Stronger Communities Grants

The Stronger Communities Grants Program will allocate up to $1 million in grants over three years for projects that build more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive local communities.

This grant initiative forms part of the Stronger Communities funding that is now available to our newly created Inner West Council from the NSW Government. Local community groups will be able to apply for Stronger Community Grants ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000.

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 Stronger Communities Grants Guidelines (PDF 582.3KB) here.  Alternatively you can find the details below.

The objectives of the Inner West Stronger Communities Grants are to:

  • Deliver social, arts and cultural, recreation, environmental and economic benefits for the communities of the Inner West Council
  • Strengthen the Inner West as the creative engine of global Sydney
  • Deliver innovative projects to enhance liveability and wellbeing in the Inner West
  • Enhance local identity in the communities, villages, neighbourhoods and precincts of the Inner West
  • Support a vibrant street life, support local business and enterprise throughout the Inner West
  • Reflect and celebrate community and cultural diversity
  • Strengthen social justice and inclusion
  • Support social, cultural, environmental and economic sustainability
  • Improve connectivity across the Inner West

Levels of Support

$350,000 is available for the Inner West Stronger Communities Grants Program 2018 round.

Projects can be funded to the following levels:

  • $10,000 - $20,000 – one-off projects
  • $20,000 - $50,000 – one-off projects

$10,000 is the minimum amount for grant applications. Applicants seeking funding of over $20,000 will be required to provide additional information regarding project budgeting, planning and capacity to deliver. Applicants seeking over $20,000 will also be required to speak to Inner West Council officers before making an application. Unconfirmed funding sources other the Stronger Communities Grant cannot total more than 20% of the overall income of the project, unless otherwise agreed by an Inner West Council officer.


Applicants must:

  • Be an Australian resident or permanent resident over 18 years of age if applying as an individual
  • Be a resident of or work or study in the Inner West LGA or a non-resident offering a project or program of significant benefit to the local community if applying as an individual
  • Be a registered, incorporated not-for-profit or community group or organisation; or a community group, enterprise or individual auspiced by an incorporated not-for-profit organisation
  • Be a combination of the above organisation/s or group/s
  • If an individual, be a professional practitioner with a demonstrated history/track of working in their field and / or practice
  • Apply for a specific project or program and not consider the grant as a permanent source of future funding
  • Have written agreement from project partners before submission of an application
  • Not be a political party or a group formally linked to a political party
  • Not be proposing activities that could be perceived as divisive within the community
  • Submit only one application per grant round. Applicants should discuss funding with Inner West Council officers prior to submission


If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for funding, but does not meet the criteria of being an incorporated not-for-profit community organisation, they may enter into an auspicing agreement.

These agreements would involve an:

  • Auspiced Individual or Organisation – an individual or community organisation who wishes to apply for funding, but is not an incorporated not-for-profit community organisation.
  • Auspicing Organisation – an incorporated not for profit organisation who will administer the Auspiced Individual or Organisation’s grant, including invoicing for and distributing any received funds.

The obligations of auspicing agreements can vary and the terms of the agreement should be arranged by the parties involved. All applicants who are wishing to apply through an Auspice Organisation must attach a letter confirming the Auspice’s agreement to act as auspice to their application form.

Other Requirements

Projects or Programs must:

  • Demonstrate community benefit
  • Demonstrate innovation
  • Be in, for, or about the Inner West Council local government area and its community
  • Not be used to cover administrative costs beyond the administrative requirements of the application
  • Be acquitted by December 2019

Assessment Criteria

Applications are assessed against the following criteria:

  • Impact and quality of social, cultural, economic or environmental benefits to local communities;
  • Ability to improve access to and participation in community and cultural activities;
  • The merit of the application in addressing community priorities identified in Inner West Council's Community Strategic Plan
  • Capacity to deliver a well-planned project or program;
  • Realistic budget, including all sources of income (please refer to budget page for details);
  • The extent of the in-kind and financial support provided by the applicant towards the project
  • Engagement with the Inner West community and collaborative partnerships; and
  • Previous assistance received from the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils.

Assessment Process

Applications are assessed by a panel comprising of:

  • Inner West Council Mayor or delegate
  • State MP’s or representatives
  • Regional Coordinator of Department of Premier and Cabinet or delegate
  • Other members appointed by the Mayor
  • An independent probity advisor appointed by the Mayor
  • Local community members and / or experts with demonstrated specialist skills and knowledge relevant to submitted applications, as approved by the Mayor

The panel will assess applications against eligibility and selection criteria with recommendations made to Inner West Council for approval. All applicants will be advised as to whether they have or have not been successful within four weeks of Council’s decision.

