Community Grants Program

The Community Grants Program is available for not-for-profit community organisations for projects that benefit the wider Geelong community and meet our Community Wellbeing objectives. 

If you are considering applying for funds, please discuss you proposal with our grants staff who can be contacted on 03 5272 4736 or 03 5272 5039 or via email (

Please note:

The is program is currently closed and will re-open at the beginning of the 2015-2016 financial year.
The online application form can be accessed from this site from early July 2015.  It is anticipated that applications received in July and August will be assessed in September with applicants being advised of the outcome by 30 September 2015.

In the meantime, you can plan your project or activity well ahead of its commencement to ensure you fit in with these times.   Please keep in mind that we do not accept applications for retropesctive projects/activities. 

Please contact our Grants Officers on 03 5272 4736 or 03 5272 5039 or email ( to discuss your proposal, or if you require any further information regarding this grant program.

Grant application and guidelines

If you need help using the online form, download the Help Guide for Applicants or check out Applicant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) .

View a printable version of these guidelines.

The Community Grants Program is offered to assist not for profit community organisations in providing opportunities that benefit the wider Geelong community.

We are looking for projects that assist in achieving goals and outcomes consistent with Council's objectives relating to Community Wellbeing, as indicated in City Plan 2013-2017. A summary of these objectives can be found in the grant guidelines.

We encourage applications that:

  • Demonstrate or promote social inclusiveness.[i]

  • Provide a broad benefit to the City of Greater Geelong community.

  • Respond to, or considers environmental issues/impacts relative to the project/activity.

Eligible groups are required to meet the grant guidelines and complete an on-line application form.

Funding allocations

The program has an allocation of $240,000 per financial.  For the period July 2013 - June 2014, $240,000 was distributed among 136 community organisations.The majority of grants awarded have been for amounts between $500 and $3,000.  However requests for upt to $5,000 may be considered. Generally only one application can be considered per applicant per financial year.

The Community Grants Program accepts applications for funding on a one-off basis – it is not an ongoing funding source for a particular project/activity or event.

Assessing applications

Applications are assessed based on the eligibility criteria and on the information provided in the form.

The information provided by the applicant is assessed by rating the following key aspects to determine that the proposal:

  • Demonstrates a benefit to the wider City of Greater Geelong community.

  • Relates to Community Wellbeing Objectives indicated in City Plan 2013-2017.

  • Demonstrates or promotes social inclusiveness.[i]

  • Responds to, or considers environmental issues/impacts relative to the project/activity.

  • Demonstrates the need for the requested grant funds. 

  • Includes a well balanced and reasonable budget. 

[i] A socially inclusive society is defined as one where all people feel valued, their differences are respected, and their basic needs are met so that they can live in dignity. (Cappo, 2002)


To be eligible to be considered for funding you need to:

  • Be a not-for-profit community organisation or group operating within the City of Greater Geelong.

  • Be incorporated or a similar legal entity - if your group is not one of these you may wish to appoint an ‘Auspice’ (manager) organisation that does have a not for profit legal status who can apply on your behalf.

  • Provide a well-balanced and reasonable budget and show why there is need for the grant funds.

  • Demonstrate how the project/activity is of benefit to the residents of the City of Greater Geelong.

  • Have not already received funds in the same financial year.

  • Have not received funds for the same project/activity previously.

  • Have not received funds from another area of Council in the same financial year for the same project.

  • Fit within the guidelines and intent of this program.

Examples of the types of eligible projects that are considered:

Projects that promote and contribute to the health and wellbeing of the Geelong community, such as:

  • Set-up costs associated for the establishment of new community groups.
  • Community workshops/information sessions.
  • Minor equipment purchases essential to the project/activity (for example: safety equipment such as first aid kits; overhead projectors; hearing loop systems).

  • Projects that involve minor works such as the installation of shelving, purchase of sun shades or blinds, purchase and installation of an oven or air conditioner subject to relevant permits and approvals.

  • Some community events such as events that celebrate a significant milestone or anniversary, a community conference etc (Please note fundraising events are generally not considered for funding - (see the ineligiblity information below or check with the Grants officers for further information).   Please note:  As Council has a range of event funding programs, you need to choose the correct program to apply under - please contact the Grants Staff on 03 5272 4736 to discuss your funding options. You also need to check if you need any Council approvals to hold your event - see below under Permits & Approvals for further information.  

Here are some examples of recently funded projects:

'Down Syndrome Association of Victoria received $2,500 for 'Step-UP for Down Sydrome' to assist with this event that formed part of a national celebration and awareness campaign.


The following activities and groups are considered ineligible under this grant program:

  • Applicants who have not provided an Evaluation/Acquittal form to the City of Greater Geelong for any previous funding received from Council. This includes organisations that have acted as an auspicing body.

  • Organisations with outstanding debts or arrears to the City of Greater Geelong.

  • Individuals, businesses, commercial or profit making entities.

  • Organisations that are not incorporated or are a similar legal entity. You may wish to appoint an incorporated body to auspice (manage) your application. 

  • Operational or core funding eg. staff salaries, general administration costs, routine/ongoing maintenance, programs or activities that could commit Council funding on an ongoing basis.

  • Organisations that have received funds from this program in the same financial year. (some exceptions may be considered where an Auspice organisation is involved, please check with the Grants Staff)

  • Projects/activities that have previously received funding from this program – (consideration to fund an activity more than once may be given if a significant rationale/benefit is provided – however funds are generally provided on a once only basis).

  • Requests for retrospective funds (ensure that your project or event has not commenced, been paid for or has been held, prior to your grant application being submitted).

  • Projects that have received support from another City of Greater Geelong funding program.

  • Activities that take place outside the City of Greater Geelong.

  • A new building, major capital works that or ongoing facility maintenance works.

  • Prizes or awards and exclusively fundraising events.

  • Funding for Council services where fees are normally charged eg. Council rates; waste removal; building or planning permit fees; parking fees, etc.

  • Involvement with organisations that engage in unlawful activities.

  • Activities that are directly sponsored by gambling businesses.

  • Engagement in activities which promote discrimination, violence or anti-social behaviour.

  • Activities aimed at promoting political views (including protests).

  • Projects that fit the eligibility criteria of another Council funding stream,for example:

    • an event being held for seniors during the Victorian Seniors Festival month - should apply under Council's Seniors Festival Grant Program

    • a Community Arts project that fits the criteria for the Council's Community Arts Grant Program should apply under that stream

    Details of some of Council's funding programs are provided in council's can be found on our website under Grants/Funding.

Permits and approvals

For grant request that involve works to buildings (inside or out) please ensure you provide approval in writing from both the property owner and manager for any works to be done.

If the land or building is owned and/or managed by the City of Greater Geelong, you must discuss your proposal, in advance of submission of this application and commencement of any works.

(Please note, often even the installation of an air-conditioner or shelving may require an approval or permit).

If you are holding an event, you may also need to seek the City's approval or apply for permits, depending on the type of event and where it will be held.

You may also wish to list it for free on our Events website.  For further information, please have a look at our Events Guide.

If you are unsure of the process of gaining approval, or whether or not you will require approval or permits, please contact the Grants Staff on 03 5272 4736 or 5272 5039 or email (

Other funding programs

You may wish to consider some of our other funding options:

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