Recreation Grants

The Recreation Grants Program provides financial support to community sporting and recreation groups and non-government community recreation organisations that offer recreation programs and services to residents in the Inner West Council area.

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

The Recreation Grants Program provides financial support of up to $7,500.

Download the Recreation Grants guidelines here:

Alternatively you can find details below.


Council's Recreation Grants Program has now closed and will reopen mid next year.

It is expected that all current applicants will be notified by early November.

Grant payments will be made once Funding Agreements have been completed and returned to Council, with funding awarded before the end of December 2018 for projects to be undertaken in the following calendar year, between 1 January and 31 December. 


  • Address and remove barriers to participation and engagement supporting people to meet their full potential
  • Create positive and meaningful involvement in our neighbourhoods and communities
  • Ensure inclusive and best practice access to recreation so that all members of the Inner West community can enjoy activities that appeal to their interest and form closer connections.

Priority groups:

Aboriginal communities, CALD communities, children, young people, LGBTIQ communities, older people, people with a disability and women and girls.


Assistance is provided to projects that:

  • Promote an active and healthy community
  • Increase and/or enhance regular and on-going participation opportunities in sport, recreation or structured physical activity in a sustainable manner
  • Provide inclusive access to participation in sport, recreation and structured physical activity
  • Build the capacity of the organisation to enhance provision of sport and recreation services (e.g. provide training to develop the skills of volunteers)

Types of projects supported

A broad range of endeavours may be assisted through this program that meets the programs aims and objectives above.


  • Applicants must be an Australian resident or permanent resident and be 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 not-for-profit and appropriately incorporated organisation
  • Applicants must be offering a project of demonstrable and significant benefit to Inner West Council residents. Residents must be the major beneficiaries of the project
  • 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
  • Applicants must be a resident of the Inner West Council area or non-residents offering a program of demonstrable and significant benefit to the local community
  • Applicants must have completed the Evaluation report (and acquitted the project) from previous grants from Inner West Council and/or the former Councils of Leichhardt, Ashfield 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
  • Applications must be for a specific project and not consider a grant as a permanent source of future funding. Grants are not awarded to cover a short fall in administrative costs
  • 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 per Recreation grant round may be submitted

Not eligible

  • Ongoing staffing or operational costs;
  • 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
  • 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 of federal government departments (including schools or tertiary institutions), or projects which fall under the responsibility of another tier of government. Parents and Citizens’ Associations can only apply for projects which 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 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

Recreation Grant


Coaching Course Fees


Volunteer in kind contribution




Media / Promotion


Field / facility hire





Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed by relevant Council staff against the eligibility and assessment criteria. Applications which meet the eligibility and assessment criteria will be considered by a selection panel. Priority will be given to local applicants.

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 directions and Grants Programs Objectives (outlined earlier in this document)
  • Provide recreation 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 recreation activities with sustainable outcomes
  • Availability of similar services provided in the Inner West Council area
  • 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 the relevant Council Officer 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; and
  • Applicants should not submit an application about the same project to other Grant Programs (such as a Recreation Grant and 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 requiring:

  • Sign a funding agreement accepting the conditions of the grant
  • Forward Council an invoice for the awarded sum
  • Variations to the project and project's contact person and/or contact details (ie; phone/address etc) 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
  • 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
  • Once contracts are finalised, payments are processed with a standard 30 day turnaround time.

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 their project completion timeframe. 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 Alistair Foggo, Council's Recreation Development Officer on 9392 5241 or


Recreation Grants will reopen mid next year.

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Page last updated: 21 May 2019