Community Development and Capacity Building Grants guidelines

Grant update

Brisbane City Council has prioritised funds to create the new Lord Mayor’s COVID-19 Direct Assistance Program in 2020-21. This Program will support our community organisations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Refer to the Lord Mayor’s COVID-19 Direct Assistance Program to check your eligibility and to find out more.

The Community Development and Capacity Building Grants will return in 2021-22.

These guidelines are for the Community Development and Capacity Building Grants.

Applications for this grant are closed. This program will return in 2021-22.

Learn about the Community Development and Capacity Building Grants Program:


The Community Development and Capacity Building Grants encourage projects that respond to local and city-wide community issues.


Community Development and Capacity Building Grants objectives are to:

  • increase community identity and connections
  • increase social inclusion and reduce isolation of people with high needs
  • build innovative and effective responses to emerging community needs and social needs
  • increase the skills, knowledge and understanding within the community sector to respond to community issues and needs
  • address emerging priorities facing high need groups including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, young people, seniors and people with disability.

Eligible applications

The grant provides funding to not-for-profit incorporated organisations that are seeking to develop a project to achieve the Community Development and Capacity Building Grants objectives.

An applicant applying for a grant must operate within the Brisbane Local Government Area (LGA) or be able to demonstrate that the project will benefit residents of the Brisbane LGA.

The applicant must:

  • demonstrate that the grant will be used for community benefit
  • be a not-for-profit  incorporated organisation, or be sponsored by a not-for-profit  organisation that is incorporated and able to accept legal and financial responsibility for the project or activity
  • have met all acquittal conditions of previous Council grants, have no debt to Council and be financially viable
  • have appropriate insurance and workplace health and safety policies in accordance  with the funding agreement; and
  • inform Council's Grant Unit if they are successful in securing funds for items requested in their grant application from another source.

Ineligible applications

The following will NOT be funded:

  • projects that have already commenced or where your organisation has committed expenditure prior to the notification date. Notification date for application outcomes is anticipated to be in December 2018
  • projects that are considered to be the core responsibility of other levels of government, e.g. Queensland Government departments such as Department of Education or Queensland Health
  • primarily commercial or fundraising ventures
  • event or conference sponsorship, prizes or award ceremonies
  • general operating expenses - funding will not cover expenses such as electricity, lease/rent payments, telephone, uniforms etc that are part of the organisation's ongoing expenses
  • debt payment
  • projects where expenditure for equipment exceeds more than 25% of the funding requested of Council.

Funding available

You can apply for a grant ranging from a minimum of $2000 to a maximum of $10,000. As resources are limited, not every application that meets the assessment criteria will necessarily receive a grant.

Council may fund the full cost of a project, however applications which include contributions from the applicant are encouraged and will have a higher priority than those that seek 100% of project costs. The applicant's contribution may be cash, other funding assistance, or 'in-kind' e.g. voluntary labour or materials.

In some instances successful applicants may not receive the full amount of funding, but rather a percentage of the total sought. If your project cannot proceed without full funding, this should be indicated in your application.

Council may also consider projects where other funding agencies are contributing to the overall cost e.g. 50% funding from state government, 50% funding from Council.

Financial arrangements


If you are successful in obtaining a grant, Council will send you a Funding Agreement that must be completed and returned prior to funding being provided.


If you or your sponsoring body are GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant as an itemised GST gross-up.

If you or your sponsoring body are not GST registered the 10% GST will be added to your grant, but not itemised as GST.

For advice on GST, please contact your tax advisor or the Australian Taxation Office on 13 24 78 or via its website on

Assessment process

Once eligibility criteria are checked, each project will be scored on the following Assessment Criteria:

Assessment criteria for Access and Inclusion Community Partnership Program 2012/2013 applications
Criteria #  Assessment criteria Percentage weighting
1.  Ability of the project to meet the objectives of the grant (as outlined in Section 1.1) 20%
2.  The extent to which the application is able to demonstrate
  1. The need for the project
  2. The outcomes and benefits of the project for the community
  3. The ability to sustain the project or outcomes when the grant funds are expended
3. Evidence of effective consultation, networking and project partnerships 20%
4. The capacity of the organisation to undertake all aspects of the proposed project including evaluating and documenting the results 20%
5. The extent to which the budget is comprehensive, realistic and provides value for money 20%

Following the initial assessment by Council officers, recommendations will be provided to the Comparative Assessment Committee which makes recommendations to Council's Civic Cabinet for consideration. Civic Cabinet then makes the final decision about grant allocation.

Application process

Making your application 

A budget is required to support your application. Before you apply, it is highly recommended you review a budget table example, to assist you with developing your budget.

All applications are to be submitted online.

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • ensure continued compliance with these guidelines
  • deliver the approved project in accordance with the contents of the submitted applications approved by Council for the provision of a grant
  • fully comply with the terms and conditions set out in the funding agreement (including special conditions) provided by Council to the successful applicants
  • fully acquit the grant to Council in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.

