Community Grants

About our Community Grants Program

Round 2 opens Monday, 15 July 2024.

Mount Alexander Shire Council allocates funds each year to support new and innovative community projects that align with the pillars and strategic objectives in the Council Plan 2021-2025 and other plans and strategies.

Two funding rounds of $50,000 are open each year (January and July).

All applications must be for projects that are:

  • based in Mount Alexander Shire and
  • benefit the Mount Alexander Shire community.

Read our Community Grants guidelines.(PDF, 342KB)

To be kept up to date of when grant rounds open, subscribe to our community grants mailing list.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply for a community grant you must be:

  • A not-for-profit organisation, incorporated association, registered charity or have an auspice arrangement.
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or provide a Statement by a Supplier form from the Australian Taxation Office
  • Applications with an auspice, must have a signed auspice agreement. An auspice agreement template is available on Council’s website (for Small grants only). Auspice organisations must have an ABN.
  • Partnership Grant applications must be submitted by a lead organisation and involve a minimum of three partners. All partners must be a not-for-profit, incorporated association or a registered charity.

What won’t be funded?

  • Applications seeking funding to cover recurring projects or activities, ongoing operational costs (e.g. insurance, utilities, rent, salaries). The costs associated with establishing and running events held in Mount Alexander Shire. These may be applied for via Events Grants.
  • Project or activities that are: - religious or political in nature or support a religious or political cause; - of a discriminatory nature in terms of race, disability, age, sex or gender; - requesting donations or fundraising on behalf of a third party; - the responsibility of the State or Federal Government, excluding CFA brigades and SES units; - already commenced, recurrent or have been completed.
  • Maintenance or capital works to buildings. Capital works is defined as ‘building and engineering works that create an asset as well as constructing or installing facilities & fixtures associated with and forming an integral part’.
  • Projects that have the purpose of improving Council owned land or buildings.
  • Activities or works on land which is managed by State of Federal Government
  • On the ground environmental works.
  • Partnership grant applications for equipment only.

How we assess grant applications

Eligible applications are assessed by a cross-organisational panel against the following weighting and criteria listed below.

Applications will be ranked from highest to lowest score and those with the highest scores will be awarded funds until the total pool of $50,000 is exhausted.

25% how well the project aligns with the strategic objectives of the Council Plan

50% how the project benefits and/or meets a need in the Mount Alexander Shire community

25% demonstrated ability to plan and deliver the project

How will you know the outcome of your application?

Successful applicants will be notified by email and sent a funding agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the funding being provided by Council. Funding agreements must be signed and returned by the due date. An invoice for the grant amount must also be provided with the funding agreement to receive funding.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email and provided with feedback. Applicants may also request to speak with a Council officer about their unsuccessful application for further feedback.

How to apply

  1. Review the Community grants Program Guidelines
  2. Contact Council’s Community Grants team to discuss your project idea. Call 03 5471 1700 or email
  3. Check the round closing date so you don’t miss the deadline to submit
  4. We use an online platform called SmartyGrants where you can complete and submit your application. SmartyGrants will prompt you to the current round or to register before beginning your application.
  5. Once your application is complete, you will receive an automated email acknowledging successful submission.

Assistance is available on request.

All applications need to be completed using SmartyGrants, if you require assistance please contact us on 03 5471 1700 or email


Project completion reports

After your project has been a roaring success, you must complete an online acquittal.

  1. Go to: and log in with the username and password you used to submit the application.
  2. Click on “My submissions”.
  3. Click on “Project Completion Report” directly under the submitted application to complete the report.

If you did not apply online, please email

Our success stories 

Below are some of the projects we are proud to have supported through the Community Grants program:


See the successful applicants from our most recent round: Community Grants 2024 - Round 1 recipients(PDF, 88KB).

Frequently asked questions 

What is Council's Community Grants program?

Mount Alexander Shire Council allocates funds each year to support new and innovative community projects that align with the strategic objectives in the Council Plan 2021-2025(PDF, 4MB) .

The Community Grants program comprises of two funding streams:

  • Small grants up to $3,000 per application.
  • Partnership grants up to $10,000 per application.

