Community Grants


Welcome to Council's Community Grants Program, where we proudly invest $200,000 each year into our community. Our program funds impactful community-led initiatives that promote a sense of belonging, enhance our community places and assets, and improve social well-being. Through these grants, we strive to empower individuals and organisations to create a stronger, more vibrant community for all.

Join us in making a difference! Download the 2023-2024 Community Grant Guidelines(PDF, 2MB)  and eligibility matrix.(PDF, 83KB)

Grants are available for:

  • COMMUNITY PROJECTS - $10,000:To provide opportunities to deliver inclusive projects and programs that enhance community spaces, wellbeing and participation.
  • CREATIVE COMMUNITY - $5,000:To provide opportunities to support the delivery of creative activities. Such as performances, visual arts, dance, drama, and music.
  • COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS - $5,000:To provide opportunities to deliver events that enhance social inclusion and celebrate national days of significance. 
  • MICRO GRANTS - $2,000 - Available all year round to support unexpected opportunities for community development activities, programs and place-making projects.

Before you apply

Check out FAQ’s and grant tips

What is an auspice arrangement? How do I request a letter of support for my project idea? Why do I need quotes? What does a budget look like? 6 grant writing tips and grant finder.

Need help?

If you want to explore your idea with us or have a question about the community grant program submit your enquiry Ask a Question.

Pre-application checklist

Take a moment to review the checklist below, ensuring you have all the necessary information ready.

1. Are you eligible?

To apply for a community grant you need to be:

  • An incorporated not-for-profit (NFP) organisation, a community group or volunteer group.
  • Based in Port Macquarie Hastings Local Government Area.
  • A group or individual who has the backing of a local Incorporated not-for-profit (NFP) organisation. The funding agreement will be with the NFP acting as the auspice body for management of the funds and acquittal.

2. Are your documents ready?

You will need to provide the following information with your application:

  • Evidence you are an Incorporated organisation not-for-profit (NFP) group or a letter of support from an eligible auspice body
  • Public liability insurance ($20M)
  • Project plan
  • Project budget
  • Demonstrated community engagement on your proposed project
  • Land / Asset owner’s permission (letter of support)
    Required if the activity is on Trust/Council owned/managed land or assets.
  • Evidence you have consulted with the relevant section of Council if the activity requires hiring parks/reserves or a hall, road closure or development application (DA).


Applications for Round 1 of the 2023 - 2024 Community Grants are now closed. Micro Grants are available year-round. Apply below.

Apply now 


How to submit a grant acquittal

An Acquittal Form must be returned no longer than 60 days after the project is completed. Once the acquittal application has been assessed any remaining outstanding funds will be processed and paid.

Complete acquittal form


What is a Not for Profit Organisation (NFP)?

A not for profit organisation is one which is not operating for the profit or gain of its individual members.

A not for profit organisation can make a profit, but this profit must be used to carry out its purposes and must not be distributed to owners, members or other private people. Any profit made by the organisation goes back into it's operation to carry out its purposes and is not distributed to any of its members.

What is an Auspice Arrangement?

If you are applying for a Council Community Grant and your group is not incorporated, you need to arrange for a legally constituted organisation (incorporated organisation) to handle any funds that are received from the grant program for your group; this is called an Auspice.

Your group will become the ‘auspicee’ and the organisation that is handling the funds on behalf of your group will become the ‘auspicor’.

If your group wants to apply for funding, but is not incorporated, you may wish to think about approaching another organisation about entering in to an auspicing arrangement.

Before approaching another organisation, your group should:

  1. Have a clear idea about the funding you would like to apply for, and the project or activities you would complete with the funding. It is a good idea to have the projected documented.
  2. Ensure that the people involved in your group understand that an auspice agreement is a legally binding contract. Your group should be fully aware of its rights and liabilities under such an agreement. In particular, you should be aware that the funding for the project will be provided to and administered by the auspicor.
  3. Think carefully about which organisation(s) you will approach about an auspicing arrangement. You should be confident that you can form a good, mutually  beneficial  working relationship with the organisation. Remember, they will be the organisation that receives and administers the funding for the project, so you will need to be able to work closely with them.
  4. Be prepared to demonstrate to the auspicor that your group is able to complete the project or activities for which funding is sought. You may need to provide references, financial statements and evidence of the level of record‐keeping and risk management policies in your group.
  5. Review the proposed auspicing agreement carefully and ensure that your group can comply with its terms.

What is a letter of support?

Community support is required for your project to be successful. A Letter of Support is a letter written by a representative of a community organisation who are important in ensuring the project is a success (e.g. the key stakeholders). It shows that they consider the project to be important for the community, and that they are happy to be involved.

A Letter of Support should be included with your grant application to show that you have discussed your project with the people in community groups who are essential in ensuring the project is a success, and that you have their support. 

What you should include?

A Letter of Support should include the following information:

  • The name, position and/or organisation of the person writing the letter;

  • The name of your project;

  • Why the project is important for the community;

  • What assistance or involvement will be provided by the person or organisation writing the letter (e.g. a community group might be able to provide volunteers to help out with your project, or a local sporting group could provide some office space, a local shop might be able to help you to promote your project, etc.); and

  • Why they believe your organisation will be able to deliver the project successfully.

