projects that have been fully or partly funded, visit the successful grant recipients section on our Grants page.

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 that are 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 will try to support as many projects as possible. This can culminate in higher numbers of applicants being awarded part funding.

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

Application process and requirements

Can I apply for the Venue In-Kind Grant and a financial grant together?

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

Can I apply for the Arts and Culture Grant and the Community Grant together?

If you are interested in applying for both an Arts and Culture Grant, and a Community Grant, we suggest speaking with an Arts and Culture Grant Officer.

There may be a component of your project that aligns with the Community Grant guidelines.  

Please be aware that your project cannot rely solely on Council funding.

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

Ideally, we like all applicants to have current Public Liability Insurance (PLI) when submitting a grant application. 

If you're unable to obtain PLI, or your PLI has expired, please include either:

  • a copy of your previous PLI, along with a notice that you will be renewing it
  • notice that you will be obtaining PLI closer to your project date. 

If you fall into either of these categories, we ask that you advise an Arts and Culture Grant Officer so that they are aware of it. You will be required to send through your Certificate of Currency for the PLI once you receive it from your insurance provider.

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.

Who is on the assessment panel?

The assessment panel is made up of Council staff from different departments. These may include:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Finance 
  • Sustainable Environment units.

Anyone at Council can be invited to assess grant applications.

This is why, when writing your application, you must clearly explain the who, what, where, how and why of your project. Not everyone on our panel has an arts background.

In addition to Council employees, we engage an external expert from within the arts industry.

Are there out-of-round grants?

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

What happens if the dates change for my project?

We understand that project timelines sometimes change.

Please communicate any changes to an Arts and Culture Grant Officer or call 8290 1231.

We will always need you to confirm your request in writing. Your 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. Please be aware that significant changes may require further approval.

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

We understand that as you begin working on your project that things may change. 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.

Working with Council and the community

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 resourcing and schedules. Please allow plenty of time to engage with external groups.

Having letters of support from these groups can strengthen your application.

How do I contact other Council departments?

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

An Arts and Culture Grant Officer is able to provide contact details of other Council departments. Before contacting us, we encourage you to have a clear idea of the groups you'd like to engage.

What marketing support is available?

Council's Communications team can provide you with assistance to promote your project via Council's e-newsletters, Facebook and What's On Stonnington, however, as an Arts and Culture Grant recipient, it is your responsibility to market your own project.

Applicants are encouraged 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.

We will do our best to support and promote projects when we can, but this can vary depending on what else is happening at Council.

If your project is taking place at Chapel Off Chapel, you can also contact Chapel Off Chapel directly to request that your project be included in the venue's e-newsletters.

It will be a requirement that the City of Stonnington logo be displayed on your marketing collateral. The logo can be supplied to you upon request by an Arts and Culture Grant Officer. Council’s Communications team must sign off on your use of the logo.

All marketing collateral must be sent to an Arts and Culture Grant Officer prior to publication so that they can seek approval on your behalf. 

We do request that collateral for promotion is submitted in a timely manner as approvals can sometimes take a little time.

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 ideas 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 an Arts and Culture Grant Officer or call 8290 1231.


Any other questions?

Please email or call 8290 1231 for more information.