Planning your application

Before applying for funding, you must undertake planning for your proposed project and ensure that:

  • your organisation is eligible
  • your project and its components are eligible
  • you have considered the Assessment Criteria and responded directly to them
  • your project effectively responds to the objectives of the Community Development and Capacity Building Grants
  • you have identified the objectives of your project and can demonstrate, with specific performance measures, how they will secure a wider community benefit
  • you have identified the need for your project and can document how you identified this need
  • you have consulted with all relevant stakeholders about your project, including your local councillor, and can demonstrate support for the project e.g. letters of support
  • you have considered whether your project would be improved if you worked with other organisations to deliver it
  • you have thought about how you can manage the project and can demonstrate how you plan to deliver the results in the project timeframe
  • you have carefully considered to what extent your organisation can contribute financially or 'in-kind', e.g. voluntary labour or materials, to the project
  • you have carefully considered your budget, ensured that your figures are reliable and are able to demonstrate 'value for money'
  • you have obtained two quotes for purchase of equipment or resources.

Preparing your application

  • ensure that you have read this information carefully
  • begin collecting all information needed to support your application
  • complete the application by answering all questions and supplying all information requested
  • before you commence your draft proposal it is recommended that you contact Council and ask to speak to a Regional Community Development Coordinator about the project
  • all applications must be approved by either the Chairperson, President or Chief Executive Officer of your organisation.

How and when will I be notified?

You will receive a letter notifying you of the outcome of your application.

You have 12 months from the time of the notification of your successful application to complete the project and acquit the grant, unless otherwise negotiated.

Successful applicants

You will receive an approval letter and a Funding Agreement. The Funding Agreement will include Terms and Conditions of the grant, any special conditions that have been attached to your grant and GST information. You will need to complete and sign the Funding Agreement before any funding will be released.

Unsuccessful applicants

Failure to receive funding is not necessarily due to a poor application but may be the result of the demand for funds. For feedback on your grant application, please refer to the contact phone number given in your notification letter. You may wish to consider submitting your application to another grants program.

Both the Queensland and Australian Governments have websites that list available grants:


Further information is available by contacting Council and asking to speak with a Regional Community Development Coordinator.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, please contact us through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY users phone 133 677 and then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 and then ask for 07 3403 8888
  • internet relay users connect to the NRS ( and then ask for 07 3403 8888.

If you require this information in other languages, please phone the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450 and ask to be connected to Brisbane City Council on 07 3403 8888.

All enquiry services are free.

Terms and conditions

Successful applicants must abide by Council’s terms and conditions which are contained in the Funding Agreement.The Funding Agreement will be provided to successful applicants on notification of Council approving the application.

The following is a summary of the Terms and Conditions:

  • you must use the grant for the purposes that you have outlined in your application
  • you must ensure that your accounts or audit report for the funded project are shown as a separate item in your financial accounts
  • if you want to change expenditure items covered by the grant, you must get written permission from Council before spending the money
  • the grant must be fully acquitted within 12 months from the date of notification of success of your application. This includes providing a financial report and an evaluation report
  • Council is not responsible for any budget shortfalls
  • if you have money left over after the completion of the project, you must give it back to Council
  • if you don't abide by the conditions you could jeopardise your organisation's chances of receiving further funds from Council
  • you must acknowledge support from Council
  • if you are set special conditions, you must adhere to them
  • you must hold insurance, including appropriate Public Liability insurance
  • Council is not responsible for any loss or expense in relation to the completed project.


Not-for-profit organisation
An organisation whose constitution states that any profits or surpluses must be used to further the objectives of the organisation rather than benefit an individual.

The online acquittal form is the report at the end of the project which demonstrates that the funding has been used for the purpose for which it was provided.  This includes providing a certified report of financial transactions and whether the project achieved its intended objectives.

Community benefit
How your project will provide access and inclusion opportunities to people accessing or participating in your organisation and the wider community.

Sponsor organisation (Auspice)
A not-for-profit organisation that accepts and manages the legal and financial responsibility of the grant on behalf of the unincorporated organisation.

Social inclusion
Processes which support all people to feel valued, have their differences respected, and their basic needs met so they can live in dignity. 

In-kind contribution
The dollar value of non-cash contributions to a project, e.g. office space, staff time or voluntary labour, that would otherwise have needed to be paid for. The items/services must be such that there would normally be a charge for them, and must be essential to the implementation of the project.

Equipment (non-consumables)
Equipment is purchased to be used during the project but can continue to be used after the completion of the project.

Materials (consumables)
Materials are purchased to be used during the project but are used up by the completion of the project.

Target group
Primary group(s) of people that the project is aimed at appealing to or specific population group(s) intended as beneficiaries of the project.

For example:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • seniors
  • people with a disability
  • young people
  • multicultural groups or communities.

Letters of support
Letters of endorsement or commitment to the project from partners, other community organisations, elected members.

Organisational governance
The way a committee or board works to inform, direct, manage and monitor the activities of the organisation toward the achievement of its objectives. This includes the committee’s structure and processes.

Last updated: 22 July 2020