Community Development Fund

The program

The Community Development Fund grant program has operated since 1999 to support not-for-profit groups, based in Warrnambool, to fund projects and activities that contribute to the liveability of the City.
Whilst the fund aims to improve the liveability of the City, priority is placed on proposals that;

  • Focus on addressing access and inclusion outcomes for women & girls and people with a disability
  • Proposals that target and encourage participation and community involvement in creative outcomes.

Program aim

  • build relationships and allow Council to partner with community to support shared outcomes
  • provide the opportunity for community to identify and respond to local issues, concerns and priorities that link with our priorities
  • build community capacity and empower the community to take an active role in improving their quality of life
  • foster community involvement and participation

Grant Round Dates

Applications are accepted from Friday 13 October 2023 to Sunday 12 November 2023.

Funding Round Open Friday 31 May 2024
Funding Round Close Midnight Sunday 30 June 2024
Report submitted for endorsement to Council 5 August 2024
Applicants notified of funding outcome 6 August 2024
Project completed August 2024 to June 2025
Project acquitted By 30 June 2025


2024-2025 Community Development Fund Guidelines

The Community Development Fund is a competitive process and funds are awarded based on merit according to the weighted criteria.

Canvassing of Councillors is prohibited. This means that you can’t contact a Councillor and ask them to put in a good word, or help you get your grant approved.

Council provides funding for the term specified in the Funding Terms and Conditions.

Council reserves the right to withdraw support or ask for funds to be returned if clubs do not comply with Council policy or written agreement entered into.

The total funding pool for 2024/25 is $100,000 with the following allocations aligned to each category.
•    Sport & Recreation $45,000
•    Culture & Arts $35,000
•    Environmental & Sustainability $20,000

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. 

Past Grant Recipients

Submitting an application

Applications for the 2024/2025 funding round open on May 31, 2024.

Grant applications are only accepted using the SmartyGrants online system.

You can download a copy of the application form for draft purposes.

From May 31, this link will take you to the online SmartyGrants application.

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


Grant Categories and Criteria

The total funding pool for 2024/25 is $100,000.

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.

Applicants can only submit one application. Late applications will not be accepted.

Council Officers are unable to submit applications on behalf of groups to mitigate any real or apparent conflict of interest with the grant funding process and assessment of applications.

Criteria Rank Sport and Recreation - Up to $5,000
1 Access & Inclusion – Projects that create opportunities for participation for women & girls and people with a disability
2 Increase Participation – Innovative projects that increase participation and raise awareness of club activity
3 Capacity Building – Training and/or development opportunities that improve the culture of the club
4 Equipment Purchase – Purchase of items that contribute to the capacity of a club to deliver programs (must have a participation outcome)
Criteria Rank Culture and Arts - Up to $5,000
1 Access & Inclusion – Projects that increase access to creative activities for people with a disability or young people (aged 17-24 years)
2 Innovative Opportunity – Encourage community participation in creative outcomes
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

Help is available

Council Officers are available if you have any questions or require assistance applying online. Applicants are required to contact the relevant Council Officer prior to submitting an application in Smartygrants.

Sport & Recreation Recreation team
Culture and Arts Cultural Development Officer
Environment & Sustainability Sustainability and Environment team


Council Officers can be contacted during office hours on 1300 003 280 or (03) 5559 4800.