Community Grants

Community Grants Vs Stronger Community Grants

Please note there are two types of community grants, Community Grants and Stronger Community Grants.

Community Grants are for up to $7,500.

Stronger Community Grants range from $10,000 to $50,000.

If you are unsure which grant to apply for, please ask the contact person for each respective grant area.

The 2017 Program is NOW CLOSED

The Community Grants Program provides financial and in-kind assistance of up to $7,500 to not-for-profit community based organisations or community groups auspiced by an organisation, for sustainable local projects which:

  • address local issues;
  • promote social justice;
  • enhance wellbeing; and
  • foster inclusion and social connection.

The grants support community development projects and initiatives that strengthen the sustainability and capacity of the Inner West community.

All applications should aim to provide community benefits for the residents of the Inner West Council area.
This includes the suburbs of Annandale, Ashfield, Balmain (including Balmain East), Birchgrove, Dobroyd Point, Dulwich Hill, Enmore, Haberfield, Leichhardt, Lewisham, Lilyfield, Marrickville, South Marrickville, Petersham, Rozelle, Stanmore, St Peters, Summer Hill, Sydenham, Tempe. Inner West Council also includes parts of Ashbury, Camperdown, Croydon, Croydon Park, Hurlstone Park and Newtown.

Download the Community Grants Guidelines (PDF 2.8MB) here. Alternatively you can read them below.

Objectives Projects supported Eligibility Not eligible Assessment Criteria Timeframe Grants Administration Further Information Enquiries Key Dates Apply


The Community Grants Program objectives are to:

  • Connect people to each other and place
  • Develop community strengths, capabilities and lifelong learning
  • Encourage social and cultural sustainability
  • Foster an inclusive and diverse community
  • Encourage participation in community activities
  • Promote health and wellbeing
  • Support innovative approaches
  • Support access and equity for all groups to participate in community life
  • Facilitate projects that involve the community in their design and delivery
  • Encourage collaborations and partnerships

Types of projects supported

A broad range of endeavours may be assisted through this program. Find a list of 2016 Community Grants Projects previously funded here.  


  • Applicant must be a legally incorporated, not for profit community group or organisation OR be auspiced by an incorporated organisation
  • Applicant must be an Australian citizen and be over 18 years.
  • Inner West Council residents must be the principal beneficiaries of the project
  • Applications must be for a specific project. Funds are not available as a permanent source of future funding.
  • Projects must be able to demonstrate that the grant would be for a project in the public interest and in accordance with Council policy
  • Applicants must be proposing a project within specified dates of the particular funding program, and cannot be used retrospectively
  • Applications must address Council’s Statement of Vision and Priorities; and address one or more of the program objectives
  • Applicants must have acquitted previous grants from IWC or the former Councils comprising the IWC where projects have been completed; and have no outstanding debts to Council
  • Organisations who are submitting an application as the auspice for another group will not be precluded from submitting an application on behalf of their own organisation

Not eligible

  • Projects which duplicate services already provided in the IWC area
  • Capital works
  • General donations to charities, however specific local projects applied for by charities may be eligible
  • Ongoing staffing or operational costs
  • Grants will not be provided to political parties or groups formally linked to a political party
  • Activities that could be perceived as divisive within the community
  • State or federal government departments (including schools or tertiary institutions), or projects which fall under the responsibility of another tier of government. P&Cs can only apply for projects that can demonstrate the project is accessible and beneficial to the broader Inner West community (beyond the school community)
  • Grants seeking financial assistance for overseas travel or ancillary costs

Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the process of assessing applications:

  • Impact and quality of project that contributes to the Council’s Statement of Vision and priorities
  • Benefits to local Inner West communities
  • Extent to which the project addresses the Grant Program Objectives
  • Capacity to deliver a well-planned project including concept, plan and experience
  • Realistic budget including all sources of project income with inclusion of quotes for proposed purchase of equipment.
  • Ability to improve access, inclusion, diversity and participation in community and cultural activities
  • The extent of the in-kind and financial support provided by the applicant towards the project
  • Merit of the application in comparison to the other applications
  • An organisation may submit as many applications as they wish. However, the field is usually highly competitive and it would be very unusual for an organisation to be funded for more than one project
  • Organisations can apply for more than one type of Council grant but will not be funded for the same project under more than one Council funding stream
  • Benefits to communities within the IWC area adversely affected by WestConnex


