2020-21 Guidelines

Applications open: Tuesday, 6 April 2021
Applications close: 5.00pm Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Please read these guidelines carefully before completing your application form.

1. Introduction

The Inclusion and Participation Division of the ACT Community Services Directorate (CSD) is pleased to announce the availability of the 2020-21 Community Support and Infrastructure Grant (CSIG) Program.

2. Aim

This Program aims to support community organisations to deliver their programs and services effectively and efficiently for the benefit of members of the ACT community through the following three (3) grant categories:

  1. community support and capacity;
  2. non-fixed infrastructure and equipment; and
  3. minor capital works and fixed infrastructure.

Organisations may apply for projects that encompass one (1) or more categories in a single application. Organisations may only submit one (1) project application in this round.

3. Priority Areas

3.1 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Priority Area

As part of the ACT Government’s commitment to Closing the Gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, projects, activities or initiatives which contribute to closing the gap on disadvantage between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Canberrans will be viewed favourably.

As outlined in the ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Agreement the ACT Government and community partners are committed to self-determination as the guiding principle in the delivery of programs and services and are working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to address matters that are important to them.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander controlled organisations are encouraged to apply.

3.2 COVID-19 Priority Area

As part of the ACT Government’s commitment to supporting the Canberra community during COVID-19, applications which demonstrate the potential of organisations to support social connection and community resilience by adapting their services, communication and infrastructure to meet client needs within the required COVID-19 restrictions will be viewed favourably.

Projects and initiatives that support areas of the community that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, will also be prioritised. This may include, but is not limited to, youth, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, mature aged workers, seniors and those impacted by domestic and family violence.

4. Available Funding

The total funding available under this Program is $200,000.00 (GST exclusive).
The maximum non‑recurrent total grant that can be applied for in all three categories is $10,000.00 (GST exclusive).

5. Eligibility Requirements

5.1 Organisation Eligibility Requirements

Only organisations which meet the following organisational eligibility requirements may apply:

  1. be an incorporated entity or auspiced by an incorporated entity;
  2. be a not-for-profit or a charitable entity; and
  3. have no overdue reporting obligations for any previous ACT Government grant, including evaluations, acquittal reports and audited financial statements.

Note: Individuals, profit making groups, government entities and registered political parties are not eligible to apply.

5.2 Project Eligibility Requirements

Eligible organisations can only apply once in the 2020-21 round. Eligible projects must meet the aim of the Program by:

  1. providing a service/program which will be located primarily in the ACT and primarily for the benefit of ACT residents; and/or;
  2. purchasing of non-fixed or fixed infrastructure/capital works to be used solely in the ACT and primarily for the benefit of ACT residents, noting that:
    1. Applications for non fixed infrastructure and equipment must include at least one (1) quote for the proposed purchase. Quotes may take the form of catalogue price lists or similar and may be scanned and uploaded as part of the application.
    2. Applications for minor capital works:
      1. must demonstrate matched funding on a dollar for dollar basis;
      2. must include at least one (1) quote for the proposed works; and
      3. must have all relevant planning and building permissions. This is critical where community organisations lease ACT Government properties which may be subject to existing repairs and maintenance or minor capital works programs.

Note: A lack of clarification and supporting evidence may deem your application ineligible.

5.3 Obligations of Auspicing Body

The Auspicing Body must provide a letter of support with the application stating that it will:

  1. be the entity that will accept responsibility for the grant funding for the project and administer the funding in accordance with the Grant Guidelines and Letter of Offer;
  2. disburse grant funding to the Auspiced Party in accordance with the Grant Guidelines and Letter of Offer and not unreasonably withhold funding from the Auspiced Party for the implementation of the Project (unless other arrangements are agreed); and
  3. comply with all grant funding contractual obligations, including the provision of progress reports, final reports and financial acquittal documentation.

Note: If you do not comply with the above eligibility requirements, your application will not be assessed for funding.

