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Guide to Annual Community Grants

Our Annual Community Grants Program support organisations to strengthen and enrich community life through programs and activities in a range of areas including leisure, cultural awareness, environment, health, education, sporting and welfare.

We are encouraging not-for-profit community groups, sporting clubs and other organisations to come up with innovative ideas.

Unfortunately, not all applications that are eligible can be funded, but this guide will help give you, and your idea, the best chance.

Graffiti Busters have been supported by Bayside City Council grants.


To be eligible for a Bayside Annual Community Grant, applicants must clearly validate their not-for-profit status by showing their organisation is:

  • registered with Consumer Affairs Victoria as an incorporated association through provision of an ABN or by uploading a certificate of incorporation;
  • registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission through provision of an ABN; or
  • a company limited by guarantee through provision of an ABN.
  • The applicant organisation (or auspicing body) must have Public Liability Insurance that is deemed appropriate by Council’s Risk Manager.
  • The applicant must have a membership that is wholly or significantly made up of people who are Bayside residents or ratepayers; and /or
  • The applicant must submit a grant proposal for a program or project that significantly benefits the Bayside community.

Grants will not be made to organisations which have an outstanding debt to Council or have not satisfactorily acquitted a previous grant. To check if your organisation is up to date with acquittal reports, please contact our Community Development Officer by email: grants [at] bayside.vic.gov.au.

Applicants that are not incorporated or do not have an ABN may still apply if they are supported by an eligible auspice organisation. An auspice arrangement is when a larger organisation assists a smaller organisation to fund a grant activity or event. The larger organisation is known as the auspice organisation. The smaller group or organisation is known as the grant recipient.

If your grant application is successful, your auspice organisation will be responsible for:

  • all legal and financial responsibility for the grant on your group’s behalf;
  • receiving and distributing grant funds under the grant agreement; and
  • ensuring all grant activities or events are completed.

The application should be submitted by the grant recipient (the organisation that does not have an ABN or is not incorporated), not the auspice organisation. It is recommended that you have a separate agreement in place with the auspice organisation in relation to the auspice arrangements, such as through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). At a minimum, an applicant must upload a letter of agreement from the auspice organisation within their grant application.

If you are unsure where to seek an auspice, you can consider approaching:

  • community organisations that you have an existing partnership or good working relationship with
  • more established community organisations within your community such as Rotary or Lions clubs
  • larger umbrella organisations that support and represent many groups in your area of interest
  • neighbourhood houses or community centres.

No, however equitable opportunity and organisational sustainability will be considered during assessment phase. An organisation that acts as an auspice for an unincorporated organisation may also apply for a grant in its own right for a separate project.

The application process

Applications must be submitted online. You can find the Program Guidelines, more information and the link to the online application form at our Annual Community Grants website.

Applications open on 9am Monday 12 April 2021.

If you wish to leave a partially completed application, press 'save and close' and log out. When you log back in and click on the 'My Submissions' link at the top of the screen, you will find a list of any applications you have started or submitted. You can reopen your draft application and start where you left off.

Applications must be submitted by the closing date 5pm 19 May 2021.

You will find a Review and Submit button at the bottom of the Navigation Panel. You need to review your application before you can submit it.

If you do not receive a confirmation of submission email then you should presume that your submission has NOT been submitted. Hint: check the email hasn’t landed in your spam or junk email folder.

Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be considered. No extensions for applications will be allowed. All requested documents must be uploaded with your application. 

If you need help using the application form, download the Help Guide for Applicants or check out Applicant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Hint: if you’re still having problems such as the form isn’t loading or submitting, try using a different internet browser.

If this does not work, please contact Council on 9599 4787 or email grants [at] bayside.vic.gov.au and we will assist where possible. Please allow at least three business days for support.

For those applicants needing support accessing the application system, a session will be held at Brighton Library on Tuesday 4 May 2021, 1–2pm. Bookings for this session are essential. Please not that this session is provided for technical support only and application content will not be reviewed by Council staff.

No. All applications must be submitted online via Council’s SmartyGrants system. If you do not have a computer you can access one for free from Brighton, Sandringham and Beaumaris libraries.

You can nominate someone else to send and receive application information via emails. Outline this person’s details under section 2 of the application form ‘Contact person for enquiries about your application’ when you apply. This contact person will receive all day-to-day correspondence and documents related to the grant funding (e.g. application and reporting processes).

Council can arrange access to a government funded translator service if English is not your first language.

Grants of up to $7,500 each may be made for initiatives by community groups that meet the objectives of the Bayside City Council Grants Policy 2020, particularly:

  • To assist community organisations to establish, extend and improve programs and services that address local needs;
  • To encourage voluntary activities, community participation and the contribution of local groups and organisations to community life;
  • To promote community development and build social capital; and
  • To encourage innovative approaches to emerging issues and needs.

It is recommended that applications demonstrate an alignment with one or more of the goals and objectives of the Wellbeing for All Ages and Abilities Strategy 2017-2021.

Priority will be given to initiatives that target vulnerable members of the community, build resilience or reach new audiences and are readily accessible and available for the wider community.

We may have to decline applications because they do not meet the eligibility criteria, or because we are unable to see a clear alignment to the primary objectives of the Annual Community Grant program. The following is a list of project ideas and applications that are ineligible. Please take the time to read through this list to ensure your idea matches what we are looking for.

Grants will not be made under this program for projects or initiatives that:

  • are deemed to be ‘business as usual’ for the organisation applying or fund ongoing core operational costs such as salaries, training, facility maintenance, insurance, rent, utilities, infrastructure, capital projects and rubbish removal etc.
  • have been implemented or completed prior to the application being submitted
  • receive significant funding from another funding agency
  • that are the responsibility of State or Federal government
  • that form part of a school’s curricular or extracurricular program
  • meet the funding purpose of an alternative grant programs within Council’s Contingency Grants (for example, Events and Festivals).  Please note these will be referred to the more appropriate stream.  Applicants are encouraged to review all of Council’s available funding streams for suitability prior to submitting an application at our Contingency Grants page.

The Annual Community Grants are assessed via a competitive process. Council is looking for innovative projects, collaborations or initiatives that meet the need of the people in your chosen group. 

Consult with members of the chosen group or community about the project idea and seek their feedback.

Before starting your application, here’s a list of everything you’ll need to answer:

  • What is the community need you aim to address?
  • How will your application meet that need?
  • How does your application align to the grant outcomes?
  • How does your application align to the Wellbeing for All Ages and Abilities Strategy?
  • Australian Business Number (ABN) or Certificate of Incorporation
  • Most recent Annual Financial Statement
  • Public Liability certificate of currency
  • Estimated project plan/timeline
  • Details of your project costs and budget breakdown

We recommend you be as specific as you can. Application assessments will take into account realistic costs and budget detail. Obtain quotes and attach it to your application. The more accurate and well-documented your application is the less doubt or questions are raised during assessment.

Please use the budget table provided in the application form to demonstrate the difference between income and expenditure. Total Income of the project MUST EQUAL the Total Expenditure of the project.

State clearly in the income description the amount you are requesting from Bayside City Council as well as any additional sources of income where applicable.

Note: Council does not penalise your application for securing funding from other sources.

Do not include in-kind (non-financial) support within the table as this is listed as a separate question. In-kind (non-financial) support includes items such as volunteer hours, free venue hire, service or product donations or discounted costs. Calculate your in-kind labour.

If you are registered for GST you must not include GST in your income and expenditure figures. You will be paid GST on top of the amount requested.
If you are not registered for GST you must include the total income and expenditure costs to your organisation. This is the total amount that you will be paid.