Community Grants

About Community Grants

Council provides assistance to eligible not-for-profit/charitable organisations to implement Stonnington based programs that aim to meet the needs of the Stonnington community. The Council assistance consists of a cash grant and in-kind support (fee waivers on the use of Council facilities and Community bus service).

Applications for Community Capacity Building, Partnership and In-kind Grants are now closed. 

Quick Response Grant (open from 20 July 2021) - up to $1,000

The Quick Response Grant program is available to provide eligible organisations with limited capacity to self-fund and support the delivery of activities or events in response to unforeseen issues or unexpected opportunities that benefit the Stonnington community.

The maximum cash amount offered through this stream is $1,000. As part of the application process, organisations can also apply for in-kind support if the proposed initiative requires the use of a Council venue or community bus. If approved, in-kind support is in addition to the cash grant.

Types of activities that we will fund:

  • Unforeseen events or urgent issues posing a risk to existing community groups, programs or events.
  • Unexpected initiatives that need Council's support and benefits a community group and/or the wider Stonnington community.
  • Groups requiring small assistance to get a new project running or host a small community activity.
  • Groups that have missed out on annual grants due to circumstances beyond their control (eg. incapacity of the person in charge of grants application due to illness).

There will be a limit of one application per group per financial year. Applications close once funds are exhausted.

Please read our guidelines for more information.


Community Capacity Building Grant (applications closed)

This grant is provided to organisations to deliver programs, projects and activities that benefit Stonnington residents and align with Council priorities and strategic direction.

We will fund up to $15,000 for these types of activities: 

  • Social and cultural activities and events.
  • Minor equipment purchases (less than $2,000).
  • Environmental initiatives and programs.
  • Health and wellbeing activities.
  • Activities that increase opportunities for organised and passive physical exercise.
  • Programs addressing priorities announced by Council as part of releasing the community grants program (eg. disaster event, significant social issues etc.)

This grant applies to programs carried out from July 2021 to June 2022.

Please read our guidelines for more information.


Partnership Grants (applications closed)

Partnership Grants are available to community organisations to provide programs and services within Stonnington that align with Council priorities. Eligible applicants are expected to demonstrate substantial capacity and sustainability beyond the life of the project.

Partnership Grants provide funding on a triennial (3 years) basis to support the planning and delivery of community based services, programs and activities. This funding will also support community organisations to plan longer term, attract resources and build strategic partnerships with other organisations in Stonnington.

We will fund up to $50,000 for these types of activities:

  • Collaborations that strengthen community awareness, resilience and capacity.
  • Multi-year projects that deal with complex issues.
  • Interventions that prevent disadvantage or social harm. 
  • Programs that address financial hardship and deliver basic human needs.
  • Programs addressing priorities announced by Council as part of releasing the community grants program (eg. disaster events, significant social issues etc.).

Please read our guidelines for more information.


In Kind Grants (applications closed)

This grant provides subsidised use of Council venues and community transport services to eligible groups and organisations.

Council venues for hire:

Community transport services for hire:

  • Regular rostered services with a driver
  • Community Group Organised Day trips – with a driver*
  • Casual bus booking for mini-buses – without a driver 

Our Community Transport roster is based on a calendar year (January to December).

Please book your venue or transport service before applying for the grant and attach the booking confirmation to the online grant application.

Read our guidelines for more information on in-kind venue hire and transport services


* This service is not available until further notice due to social distancing requirements. However, we invite groups and organisations to submit applications to access the service in the eventuality Council increases passenger capacity later.
 Only mini-buses can be booked under this service.


Program priorities

Our Community Grants program supports local projects that meet the following objectives and priorities articulated in the Council Plan and other key strategic and policy documents:

  • Improve community health, well-being and safety.
  • Enhance social connections.
  • Promote accessibility and inclusiveness.
  • Advance social cohesion and reconciliation.
  • Actively promote environmental sustainability.

See our policy for more details.

How to apply

1. Read the eligibility criteria


To qualify for Community Grants, you must:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Auspice Organisation with an ABN and written consent.
  • Be not-for-profit and incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act or enacted under legislative provisions for charitable purposes; or supported by an Incorporated Association that is deemed to be a not-for-profit, as classified by the Australian Taxation Office (section 103A(2) (c) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936).
  • Comply with Victorian Child Safety Standards and attach a Child Safe Policy to the grant applications if you provide services and facilities for children (anyone under 18 years old).
  • Have current Public Liability insurance of no less than $20,000,000.
  • Have acquitted any previous Council grants and have no outstanding debts to Council.

In addition, applications will only be considered if they:

  • Are completed via online Smarty Grants application by the closing date and time.
  • Propose an activity that will commence and conclude in the financial year of the grant.
  • Propose an activity which takes place within the City of Stonnington boundaries, or is part of a broader project that has a clear benefit to the Stonnington community.
  • Have beneficial outcomes for the Stonnington community.
  • Offer accessible and inclusive activities and programs without discrimination or restrictions.
  • Have supplied all financial and other information that is requested.

Please note that organisations in auspice arrangements are not permitted to apply for Partnership Grant.