6. What funds can be used for?

Applications may include proposals such as:

  1. Improving the organisation’s business and management skills. For example, providing training to develop staff and volunteers’ business management, strategic planning or project management skills.
  2. Establishing partnerships with other organisations to develop a shared service model. Partnerships could include collaboration in areas such as administration, finance, facilities or fleet services.
  3. Emergency management planning and business continuity planning.
  4. Furniture and storage (including desks, chairs, bookcases and filing cabinets).
  5. Work safety equipment (including fire extinguishers, ergonomic equipment and equipment to assist staff/volunteers and service users).
  6. Equipment for use by individuals (including toys, books and cooking equipment for community rooms/kitchens).
  7. Non-fixed infrastructure to meet positive environmental outcomes (including water collection tanks, outdoor crafted furniture).
  8. Minor building upgrades and fixed infrastructure (including replacing access doors, creating ramps and adding accessibility elements, new fixed roofing elements or improving new internal spaces).
  9. Minor capital works (including shared kitchen or bathroom replacements, hard and soft landscaping).
  10. Energy efficiency measures (including shade sales, water or power saving fixtures, and window coverings).
  11. Other minor fixed infrastructure.

7. Exclusions on the Use of Grant Funding

The following projects/activities will not be funded:

  1. Projects that do not contribute to the aim of the Program.
  2. Any project that does not occur primarily within the ACT.
  3. Existing general administration costs such as phone, stationery and/or utilities costs.
  4. Retrospective costs including projects or purchases which have already taken place.
  5. Technology items that are supported by the Technology Upgrade Fund or other funding areas.
  6. Operational insurance costs and insurance costs that are specific to the project.
  7. Debt payment.
  8. Commitments such as contracts, hire purchases or rental agreements for any goods beyond the period funded.
  9. Purchase or lease of real estate.
  10. Festivals, parties and celebrations.
  11. Employment obligations, either existing or outside the grant period.
  12. Existing but unfunded staff positions.
  13. Projects or programs already funded by the ACT or Commonwealth Government or are better suited to other available funding opportunities.
  14. Domestic or international travel and accommodation costs.
  15. Activities for or by a political party.

8. Assessment of Applications

A Grant Assessment Team (GAT) will review all eligible applications and recommend suitability and priority within the available funds. The GAT will make its recommendation based on the information provided in the application.
All eligible funding applications will be assessed against the following selection criteria:

  1. Potential to improve the organisation’s capacity and/or facilities. The project demonstrates the potential for the organisation to build capacity, enhance viability and to improve facilities and resources.
  2. Alignment with funding priorities. The project will enhance services to vulnerable and/or disadvantaged members of the community.
  3. Evidence of need. The need for the project in the target community is demonstrated. Evidence of target group needs and priorities is included. Consultation with the target community may be documented.
  4. Project sustainability. The proposal outlines how the project will maintain outcomes beyond the funding period.
  5. Realistic project expenditure. The budget is realistic and clearly details all expenditure for the project and demonstrates value for money.

In the case of recommended applications exceeding the available funding, applications will be prioritised by the GAT against the selection criteria.

You will be advised of the outcome of your proposal in writing as soon as a decision has been announced by the Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services.

9. Accepting a Grant

9.1 Grant Requirements

  1. Successful applicants will be required to enter into an Agreement with the ACT Government setting out the terms and conditions for which funding will be provided, including acquittal requirements within the agreed timeframe. This Agreement will be a Letter of Offer.
  2. Funds may be spent only on items and activities specified in the Agreement. Any unspent funds must be returned to CSD.
  3. Grant recipients must ensure that the assistance provided by the ACT Government is appropriately acknowledged in any promotional or other materials. Branding Guidelines can be found on the ACT Government's Branding websiteExternal Link
  4. If successful applicants wish to alter the purpose of their funding in any way, they must first obtain written permission from CSD.
  5. The names, project descriptions and funding amounts of all successful applications will be posted on the CSD website following the assessment process. By accepting a grant you agree to this requirement.

