COVID-19 community support grants

We are committed to supporting the community to adapt and recover from the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The COVID-19 Community Support Grants Program is a new initiative designed to:

  • support the continuation and recovery of our local community groups and organisations that are experiencing hardship
  • offer financial assistance where it directly benefits the community

The grant pool is $150,000 for 2020/21 and grants up to $5,000 per applicant are available throughout the year.

You must read the full guidelines(PDF, 168KB) and speak with a Council officer before submitting your application.


Who can apply

Community groups and organisations that:

  • provide support, programs or services to people in Banyule 
  • have been established and operational for a minimum of 12 months 
  • are incorporated or have appropriate auspice support
  • fall into one of the following groups
    • a legally constituted not for profit entity
    • a charity or benevolent trust
    • a public company (not-for-profit)
  • have an ABN, or be willing to complete a Statement by Supplier form
  • hold public liability insurance 
  • speak with one of our grants officers regarding their proposal before submitting their application

Who cannot apply

  • Individuals
  • Schools and churches unless the proposal responds to an identified community need and provides wider community benefit.
  • Groups with outstanding grant acquittals (all previous grants with us, where the acquittal is due before the closing of the current funding round, must be acquitted to a satisfactory standard. Un-acquitted or insufficiently acquitted grants will deem the application ineligible).
  • Groups with outstanding debt to us, unless there is a payment plan or agreement in place.


Applicants can apply for one or more proposals over the 12-month period within the total maximum of $5,000 per applicant.   

Projects must be able to be delivered within the current (and evolving) COVID-19 restrictions as determined by the Victorian Government, Department of Health and Human Services.

What we will fund

Grant funds can be used across 4 categories.

  1. Equipment
  2. Technology support for not-for-profit groups
  3. Recovery and resilience initiatives for the community
  4. Training and development for not-for-profit groups

Examples across each category include:

  • equipment purchases and upgrades
  • web design and redevelopment
  • video conferencing subscriptions, virtual experiences and hosting webinars
  • programs and activities that bridge isolation and build connections for community and vulnerable residents
  • promote mental health and wellbeing
  • online learning, to strengthen organisational capacity and skills
  • webinars to support professional development

What we will not fund

  • Minor or major capital works
  • Consumables
  • Uniforms, prizes, trophies, scholarships, donations, sponsorships or gifts
  • Projects run solely for private or commercial purposes


Applications must be submitted through SmartyGrants. Register and start a new application: you can save and return to your application at any time.

Complete and submit the application before the closing date.

  • Review your application carefully before submitting as once it is submitted, you cannot go back and make changes.
  • Ensure all required documentation is attached before submitting your application.
  • When you submit your application, you will receive an application number. Make a note of it for future reference. 
  • Applicants will receive an email from Smarty Grants when the application has been successfully submitted.

Apply for a COVID-19 community support grant


Financial details to support applications

  • A current detailed profit and loss statement, audited financial statement or the financial statement presented at your AGM must be provided with the application (Please note that Bank Statements will not be accepted)
  • If savings or term deposits exist, the group must clearly explain what the funds are set aside for.
  • Groups with substantial cash in bank accounts who do not explain what the money is allocated for will be considered a lower priority. 
  • The application needs to demonstrate why the proposal cannot be completed with existing funds. 


  • All applications for relevant purchases and services under the categories of Equipment and Technology and Training and Development are required to supply 2 quotes from different suppliers
  • Quotes can be written, scanned images, catalogues or online stores, or a screenshot from a website.
  • All quotes need to show the supplier/company name and contact details clearly.
  • All quotes need to be itemised and clearly show details of the cost of each item or service 
  • Quotes should be current (not more than 2 months old)
  • If the purchase can only be made from a specialist supplier, the applicant must provide evidence that no other suppliers are appropriate 
  • Quotes need to be consistent with the money requested in the budget 
  • Council recommends that any equipment or service purchased with grant funds should meet Australian Standards. 


  • Unincorporated groups will need the support of an incorporated association to auspice their grant. 
  • If your application is going to be auspiced by another organisation, all insurance, incorporation and ABN information of the auspicing group must be provided 
  • A letter from the auspice organisation on letterhead stating their support will also be required


Applications are checked for eligibility against the checklist in the application. They are reviewed and assessed internally by relevant Council officers and approved by the Director of Community Programs. Applications received in the previous month will be finalised by the end of the following month with groups notified of outcomes via email.

All applications will be assessed based on alignment with the grant guidelines, community benefit and stated outcomes in the application. More specifically:


  • How well does the application align with the category priorities and purpose?
  • Does the application demonstrate a clear impact from COVID-19 pandemic situation and a reasonable rationale?


  • Are the outcomes of the proposal clearly identified – and a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How well does the proposal address the identified needs?


  • Is the proposal well planned and developed?
  • Likely to succeed? 
  • Is the budget clear and realistic?


Successful grant applicants will be required to carry out a number of online actions within specified timelines.

Sign a grant agreement

The applicant is signing on behalf of the group/organisation. By doing so, it is agreeing that the application and the conditions associated with the grant being awarded are met. Any proposed changes must be discussed with a Council officer.

Submit a tax invoice

In line with the template provided (please note that there is no GST associated with the grant).

Submit an acquittal form

At the completion of the agreed proposal, a completed acquittal form must be submitted.

  • To successfully acquit your grant, you will submit receipts and or final report accounting for your expenditure. 
  • Receipts must list items purchased, detailing the cost per item, and the total cost. All receipts should reflect the expenditure approved and align with the grant budget or letter of offer.
  • Invoices and bank transfer statements cannot be accepted as proof of purchase.
  • Where the applicant delivers a project or activity, a report on the delivery, outcome and community benefit together with a final budget is to be included as part of the acquittal. 
  • Failure to acquit the grant satisfactorily will be considered a breach.
  • A breach may result in requests for grant funds to be returned to Council and exclude the group from future grant rounds.


The grants process is open and accessible to everyone, including if:

  • you need a printed copy of the guidelines or a printed copy in large print;
  • you need to discuss these guidelines by phone;
  • you need the guidelines in a captioned video format;
  • you need to discuss the guidelines with us using the services of an Auslan interpreter;
  • your hearing or speech is impaired, you can call us through the National Relay Service on 133 677 (TTY) or 1300 555 727 on an ordinary handset and ask for 9490 4222;
  • you need a language interpreter please contact TIS National on 131 450 and ask to be connected to us on 9490 4222; or
  • you need a printed form and support to enter information into SmartyGrants please contact us for assistance.

If you face any barriers to applying and would like to discuss these or any other ways we can help you, please contact us.

Contact us

Contact our Community Liaison and Support Officer on 9490 4222.