Community grants are available on the basis of an annual funding round. Generally grant applications will open early in the financial year, and be allocated by November/December for projects to be undertaken in the following calendar year. Specific dates for each years grant round, including opening and closing dates, will be available on Council’s website early in the financial year.

Grants Administration

Council uses the SmartyGrants online application management system to administer grants programs. SmartyGrants provides a range of forms for applicants to use at various stages of the grants process.

Application process

  • Applications must be submitted using the Smartygrants online application management system. The application form acts like a checklist for applicants. Applications must meet the eligibility requirements and no late applications will be accepted. Hard copy applications cannot be accepted.
  • Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend any grant information sessions which will assist applicants with their proposal (details of which will be promoted on Council’s website). Applicants are encouraged to speak to Council’s Community Services and Culture team should they have any questions regarding the application process or need assistance to complete the online application form.


Submissions will be assessed against eligibility and selection criteria by an expert panel with recommendations made to Inner West Council for approval. Successful applicants will be advised in writing and will be required to enter into a formal funding agreement with Inner West Council. Funding agreements must be finalised before the grants are awarded. Grants cannot be used for anything other than the specified purposes outlined in the funding agreement. Any variation to the project must be sought from Inner West Council and agreed to in writing.

Conditions for approval

  • Council reserves the right to assess an application under an alternative category;
  • The awarding of a grant does not imply the provision of any additional resources or funding for that project or associated activities from Council;
  • Applications for the purchase of significant items (over $1,000) must include copies of two quotes;
  • Applicants who have received funds in previous years will only be eligible to apply for assistance in the current year if all accountability and evaluation procedures have been satisfied;
  • Applicants may not vary the purpose of the grant for which they have been funded without receiving written approval from Council;
  • Applications must contain written confirmation from all partnership bodies named in the proposal as confirmed funding sources or key participating organisations
  • Once contracts are finalised, payments are processed with a standard 30 day turnaround time.

Funding agreements and conditions

Funding agreements require applicants to agree to certain conditions before the money can be issued. These conditions are set out in the Smartygrants agreement and condition form and can be summarised as requiring:

  • Variations to the project and project's contact person or contact details must be formally requested and approved i.e. phone/address etc
  • Acknowledgment of Council's support of the project must occur and be in accordance with Council's Corporate Design Standards. Gaining approval of the use of Council's logo must be received before proceeding to final artwork etc.
  • An evaluation report
  • Projects must be accessible to all members of the Inner West community. Residents must not be denied participation based on their ethnicity, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual preference.

Evaluation and reporting

Grants recipients are required by Council to acquit their project within two months of their project completion timeframe. Any unexpended grant funds must be returned to Council.
A final project evaluation report is required, identifying the project's achievements in relation to the objectives and outcomes as detailed in the application, along with project constraints and an income and expenditure statement.
This will be posted on SmartyGrants detailing the timeframe for completion. Extensions can be granted with permission given extenuating circumstances.

Further Information

For more information about the Inner West community visit:

Community Profile webpage
Statement of Vision and Priorities


Contact Claire Allon on 9716 1830 or

Key Dates

  • Grants open - 3 July 2017
  • Grant Information Session Petersham - 4 July, 6pm to 7pm
    Bookings essential at Eventbrite
  • Grant Information Session Ashfield - 5 July, 10am to 11am
    Bookings essential at Eventbrite
  • Grant Writing Workshop Ashfield - 10 July, 10am to 1pm
    Bookings essential at Eventbrite
  • Grants close - 10 August 2017


The 2017 Program is NOW CLOSED


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