Community wellbeing grants

The Community Wellbeing Grants provides financial and in-kind assistance to not-for-profit community based organisations or community groups auspiced by an organisation, for projects which:

  • Address local issues
  • Promote social justice
  • Enhance wellbeing
  • Strengthen the sustainability and capacity of Inner West Community
  • Foster inclusion, social connection.

The grants support community development projects and initiatives that align to Inner West Council’s Community Strategic Plan.  Applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Inner West Council's Community Strategic Plan, Community Profile and associated pages by reviewing the information at the web addresses provided:

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

Community Wellbeing Grants of up to $7,500 are available annually, with small grants between $250-$500 available on an as needs basis.

Download the Community Wellbeing Grants guidelines here:

Alternatively you can find details below.


  • Community Wellbeing Annual Grants Program
    Community Wellbeing Annual Grants Program will reopen mid 2019.
  • Community Wellbeing Small Grants Pilot Program is open until 17 June 2019

Apply online here

Annual round grant funding will be allocated in December 2018 for projects to be undertaken in the following calendar year, between 1 January and 31 December 2019.  Small grant funding will need to be expended within 6 months of the grant being approved.


The Community Wellbeing 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
  • 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.


  • Applicants must be an Australian resident or permanent resident and be over 18 years
  • Applicants must be a legally incorporated, not for profit community group or organisation OR a community group auspiced by an incorporated organisation
  • The applicant must be offering a project of demonstrable and significant benefit to Inner West Council residents. Residents must be the major 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 and regulations
  • Applications must address Council’s Community Strategic Plan and address one or more of Council’s strategic directions
  • Applicants must have completed the Evaluation Report from previous grants (and acquitted the project) from Inner West Council and/or the former Councils of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville where projects have been completed and have no outstanding debts to Council. Should acquittals not be due, a progress report must have been submitted as requested by 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
  • Only one application for a Community Wellbeing Grant is to be submitted each year.

Not eligible

  • Projects which duplicate services already provided in the Inner West Council area
  • Projects that have already been completed – funding cannot be applied for and used retrospectively
  • Where acquittals or progress reports from previous grant funding rounds have not been completed when due
  • Capital works eg; such as renovations to buildings
  • General donations to charities however specific local projects applied for by charities may be eligible
  • Ongoing salary costs for 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. Parents and Citizens' Associations (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)
  • Applications seeking financial assistance for overseas travel, or other costs where it could be perceived that the applicant would derive excessive personal benefits


The proposed budget you include in your grant application must clearly show how you arrived at the total grant amount requested and include all sources of project income and expenditure. Quotes should be included especially for proposed purchase of equipment.  Please note; there is no guarantee that if successful in receiving a grant you will receive the full amount requested. Some applications may only receive partial grant funding.  The budget should:

  • be GST exclusive
  • include a breakdown of expected expenditure
  • include in-kind contributions/donations.

The table below provides an example of a budget.

Income Description

Expenditure Description

Community Wellbeing Grant


Consultant Fees


Volunteer in kind contribution




Media / Promotion




Hall (hire)










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 Community Strategic Plan and Grants Programs Objectives (outlined earlier in this document)
  • Provide social benefits to Inner West communities
  • 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, confirmation of venue hire, in-kind and financial support provided by the applicant towards the project
  • Ability to improve access, inclusion, diversity and participation in community and cultural activities with sustainable outcomes
  • Merit of the application in comparison to the other applications
  • Benefits to communities within the Inner West Council area adversely affected by WestConnex.

Grants management

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

Application process 

Applications must be submitted using the Smarty Grants 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. Grant funding is available in two streams:

  • Small grants stream: Grants funding between $250-$500 is available to support community development projects and initiatives that strengthen the sustainability and capacity of the Inner West community. Applications may only apply for a small grant once per year and must present a strong argument as to why the application cannot wait to be considered as part of the annual grants program.
  • Annual grants stream: Grants funding of up to $7,500 is available for larger projects and offered once per year. Applicants will need to demonstrate well-planned projects and project measures for evaluation to be competitive.


Submissions will be assessed against eligibility and selection criteria by an expert panel. Recommendations will be made to Inner West Council for approval for annual grants approval, and to the Group Manager Community Services and Culture for small grants 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 IWC 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
  • Applicants should not submit an application about the same project to other Grant Programs (such as a Community Wellbeing Grant and a Recreation Grant) but can apply to other Grant Programs if the projects differ. The field is highly competitive and applicants should contact Council staff to discuss the appropriate Grant Program, where they are unsure.

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 Smarty Grants agreement and condition form and can be summarised as requiring:

  • Sign a funding agreement accepting the conditions of the grant
  • Forward Council an invoice for the awarded sum
  • Once contracts are finalised, payments are processed with a standard 30 day turnaround time
  • Variations to the project and project's contact person and/or contact details (ie; phone/address etc) must be formally requested and approved
  • Acknowledgment of Council's support of the project must occur on promotional material 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
  • Projects must be accessible to all members of the Inner West community. Residents must not be denied participation based on their ethnicity, culture, religion, gender and identity, age, disability or sexual preference
  • Where funds are approved for the purchase of equipment, the organisation or individual will be required to provide receipts for equipment, the equipment is to be identified as an asset of the organisation. Should the organisation cease to exist or the individual no longer uses the equipment, the equipment must be returned to Council.

Evaluation and reporting

Grants recipients are required by Council to acquit their project on a Smarty Grants online evaluation and reporting form within two months of project completion. Any unexpended grant funds must be returned to Council. Acquittals require a final project evaluation report, 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. The Smarty Grants form detailing the timeframe for completion of this acquittal will be uploaded for completion and an email sent to the contact person in the application. Extensions can be granted with permission given extenuating circumstances.


For grant enquires please contact Council's Grants and Research Officer on 9392 5842.

It is encouraged for requests of over $2,000 that you discuss your project with a staff member from the Community Wellbeing team. Please call Council and ask to speak to the relevant Community Wellbeing staff member (eg; Youth, Seniors, Disability, Children, Aboriginal etc) on 9392 5000. 


Community Wellbeing Annual Grants Program: now closed

Community Wellbeing Small Grants Pilot Program is open until 17 June 2019:

Apply online here

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Page last updated: 23 May 2019