Community Development Fund

The program

Supporting our sporting, recreational, environmental, and cultural activities to deliver health and wellbeing outcomes for our residents, contributing to the liveability of the city.
Council has funded and administered the Community Development Fund since 1999 to support not-for-profit groups, based in Warrnambool to fund projects and activities that contribute to the liveability of the City.
Warrnambool has a strong sense of community, high rates of volunteering and participation evidenced by over 240 volunteer based sporting clubs, community groups and organisations.

Download the Community Development Fund Guidelines

Past Grant Recipients

2020-2021 Grant Recipients

2019-2020 Grant Recipients

2018-2019 Grant Recipients

Submitting an application

Grant applications are only accepted using the SmartyGrants on-line system. You can download a copy of the application form for draft purposes.

For returning applicants, log into log into SmartyGrants and go to “Current Rounds”

Apply Now

Grant Categories and Criteria

The funding pool for 2022-2023 is $140,000.

Applications that are eligible will fall under one of the following categories, and will be assessed based on the criteria rank, if applicable, within that category.

Criteria Rank Sport and Recreation - Up to $5,000
1 Increase Participation – Innovative projects that increase participation and raise awareness of club activity
2 Access & Inclusion – Projects that create opportunities for participation for women & girls and people with a disability
3 Capacity Building – Training and/or development opportunities that improve the culture of the club
4 Purchase of Equipment – Purchase of items that contribute to the capacity of a club to deliver programs
Criteria Rank Culture and Arts - Up to $5,000
1 Innovative Opportunity – Encourage community participation in creative outcomes
2 Access & Inclusion – Projects that increase access to creative activities for people with a disability or young people (aged 17-24 years)
3 Capacity Building – Training, promotional and/or development opportunities that increases the strength and capacity of the club or organisation
4 Exhibition/Performance and/or Production – Venue/studio/theatre hire and/or purchase of items that contribute to the capacity of an artist or group to deliver programs
Criteria Environment and Sustainability - Up to $5,000
1 Green Warrnambool - Development and delivery of environmental or sustainability projects or programs within the municipality, including equipment purchase of assets that contribute to the capacity of a club or organisation to deliver environmental or sustainability programs
2 Zero Warrnambool - Renewable energy, water efficiency & sustainability improvements to community buildings and facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or save water
3 Adaptable Warrnambool - Activities or programs that support and prepare the club or organisation for climate change adaption
4 Wise Warrnambool - Projects that support, incorporate or develop a waste free or plastic free event. Development and delivery of activities or programs that support a closed loop or circular economy and/or seek to conserve, avoid, reduce, re-use or recycle waste and resources
5 Naturally Warrnambool - Projects that undertake revegetation, including maintenance and infill planting of previous revegetation sites and/or weed control or pest animal activities
6 Blue Warrnambool - Projects and programs that save water and protect waterways, coastal areas and the marine environment

Funding and limitations

Based on the total funding pool available, the following allocations are aligned to each category.

  • Sport & Recreation $60,000
  • Culture & Arts $50,000
  • Environmental & Sustainability $30,000

If the total pool of funding in each category is not expended then any remainder will be redirected to other categories where applications exceed the funding pool.

Applications are ranked according to project merit, equity and balance of funds available.

In some situations, Council may provide grant funding to a lesser amount than requested. (i.e. when parts of an application do not meet funding eligibility). In these cases, Council officers will liaise with applicants prior to final recommendation to Council.

Levels of funding maybe proportionally reduced to provide support based on;

  1. The group’s ability to proceed with the proposed project if offered less support, or
  2. Groups that have received funding in the past two (2) years.

If the funding for each category is not fully allocated, it will be redistributed to other categories as required.

NB: The Event Category is now managed as a separate grant round. Please contact Festivals & Events Team at E:

Grant Round Dates

Applications are accepted from Tuesday14 February 2023 to Sunday 26 March 2023.

Funding Round Open 9am Wednesday 15 February 2023
Funding Round Close Midnight Sunday 26 March 2023
Report submitted for endorsement to Council Monday 1 May 2023
Applicants notified of funding outcome Tuesday 2 May 2023
Project completed May 2023 to December 2023
Project acquitted by 30 December 2023

Who is eligible to apply?

Clubs, association, or community groups that are;

  • Based in Warrnambool City
  • Registered as a not-for-profit legal entity, eg: incorporated association. (If applying on behalf of an incorporated association – the group must have committee endorsement to do so and evidence of, provided with application)
  • Auspiced by a group that is registered not-for-profit legal entity.
  • Has an Australian Business Number (ABN) or willing to submit an Australian Taxation Office Statement by Supplier form.
  • Individuals may apply under the Culture & Arts category only but must be Auspiced by a group that is a registered not-for-profit legal entity eg: incorporated association

Auspiced groups

Grant funds are only paid to a legally incorporated group. Groups and Organisations based in Warrnambool that are not legally incorporated, may apply for a grant if their project is for the benefit of the Warrnambool City community and they are auspiced by a legally incorporated, not-for-profit group or organisation.

You can speak to Council about auspicing or seek general auspicing information at Justice Connect


Funding may cover the entire cost of the project or part thereof.

If the funding does not cover the cost of the whole project, the applicant will need to demonstrate that sufficient funds are available to cover the entire project.

Decisions are final and cannot be disputed. Feedback, post assessment may be sought however applicants must understand that this is a competitive process and the dollars applied for often exceed the funding available.

What will not be funded?

  • Projects that have already commenced or projects that have already occurred
  • Recurrent funding for ongoing projects or projects that have already received a Community Development Fund grant.
  • Fixed/permanent equipment, building maintenance or capital improvements (such as heating or cooling systems, flooring, shade sails, portable buildings)
  • Alcohol, tobacco and gambling related activities, as well as general administration, wages or contracts, insurance premiums or debt payments
  • Projects that mostly address shortfalls in funding from other Local Governments, State and/or Federal Government. (eg: projects that have run out of money part-way through, been defunded by other organisations or use Council funds to ‘top up’ existing projects)
  • Activities, projects, programs and events that are owned, managed or already funded by Council
  • Attendance at tradeshows, conferences, teaching programs/lectures, university open days, commercial theatre, recurring markets
  • Events or activities that have a political or religious purpose, or that denigrate, or discriminate against parts of the community
  • Projects that are for general fundraising and fundraising events, prize money, trophy/medal production and awards
  • Personal expenses such as petrol, utility bills, phone bills, travel and accommodation

Assessment, Notification and receiving funds

  • Submitted grant applications are assessed by a panel of Council Officers representing expertise in each of the categories.
  • Recommendations will be provided for Council endorsement.
  • The decision to award grants is made by the Warrnambool City Council and decisions will be final.
  • Applicants will be advised in writing according to the grant round dates.
  • Council requires all persons involved in grant assessments to disclose any conflict of interest, real or apparent.