Funding will not be considered for:
  • Commercial enterprises.
  • Individuals or a project that supports an individual.
  • Business as usual – staff salaries and operational expenses except where there is substantial evidence the program would otherwise not operate without funding support.
  • Groups with access to revenue from electronic gaming machines.
  • Recipients of previous Community Grants who have not returned an acceptable completed acquittal form.
  • Proposals from current City of Stonnington employees or contractors.
  • Hire of venues of a commercial nature.
  • Carnivals, fairs and festivals (please refer to Arts and Cultural Grants Program).
  • Political, religious or spiritual organisations where the key focus of the program is to promote their beliefs (this does not include community celebrations of cultural festivals).
  • Activities that are considered the responsibility of State or Federal Government to fund (eg. core school curriculum activities).
  • Activities that duplicate an existing service or program provided by City of Stonnington.
  • Projects that have detrimental environmental impact or produce large quantities of waste.
  • Buildings’ structural improvement, refurbishment, building maintenance.
  • Retrospective funding (ie. funds for expenditure that has already commenced or occurred).
  • Projects/events outside the grant financial year.
  • Projects that have already been approved by the Council under another funding program.

2. Go to the information session

Attend our information session to find out about the grant program's application process, selection and assessment criteria, and to have your questions answered:

Community Grants information session

  • Date: Friday 18 June 2021
  • Time: 4:30 pm - 6 pm
  • Location: Online Zoom session

Book online via Trybooking

You must go to the session, even if you've applied before.

Online support sessions

We also offer online support sessions for applicants who may need assistance with the Smarty Grants system and application process. We can support up to 10 people for each virtual session.


  • Wednesday 23 June 2021: 11 am - 12:30 pm
  • Wednesday 30 June 2021: 11 am - 12:30 pm
  • Friday 2 July 2021: 11 am - 12:30 pm

Register your attendance by contacting our Community Development Officer Me'ad Assan on 8290 1255 or at Zoom links will be sent once you register.

3. Book your venue and/or transport services

If your program uses Council venues or community transport services (In Kind Grant), you must book your venue or transport service before sending your application.

Attach your booking confirmation to your online application at Step 5.

4. Get the following documents for your application

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Certificate of Incorporation or evidence of legislative provisions for charitable purposes
  • Current Certificate of Currency – Public Liability Insurance
  • Annual operating budget with full details
  • Copy of Annual General Meeting minutes
  • Council venue booking confirmation letter (if you're applying for In Kind Grants)
  • Auspice organisation's letter of approval (for auspice applicants)
  • Copies of quotes for minor equipment or capital works
  • Any extra support documents

5. Submit your application

Grants received by the due date and via the Smarty Grants portal will be assessed. A pre-eligibility check will be undertaken to ensure applications meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications will be assessed against a pre-determined criteria by Council Officers across various areas of Council, then a Council Working Group with a recommendation made to Council for decision. The assessment criteria for each grant program is stated in the guidelines:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my organisation eligible to apply for 2021/2022 Community Grant?

An organisation is eligible to apply for the Community Grants if it is a not-for-profit and incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act or enacted under legislative provisions for charitable purposes.

Note that a not-for-profit organisation is an organisation that provides services or undertake activities for the community’s benefits and does not operate to make a profit for its members.

Can an unincorporated organisation apply for 2021/2022 Community Grant?

Yes, it can apply for the Community Grans if it enters into an auspice arrangement with an incorporated not-for-profit organisation and provides a letter of approval from the organisation auspicing the project.

Auspice means the incorporated organisation is agreeing to the management of the grant funds on your behalf. If your application is approved, the money will be paid to the named auspice organisation to manage the funds on your behalf.

Organisations in auspice arrangement are not permitted to apply for the Partnership Grant (triennial).

Can an organisation submit multiple applications?

Yes, it can submit multiple applications for different projects. However, Council will only support up to two applications (projects or programs targeting areas of highest need or maximising program impact).

Can an organisation apply for more than one grant category (Annual, Partnership and In Kind)?

Yes, as long as it applies for funding for different projects.

Can the Community Grants be used to cover staff salary, administrative costs?

Yes, if you provide strong evidence that the program would not go ahead without staff support and that the administrative expenses covered by the funds are related to the specific program or program.

Can the Community Grants be used to finance capital works (eg. buildings’ structural improvement, refurbishment, building maintenance)?


Note that the Community Grants can fund the purchase of equipment up to $2,000.

Which grant category shall my organisation apply for?

This will depend on the proposed project or program, including the issue to address. Please read the guidelines and refer to each fund’s category section ‘type of activities Council will support’.

Suppose the organisation seeks a cash grant and in-kind support (a venue or a community bus). In that case, it can apply for the Community Capacity Building Grant (annual) or Partnership Grant (triennial).

If the organisation wishes to use a Council venue or a community bus, it can apply for In Kind Grants.

Which essential documentation my organisation must provide?

  • Certificate of Incorporation or evidence of legislative provisions for charitable purposes
  • Current Certificate of Currency — Public Liability Insurance of no less than $20 million
  • Minutes from your organisation’s last Annual General Meeting
  • Current annual report or financial statement
  • Child Safe Policy, if your project includes contact with children aged 0-18
  • Auspice applicants must attach a letter of approval from the auspice organisation
  • Evidence of tentative booking confirmation, if your project requires the use of a Council-owned facility and a community bus
  • Copies of quotations for minor equipment (up to $2,000), if your organisation seeks funds to purchase equipment

How do I submit an application?

You can submit an application via the Smarty Grants portal.

Your organisation must register if it does not have a Smarty Grants account. To register, follow the following steps:

  1. Visit the Community Grants page and click on Apply.
  2. You will go to another page where you can either click on Log in or Start a submission. Both options will take you to another page.
  3. You can then register by clicking on the Register button

Information session PowerPoint presentation