Environment Grants

Apply here for the Small Autumn Round

The Environment Grants support groups that benefit the environment and community through projects focused on:

  • Environmental improvement
  • Sustainability education
  • Awareness-raising and the promotion of sustainable living as a way of life.

Applicants are encouraged to address issues such as climate change, sustainable transport, water sensitive urban design, biodiversity, and recycling and reuse.

A list of successful applicants and their projects for earlier rounds, can be found on the Successful Environment Grants page.

The grants support environment 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.

Environment Grants of up to $7,500 are available annually, with small grants of up to $500 available quarterly.

Download the Environment Grants guidelines here:

Alternatively you can find details below.


  • Environment Annual Grant Program

The 2019 Environment Annual Grant Program will open on Monday, 3 June 2019.

Environment Small Grants are open each quarter:

  • Autumn Round: open now - closes 5pm Monday 13 May 2019 - Apply Here
  • Winter Round: opens mid July 2019
  • Spring Round: opens mid October 2019
  • Summer Round: opens mid January 2020

Annual round grant funding will be allocated in August 2019 for projects to be undertaken between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020. Small grant funding will need to be expended within 6 months of the grant being approved.


The Environment Grants objectives are to:

  • Benefit the environment through local projects
  • Involve the local community in project design and delivery
  • Support people to take action, and to share skills and knowledge about the local environment
  • Raise awareness and understanding of environmental and sustainability issues
  • Build capacity in the community to address these issues

Types of projects supported

A broad range of endeavours may be assisted through this program. Council will give priority to projects where it can be shown that the project:

  • Is of environmental benefit to the local community or promotes improved understanding of environmental and sustainability issues
  • Offers innovative approaches and positive solutions to environmental and sustainability issues
  • Has a strong community engagement component, involving the community in the planning and implementation of the project
  • Does not duplicate existing programs in the Inner West Council area


  • Applicants must be an Australian resident or permanent resident and over 18 years
  • Applicants must be a registered and appropriately incorporated not-for-profit, non-government, or commercial organisation or a community group auspiced by a not-for-profit and appropriately 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 and are not available as a permanent source of future funding
  • Applications must be able to demonstrate that the project is 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 Environment Grants of over $500 is to be submitted each year. Applicants may apply more than once for small grants.

Not eligible

  • Projects that 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
  • General donations to charities; however, specific local projects applied for by charities may be eligible
  • Capital works such as renovations to buildings
  • Ongoing salary costs for staffing, or operational costs
  • Activities that could be perceived as divisive within the community
  • Grants will not be provided to political parties or groups formally linked to a political party
  • State or Federal government departments (including schools or tertiary institutions). Parents and Citizens' Associations (P&Cs) are eligible to apply for projects that are demonstrably 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 applicants include in their grant application must clearly show how they 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 applicants 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

Environment Grant




Contribution from membership fees


Consultant fee


Equipment hire


Media/promotion costs






Assessment criteria

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

  • Impact and quality of the project‘s contribution to  Council’s Community Strategic Plan and Grants Program Objectives (outlined earlier in this document)
  • 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
  • Merit of the application in comparison to other applications
  • Benefits to communities within the Inner West Council area adversely affected by WestConnex.

Grants management

Council uses 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.

Applicants need to complete an Environment Grants Application Form and submit supporting documentation. Please read these guidelines and the application form carefully to ensure all questions are answered and all necessary documents are attached. Applications must meet the eligibility requirements and no late applications will be accepted. Funding is available in two streams:

  • Quarterly small grant stream. Grants of up to $500 to help groups establish, develop or expand activities with materials or resources are offered each quarter. Applicants must present a strong argument as to why the application cannot wait to be considered as part of the annual grants program.
  • Annual grant stream. Grants of up to $7,500 are to help kick-start larger projects and are 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 annual grants approval, and to the Group Manager Environment and Sustainability 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. 

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 an Environment Grant and a Community Wellbeing 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 follows:

  • 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 or project's contact person or contact details must be formally requested in writing 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.

Evaluation and reporting

Grants recipients are required to acquit their project on a Smarty Grants online evaluation and reporting form within two months of their 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.


Please contact Niki Huang, Council's Environment Officer on 9392 5516 or niki.huang@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

It is encouraged for requests of over $2,000 that you discuss your project with a staff member from the Environment and Sustainability team.

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Page last updated: 16 May 2019