Example Letter of Support

8 February 2011

Community Grants Officer
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
PO Box 21
Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Happy and Lucky Garden Group ‐ Autumn Harvest Festival

It is my pleasure to write a letter of support for the Happy and Lucky Garden Group’s grant application submitted to the Melton City Council’s Community Grants Program.

This is an important project that will provide the residents of Melton an opportunity to learn how to grow, harvest, and prepare fresh fruit and vegetables with the help of the Happy and Lucky Garden Group at the garden’s Autumn Harvest Festival.  It will be a fun event that will bring people together and provide a chance for everyone to share in the harvest, get involved in cooking sessions, learn about different vegetables, and hopefully inspire people to grow their own food at home.

Small Seeds Garden Supplies has provided the Happy and Lucky Garden Group with gardening supplies for over 3 years now, since the group’s establishment, and have observed the growing community interest in the garden and strengthening community connections of the group. Small Seeds Garden Supplies will be providing free packets of seeds and seedlings to give to Melton residents who come along on the day.

We are confident that the Autumn Festival will be delivered with the same diligence and enthusiasm with which the Happy and Lucky Garden Group successfully delivered the Kitchen Day in September 2010, where 50 local residents attended to learn how to cook 30 minute meals using freshly grown produce, and that this day will also be a great success!

In conclusion, we fully support the efforts of the Happy and Lucky Garden Group in seeking funding to support a program that will improve the health and wellbeing of Melton’s residents. 

Yours faithfully,
Rose Vase
Manager, Small Seeds Garden Supplies

What is an ‘in-kind’ contribution?

Goods and services ‘in‐kind’ are goods and/or services that are donated or given to your group for free which you would otherwise have to pay for. These can usually be broken down into three categories; goods, resources and services.

Goods can include:

  • Office equipment, e.g. computers, office furniture, fax machines, printers, photocopiers, phones etc.
  • Educational material, e.g. books, computer software, etc.
  • Appliances, e.g. whitegoods, sound or entertainment systems etc.
  • Food or drink
  • Building supplies, e.g. wood, bricks, cement or tools to actually assist in construction of a project

Resources can include:

  • Office space
  • Meeting space/venue hire
  • Bus hire
  • Use of equipment, e.g. to print, photocopy or email promotional material or newsletters etc.

Services are skills, abilities or tasks that can be donated to a group and can include:

  • Professional services, e.g. legal, accountancy, architectural services etc.
  • Labourer services, e.g. builders, electricians, plumbers or landscapers etc.
  • Educational services, e.g. teaching, facilitation, lecturing, motivational, instructional skills etc.
  • Other services, e.g. internet and website design skills, sales, and driving or administration skills

When adding in-kind support to your budget, always explain the nature and level of commitment and calculate a value for the goods, resources and/or services you have received. For projects that include services or "volunteer labour", the Community Grants Program currently rates voluntary labour at $37.17 per hour.

Why do I need a quote?

A 'quote' or 'quotation' is the price that a person says they will charge to do a piece of work, as is provided prior to work commencing. An 'invoice' or 'tax invoice' is what is provided after work has been completed.

Providing quotes for budget items is an important step in the grant application process. The provision of quotes shows that the applicant has researched the proposed project and fully understands the costs involved to carry out the project successfully.

Each grant program has different requirements when it comes to budgets and the provision of quotes. Some require a specific number of written quotes, whilst others will accept verbal quotes. In order to evidence good grant planning, it is suggested that you provide quotes even if they are not asked for.

Verbal Quotes

Quotes taken verbally over the phone or in person should include the following information:

  • The name of the Company and their contact details
  • Who you spoke to and when
  • The name of the item including style/product numbers
  • The colour and size
  • The amount for a single item
  • The number of items required
  • Delivery or installation fees
  • The total amount due

Written Quotes

When requesting written quotes, please ensure that the same information as for verbal quotes is included. Copies of written quotes should be attached to your application. As a rule, items over $250 should have a written quote. Written quotes can also include web printouts or screenshots. When using web printouts or screenshots, ensure that it is clear from the image which company you are purchasing from for follow up purposes.

Projects requiring building or minor capital works or equipment purchases over $2,000 must provide two quotes with the application.

What is a an example of a budget?

Income Amount $ Expenditure Amount $

Council Grant

$7,500 Venue hire (10 weeks) $2,000
Organisation contribution $2,500 Flyers $200
Sponsorship $800 Banners $350
Professional artist
(facilitator, 10 weeks)
Art & craft materials $1,200
Catering $1,500
Prizes $1,000
Face painter $800
TOTAL $10,800 TOTAL $10,800

In-kind contribution Income $
Volunteer labour 6 helpers x 10hrs x $$37.17/hr $2230.20
Children's books 100 children's books, retailat $12 each $1,200
Media designer 4hrs x $30/hr $120
TOTAL $3,550.20

Is your project on Council-owned land or Council is the trustee?

If your idea involves construction, installation or upgrading a building, facility or equipment that is Council owned or managed then you will need to seek permission from us. You can do this by requesting project consent before submitting your grant application.


6 grant writing tips

We have put together six tips to writing a successful grant application.

Use our tips and checklist to ensure you have covered all of the required criteria, and are equipped with the knowledge you need to submit your application.


Grant finder

Never miss a grant opportunity again with Grant Finder. It's a free to use, powerful, one-stop shop for all grant and funding opportunities.

Grant Finder provides a comprehensive list of all opportunities available to you. Filter to find relevant funding streams for specific projects, or browse to see what opportunities await.

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