Two funding rounds of $50,000 are open each year: January and June.

Which funding stream should I apply for?

To gain a better understanding of the right funding stream for your project, read the Community Grants Program Guidelines(PDF, 583KB).

How does a partnership grant work?

A partnership grant requires a minimum of three partnering groups/organisations.

Partnership grant applications have the following requirements:

  • One partner to be nominated as the ‘lead’ partner.
  • The lead partner to be either a not-for-profit incorporated group or a registered charity.
  • The lead partner to submit the application, as they will be responsible for managing the funds, funding agreement and project delivery.
  • Each partner to have a meaningful role.
  • A project plan detailing how the project will be delivered including the role and responsibility of each partner.
  • A budget plan detailing how the funding will be spent, including quotes for any equipment purchases associated with project. 

What is likely to be funded?

  • Projects that are based in Mount Alexander Shire and directly benefit its local community.
  • Projects that align with Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Council Plan 2021-2025(PDF, 4MB), community plans and other plans and strategies.
  • Applications that provide financial or in-kind support to the project.
  • Projects that address climate change, social inclusion and gender equity.

What is an auspicing agent?

An auspicing ggent is another organisation that is a legal entity with an ABN.

The auspicing agent agrees to hold the legal and financial responsibilities of the funded project.

Individuals or unincorporated applicants are responsible for finding an auspice before start the application process.

Auspiced applications must have a signed auspice agreement.

Applicants will not be eligible for funding, even under auspice, if they are:

  • political parties
  • seeking funding for political or religious activities
  • for-profit enterprises.

Applicants will need to supply the following eligibility information:

  • An ABN or incorporation number.
  • Evidence of membership with their parent organisation.
  • Auspicing Agents can be from outside of Mount Alexander Shire.
  • Please note that some Auspicing Agents may retain a fee for their service.

If you are ready to go, download the Auspicing Agreement(PDF, 107KB) form.

Do I need insurance?

It is your responsibility as the applicant to obtain and maintain adequate insurance (incl. public liability).

This protects you against any claims for loss or damage to property and injury or death to persons. 

Do I need a permit?

It is your responsibility as the applicant to apply for and obtain all required permits for the project (incl. planning, building or local laws permits).

Applying for a permit can cost between $100 and $1,500 and should be included in the budget, if required, as permit fees will not be waivered by Council for projects funded through the Community Grants Program.

Funding through our Community Grants program does not constitute approval of required permits.

For more information about what permits you may need, visit our Permit Finder tool.

How do I complete an application?

All applications need to be completed online with our SmartyGrants tool.

Before you start the application process, you must speak with a member of the community partnerships team to confirm that you and your project are eligible to apply.

To start the application, either click on the Register button (new applicants) or login with your Smartygrants username and password (previous applicants).

Once you’ve registered, click on the Start New Submission for Community Grants 2022 – Round 2 and select the funding stream you wish to apply for (Small Grant or Partnership Grant) then complete the following:

  • Eligibility and Auspice Information (if applicable).
  • Project Summary.
  • Project Budget.
  • Declaration form.

Once complete, review your application before submitting to complete the application process. 

Do I have to answer every question?

All questions that require an answer have a red asterisk (*) to show a response is required.

If you try to submit an application that has unanswered mandatory questions a red message will appear at the section that is incomplete.

You will need to answer the question to complete the application process. 

Can I submit more than one application?

Yes, you can submit more than one application for each funding stream.

However, eligible applicants may only receive one grant per funding stream each year.

When do I need to apply by?

Applications for the 2024 Community Grants program open on the following dates:

Round 1
Opens: 22 January 2024
Closes: 12 February 2024

Round 2
Opens: 15 July 2024
Closes: 5 August 2024

What if I don’t submit my application before the closing date?

All applications need to be submitted by the closing date and time.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Do you accept hard copy application forms or support documents?

All applications must be completed online.

Hard copy applications will not be accepted.

Please contact a member of the community partnerships team if you require assistance with completing the form online. 

Where can I get help?

If you have any further questions or would like to know more about the Community Grants program, email the community partnerships Team on or call 5471 1700.