9.2 Acquittal/Reporting Requirements

All successful applicants must expend the funds within the timeframes nominated in the Letter of Offer. For the 2020-21 CSIG Program, the successful applicants must submit the completed acquittal and expenditure by 30 June 2022.

The acquittal process will be online and instructions will be provided to successful applicants in their Letter of Offer. You are required to keep all receipts and submit them with your acquittal.

Note: To be eligible for funding in future grants rounds, applicants must meet all acquittal and reporting requirements.

9.3 Insurance

Successful applicants may be required to demonstrate that they have an appropriate level of insurance to receive funding for their proposal. If required, insurance documentation will be requested in the Letter of Offer.

10. Important Information for Applicants

10.1 Accessibility

The ACT Government is committed to making its information, services, events and venues, accessible to as many people as possible.

If you require this information in an alternative format such as large print or audio please telephone (02) 6205 4816.

If English is not your first language and you require the translating and interpreting services please telephone 131 450.

If you are deaf or hearing impaired and require the Text telephone service (TTY) please telephone 131677 then ask for 132281.

10.2 When to submit your application

Applications received after 5.00pm, Tuesday, 27 April 2021, will not be accepted.

10.3 How to submit your application

All applications must be submitted via the online SmartyGrants CSIG Application FormExternal Link

Hardcopy or email applications will not be accepted.
If you are having difficulty in accessing the Application Form please contact Community Relations and Funding Support on (02) 6207 1618 during business hours or email CSDServiceFundingSupport@act.gov.au

Steps to complete your application
You will need to create a login to begin your application and you may begin anywhere in the Application Form. Please ensure you save as you go.

Navigating (moving through) the CSIG application form
On the right hand side of every screen, there is a box which links directly to every page of the application. Click on any page to jump directly to that page. You can also click 'next page' or 'previous page' on the top or bottom of each page to move forward or backward through the application.

Saving your draft application and returning
You can press 'save' at any point and log out. When you log back in, your draft application will be saved and you can start where you left off. You must remember your login details.

Submitting your application
The submit button is on the final page. You will not be able to submit your application until all the questions are completed.

Attachments and supporting documents
You may wish to upload/submit attachments to support your application. For some categories you will have to include attachments. This is very simple, but requires you to have the documents saved on your computer, on a zip drive, or similar. If you are not able to upload a document, please contact Community Relations and Funding Support for assistance.

Completing an application in a group/team
A number of people can work on an application using the same login details provided that only one person is working on the application at any given time. Ensure you save as you go.

Once you have completed your application it will be submitted to the Community Relations and Funding Support team.

All supporting documentation must be submitted with the grant application.

If your application does not include all required documentation, such as quotes, it may be deemed ineligible. You can upload supporting documentation to your application on the page after the declaration and privacy statement.

Smartygrants provides an online help guide for applicants. This guide will explain the essential steps you need to take to complete and submit your form. The help guide can be found on the SmartyGrants websiteExternal Link.

10.4 Addendum

Any additional information provided by CSD as part of this grant program will be posted on the CSD Grants webpage.

In addition, all applicants who have started or submitted an online application from will be notified by email to the address which was registered with Smartygrants.

10.5 Confidentiality

All material submitted to CSD is provided in confidence. However, the ACT Government may promote successful applicants for the mutual benefit of the CSIG Program and the applicant. Details of applications will not be made available to third parties without permission.

10.6 Complaints

What you can expect
For the purpose of the CSIG Program, a complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction in relation to the application process and/or an unsuccessful application for a grant.

You or your representatives have the right to raise your concerns. This information supports us to improve services and supports your right to ask questions about the CSIG application process as well as decisions made in relation to an unsuccessful application for a CSIG.
You can expect to:

  1. be treated respectfully, fairly and in confidence;
  2. have your concerns dealt with as soon as possible;
  3. be informed of progress; and
  4. be told of the outcome.

11. Further information

For more information or to lodge a complaint, please contact the Community Relations and Funding Support team by email CSDServiceFundingSupport@act.gov.au

Website: Internal Review Process

Page updated: 07 Apr 2021