Conditions for Approval

Council advises that:

  • 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 from Leichhardt, Ashfield or Marrickville Council in previous years will only be eligible to apply for assistance in the current year if all accountability and evaluation procedures have been satisfied. For any funded project still in progress a progress report must be submitted as part of this application
  • 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

Accountability Requirements

Successful applicants will be required to undertake the following activities:

  • Sign a form accepting the conditions of the grant
  • Forward Council an invoice for the awarded sum
  • Complete an acquittal report for Council within one month of the project being completed using the acquittal form provided by Council
  • 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 and engraved. Should the organisation cease to exist or the individual no longer uses the equipment, the equipment must be returned to Council
  • All promotional materials must acknowledge Council’s support through text or logo placement. In addition, the following wording must appear on all Stronger Communities Fund Project Materials: "Funded by NSW Government through the Stronger Communities Fund". Approval of final copy must be sought one month prior to release
  • Council will provide instructions regarding appropriate acknowledgement of Council and the use of Council logos
  • Failure to comply with these requirements will mean the funded organisation or individual will not be eligible for grants in the future and may face legal proceedings
  • Council will require written evidence of other confirmed funding sources

Filling in your application

Inner West Council uses the Smarty Grants online system for grant applications.

If you have technical difficulties with the form, contact Smarty Grants on 03 9320 6888 or

If you have other difficulties filling in this form including physical and language barriers, contact Council’s Community Services and Culture Team.

The form can be previewed before you apply by going to the online application link provided and clicking ‘preview’.


Detailed budgets are required for the Inner West Stronger Communities Grants. You should detail income and expenditure for each year you are seeking funding. Some examples of the funding items that should be listed are included below.


Income requested from the Inner West Stronger Communities Grants; income from other funders; in kind support or sponsorship; ticket/product sales if relevant.


All salaries/staffing costs (as relevant only to the project) including contractor fees (itemised separately); any material costs such as IT equipment, art materials, sporting equipment (itemised separately); travel costs, utilities and administration (as relevant only to project delivery); event costs including catering, hall hire, PA hire etc (itemised separately); services relevant to the project (eg. translation); fees, licences and permits relevant to the project; marketing and publicity.

The income and expenditure columns of your budget should balance unless otherwise approved by Inner West Council officers. 

The following table shows an example budget:



Stronger Communities 2018 Grant


Apple computer (iMAC 1.6 ghz)


Crowdfunding (unconfirmed)


Photoshop software licences (3 x licences)


In kind meeting room hire at Neighbourhood Centre - 5 days at $200 per day (confirmed)


Samsung SE300 Projector




Software trainer (2 days at $500 per day)




Launch event flyers




Launch event social media




Launch event catering




Community facilitators (2 facilitators for 10 days at $300 per day)




IT networking and installation




PA hire (for community launch)




Meeting room hire (in kind)






Essential Supplementary Attachments

The project and personnel

  • Examples of projects/ work the applicant has delivered in the past by providing URLs / weblinks. If you do not have any online links to project examples you may upload examples, such as .pdf, audio files (eg. mp3), video files (eg. mp4) or images (.jpg)
  • CVs of key personnel delivering the project
  • A project plan including the timeline and key milestones of the project
  • Letters from confirmed project partners
  • Two quotes for any capital equipment expenditure or physical works over $1,000. Two quotes will be required for each item
  • Letters from confirmed funding sources including in-kind funding
  • If you have received funds from Leichhardt, Ashfield or Marrickville Council that are not currently acquitted you will need to attach a progress report
  • Written references from a current or recent employer or other relevant professional will be required for applications above $20,000

Relevant to applications seeking funding for physical changes to premises, such as building works

  • If not the property owner, a letter of consent from the owner

Relevant to the not-for-profit organisation applying for funding or acting as an auspice for the purposes of the grant application

  • Contact details of an office bearer or member of the management committee;
  • A copy of the organisation’s constitution or stated aims and objectives;
  • A copy of the organisation’s most recent annual report;
  • A copy of the organisation’s most recent audited statement or statement of income and expenditure; and
  • Details of public liability insurance including provider, type of insurance and policy number.

Relevant to individuals or organisations who are being auspiced by a not-for-profit organisation

  • A letter of agreement from the Auspicing Organisation

Individual applicants who are being auspiced by a not-for-profit organisation

  • Proof of Australian Residency
  • Proof of identity including age and residential address.


Applications closed.

Please contact Council about alternative means of application if you are unable to fill in the online application form. 

Further Information

For more information about the Inner West community visit:


Please contact Freya Ververis, Council's Arts Grants and Engagement Officer on 9392 5282 or


Key Dates

Council's Stronger Communities Grants Program has now closed.

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



Stronger Communities Grants Program has now closed.

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Page last updated: 12 Nov 2018