Revised Grants and Donations Policy a win for Georges River

Georges River Council

Fairer access to Council funds and increased support for community projects across the region are part of a new policy framework unveiled for grant funding and donations in Georges River, with a free online session to unpack the changes next month.

The new Georges River Council Grants and Donations Policy 2023, which has replaced the Grants, Donations and Sponsorship Policy 2020, brings several key changes aimed at enhancing clarity, fairness, and the positive impact of Council’s grants programs.

“By refining our processes and criteria, we’re making it easier and more equitable for organisations to access the support they need,” Georges River Council Mayor Sam Elmir said.

The revised Grants and Donations Policy 2023 guides the application process, allocation, and evaluation of grant funding to address community needs under Section 356 of the Local Government Act (1993).

Mayor Elmir said the new policy demonstrates Council’s dedication to supporting vibrant, sustainable community initiatives and reaffirms the Council’s commitment to providing equitable access to community development funds.

“The new policy’s increased funding cap for venue hire and the streamlined application process are particularly exciting, as they directly address the growing needs of our diverse community.”

Mayor Elmir is encouraging community members and representatives of community organisations to learn more about the changes and upcoming funding opportunities by participating in an online information session for current and future grant applicants on 5 December 2023 at 11.00am.

“It’s important for all current and future grant applicants and recipients to understand these policy changes. Current grant recipients will need to complete project updates or final acquittals under the new policy and all future grant applications will have to adhere to the updated policy framework,” Mayor Elmir said.

Grant training and information sessions will also be held in February and March 2024 to assist community members in preparing applications.

Funding applications open in February 2024 for Community Grants 2023-2024 Round 2 and Micro Grants 2023-2024.

Applications for Venue Hire Grants 2023-2024 close on 5 May 2024 for venue hire before 30 June 2024.

New policy highlights:

  1. Separation of sponsorship program: The policy now distinguishes Sponsorship as a standalone program, separate from Grants and Donations, for more focused administration. Details about the sponsorship program can be found in the Sponsorship Policy 2023.
  2. Simplified language and terminology: Council has revamped the policy’s language, using plain English for easier understanding and accessibility.
  3. Clearer eligibility criteria: Amendments to eligibility criteria to ensure equitable access to all grant applicants.
  4. Increased venue hire grant limit: Organisations can now receive up to $40,000 per financial year for venue hire, increased from the previous $30,000 limit.
  5. Efficiency in grant programs: Improved delegations to streamline grant processing.
  6. Anti-slavery and child safety safeguards: Incorporation of modern slavery legislation considerations and alignment with Council’s stance as a Child Safe Organisation.
  7. Revised financial reporting requirements: Some organisations may now be exempt from Council’s financial reporting requirements for grant recipients, aligning with standards set by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Council offers funding support to the Georges River community through a number of grant programs, including:

  • Community grants to help community organisations meet identified community needs.
  • Event grants to support organisers of community events held on Georges River Council-owned or managed land.
  • Heritage Building Grants to help conserve heritage-listed buildings or to initiate heritage projects.
  • Micro grants of up to $1,000 to support individuals, sole traders and small businesses to improve community wellbeing and achieve social change.
  • Venue Hire Grants for community organisations to provide a full or partial subsidy of Council venue hire costs for any bookable facilities, including community centres, performance venues, sporting venues and library rooms.

/Public Release. View in full here.