Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grants Guidelines - Community Support Category

The Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grants Community Support Category provides funding to support projects that respond to local community needs, improve community facilities and build organisational capacity.

This category is now closed as funds have been fully expended, however a new round of funding in this category will open in 2022.

1. Objectives 

The Community Support Category aims to deliver outcomes in alignment with Brisbane Vision 2031, which plans for the future of the city.

Projects must deliver one or more of the following objectives:

  • support Community Facility maintenance and improvement
  • improve community organisation governance and long-term sustainability
  • provide operational equipment for community organisations
  • enable projects and activities that respond to community needs.

2. Application dates

Grant applications can be lodged at any time after the grant program has opened. Applications will remain open until all available funds have been expended.

3. Eligible applications

Who can apply?

Applicants must be:

  • an incorporated not-for-profit organisation; or 
  • be auspiced by an incorporated not-for-profit organisation that accepts legal and financial responsibility for the project or activity (Auspice Organisation).

If an applicant states in their application that they are being auspiced by an Auspice Organisation, a letter from the Auspice Organisation must be provided, signed by the chair, president or chief executive officer (or equivalent) of the organisation, agreeing to auspice the proposal.

The applicant must:

  • demonstrate that the grant will be used for Community Benefit within the Brisbane Local Government Area
  • 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.

Ineligible applicants include:

  • for-profit organisations
  • individuals
  • government departments and agencies
  • schools and affiliated parents’ associations
  • kindergartens and childcare organisations
  • political groups
  • unincorporated organisations (unless auspiced by an Auspice Organisation).

Preference will be given to applicants who have not yet received a Lord Mayor’s Better Suburbs Grant in either category (Community Support or Community Facility), within the current financial year. This does not apply where the organisation is acting as an auspice.

Ineligible applications

The following will NOT be funded.

  • Projects that have already commenced or for which the applicant organisation already has expenditure under contract prior to the date of application except where, in the sole discretion of Council’s delegate, exceptional circumstances apply.
  • Community events such as festivals, fetes and Christmas and New Year events. If seeking Council funding towards such activities, apply for either the Festivals and Cultural Events Sponsorships or the Lord Mayor’s Community Fund.
  • Projects that are considered to be the core responsibility of other levels of government, e.g. Queensland Government departments such as the Department of Education or Queensland Health.
  • Consumable items and materials (unless they are part of the delivery of a project application) such as uniforms, sports equipment and stationery.
  • Projects and programs that are general operational activities for community organisations, e.g. competition events and sports coaching programs.
  • Primarily commercial or fundraising ventures.
  • Event or conference sponsorship, prizes or award ceremonies.
  • The purchase of alcohol.
  • Projects that involve the purchase of motor vehicles.
  • General operating expenses and materials such as electricity, insurance, lease or rental payments, telephone, uniforms, sports equipment etc. that are part of the organisation's ongoing expenses.
  • Debt payment.
  • The purchase of single use plastics.

4. What can be funded?

Community Facility maintenance and improvement

This includes:

  • minor maintenance or improvement works on a Community Facility to be completed within 12 months of the Notification Date, e.g. roof repairs, plumbing repairs, painting and general building works
  • planning and design work relating to a Community Facility, e.g. design, plans, investigations.

Projects that improve community organisation governance and long-term sustainability

This includes strategic and operational planning, education and training, management systems to improve finances and membership, or marketing and promotion plans.

The purchase of operational equipment for community organisations

Priority will be given to major items that support the organisation’s operations and are related to the maintenance and upkeep of the facility.

Council reserves the right to determine what constitutes equipment and general operating costs that should be carried out by the organisation on a regular basis or are a compliance requirement. 

Projects and activities that respond to community needs

This includes projects and activities that:

  • respond to local and citywide community issues
  • increase participation in community sport, recreation and physical activity
  • increase access and appreciation of Brisbane’s history and heritage
  • contribute to community safety 
  • improve existing projects, services and activities to be more inclusive of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

5. Funding available

You can apply for grant funding up to $10,000 (GST exclusive). Applications may be part funded.

6. Financial arrangements


If you are successful in obtaining a grant, you must sign the Funding Agreement and return it to Council. This step must be completed before any funding will be provided to you by Council under these guidelines.


If your organisation or your Auspice Organisation (where applicable) is GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant as an itemised GST gross-up.

If your organisation or your Auspice Organisation (where applicable) is not GST registered, 10% GST will be added to your grant but will not be 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.

7. Assessment Process

Provided the eligibility criteria for making a grant application under these guidelines are satisfied, the project will be assessed against the following assessment criteria.

This table provides information on the assessment criteria.
Criteria # Assessment criteria
1 How does the project contribute to meet the objectives of the grant program?
2 Is there a demonstrated need for the project?
3 Is there a community benefit from the project?
4 Does the organisation have the capacity to undertake the project?
5 Is the budget realistic and does it demonstrate value for money?

Following the initial assessment by Council officers, recommendations will be provided to the Comparative Assessment Committee for review before presentation to Council's delegate. Council’s delegate makes the final decision regarding funding allocation.

8. Application process

How to apply

All applications are to be submitted via SmartyGrants. This online application system will allow applicants to save, develop and print out applications before they are submitted. Supporting material can be attached to the online application.

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

Once you have submitted an application through SmartyGrants, you will receive an email confirming receipt of the application. The submitted application will be kept confidential and the contents will not be disclosed to any person outside the application and Assessment Process.

Assessment and outcomes

You will receive a letter advising whether your application was successful or unsuccessful.

The list of successful applicants will be published on Council’s website.

Successful applicants

If you are successful in obtaining a grant, you must sign the Funding Agreement and return it to Council. This step must be completed before any funding will be provided to you by Council under these guidelines.

You must: 

  • ensure that you continue to comply 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
  • comply with the terms and conditions in the Funding Agreement (including any applicable special conditions) 
  • fully acquit the grant to Council in accordance with the terms and conditions in the Funding Agreement.

Unsuccessful applicants

Failure to receive funding is not necessarily due to a poor application but may be the result of the demand for funds. Unsuccessful applicants can seek feedback on their application by contacting a Council Grants Officer and may be encouraged to resubmit their application for reassessment.

You may wish to consider submitting your application to another grants program. Both the Queensland and Australian Governments have websites that list available grants:

9. Acquittal

The successful applicant must provide a completed Acquittal Form to Council within six months of the Notification Date. This document must detail the outcomes of the project and how the funds were spent. It must demonstrate that funding has been used for the purpose for which it was provided, include a report of financial transactions and provide evidence that the project achieved its intended objectives.

Successful applicants will receive a link to the Acquittal Form that will be attached to their application in SmartyGrants.

10. Enquiries

Further information is available by contacting Council and asking to speak with a Council Grants Officer.

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

  • 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, 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.

11. Glossary

Acquittal Form

This is an online form and is a condition of grant funding. Council requires you submit a project acquittal report at the end of your project. This report must include a financial report that details project expenditure, and an evaluation report outlining the project's outcomes and how they contributed to the aims and objectives of the grant program.

Assessment Process

The process where applications are assessed against the assessment criteria under these guidelines and a determination is made for recommendation to Council’s delegate.

Auspice Organisation

An incorporated not-for-profit organisation that accepts and manages the legal and financial responsibility of the funding on behalf of the unincorporated not-for-profit organisation.

Community Benefit

Describes tangible and intangible benefits and opportunities to members of the public and can include cultural, social, economic and environmental outcomes that deliver one or more of the project objectives outlined in section 2 of this Guideline.

Community Facility

A facility that supports community, sport, recreational, and cultural activities and in doing so, helps provide for the physical, cultural and social wellbeing of the community.

Comparative Assessment Committee 

The role of Comparative Assessment Committee members is the 'Review of assessment process and funding recommendations'. 

Council Grants Officer

A Council officer responsible for the management of the grant administration process.

Funding Agreement

The agreement between Council and a successful applicant under this grant program and which contains terms and conditions relating to the grant of funding including any special conditions that may be applicable.  


Goods and Services Tax payable pursuant to the GST Laws. 

GST Laws 

A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (Cth) together with all other laws and regulations which impose or regulate the implementation and operation of the GST.

Letters of support

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

Notification Date

The date that Council notifies the applicant in writing of the application outcome.  

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 or group of individuals.

Last updated: 21 October 2021

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