Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. You can also watch our information videos for more on our grants, including how to write a strong application, and what happens if you’re successful.
What if my plans change?
If your plans (timing/activities/budget) change from what you said in your application, you must contact us to seek approval. We will ask you to fill out a Variation Request Form in SmartyGrants and assess your new plans against the original criteria and if approved, you will be given a Variation to your Funding Agreement. If you spend the grant differently than your application/Funding Agreement without approval, Council will ask for all grant monies to be returned.
What does it mean to be incorporated?
When your group is incorporated, it means it has its own legal identity, separate from its members. Activities occur in the group’s name, rather than in the names of individual members.
As an example, if an unincorporated group needs to rent a property or arrange insurance, an individual member would need to sign under their name, placing them at personal financial risk.
An incorporated group can instead do this under the group name, which shares and reduces the risk to individual members.
Your community group may not want to become incorporated, particularly if you only ever handle small amounts of money, and have no need to enter into legal agreements.
However, many grants are unavailable to unincorporated groups, and this is why auspicing is needed in these situations.
For more information on incorporation, refer to the following helpful guides:
Justice Connect: Not-for-profit-Law website: How to decide whether your group should incorporate
Consumer Affairs: Victoria’s guide for clubs and community groups: Should your club incorporate?
What is auspicing?
You can approach a larger organisation to partner with your community group/organisation to fund a grant. This is helpful if you are otherwise ineligible for the grant (for example if your group is not incorporated.)
The ‘auspice organisation’ takes responsibility (legal and financial) of the grant on your group’s behalf. They will sign your grant agreement, receive and distribute grant funds under the grant agreement, ensure activities or events are completed, and submit end of funding reports on your behalf. Your group/organisation will still be known as the ‘grant recipient’.
Important information on auspice organisations:
- The auspice organisation you choose must be incorporated and have an ABN.
- The auspice organisation accepts legal and financial responsibility for the grant and will need to meet all eligibility criteria and provide public liability insurance coverage for the project(s).
- Grant money will be paid to the auspice organisation, not the applicant.
If you choose to apply for a grant as part of an auspice agreement, you need to provide the auspice organisation’s contact details, ABN, their financial details, and evidence that you have an agreement with them.
Does my group need an ABN?
Your group may need to supply an ABN as part of your application.
An ABN refers to an Australian Business Number issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). If your organisation has an ABN, it must be included in your application.
The holder of the ABN is either:
- Registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or
- Not Registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
It’s a good idea for any incorporated group to register for an ABN. You can read more at the ATO website
What if my group doesn’t have an ABN?
If your organisation doesn’t have an ABN, you’re requested to complete a Statement by Supplier Form and lodge it together with your application.
The form is available on the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) website
Please note, if you don’t have an ABN and don’t supply this form, we’re obliged to take 46.5% of the grant allocated and send this to the ATO.
For information about taxation, contact the ATO on 13 28 66 between 8am and 6pm Monday-Friday, or visit the ATO website.
If you want to talk to a Tax Officer and require an interpreter, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 12 14 50.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and have access to appropriate TTY or modem equipment, phone 13 36 77.
If you have access to TTY or modem equipment, phone the Speech to Speech Relay Service on 1300 555 727.
Why do we need public liability insurance?
We understand that Public Liability Insurance (PLI) may cost a significant amount, however the risks of not having PLI could cost your group much more.
Your community group/organisation will most likely interact with the public as part of running your activities or events. While it’s unlikely anything will go wrong, mishaps can occur, and a member of the public could be injured or a property damaged.
PLI protects your group/organisation against the liability to pay damages for a bodily injury, death, or for property damage that occurs as a result of an activity you run. It also covers the legal costs you would face if you had to defend a claim for bodily injury or property damage.
Because of the enormous potential costs your group could face if something went wrong and you didn’t have PLI, we only fund groups who manage the risk by having PLI.
It’s also important to remember that PLI doesn’t cover everything you may expect it to. You may need separate insurance when required, such as volunteers insurance to cover volunteers in the event of an injury claim, or building and contents insurance, to cover damage to a property in your organisation’s control (if you’re renting a space).
Why doesn’t Hume Council’s Public Liability Insurance cover us?
Hume Council has taken out its own very specific PLI policy, which covers specific activities and locations. The Community Grants program funds community-led events and activities and therefore is outside the scope of Council’s PLI.
Can you organise our Public Liability Insurance for us?
There are many variables when calculating PLI, such as the type of activities being run, how many activities take place, and where. Therefore each group is unique and needs to have it’s own PLI.
We don’t have Public Liability Insurance yet, can we still apply?
To help new groups apply for grants, you are able to apply for our Quick Response and Operational Grant before you have PLI but you will need to get coverage as soon as possible if you are funded.
What is an income and expenditure statement?
Whether it’s called an Income and Expenditure Statement or a Profit and Loss report, this is a summary of income and expenses for your group that shows how much money has actually been spent against what type of activity. i.e. $150 on catering for five events, $200 on printing, $300 on advertising, $2,600 on wages.
If your organisation is registered as an Incorporated Association, you need to provide Consumer Affairs Victoria with a yearly Profit and Loss report as part of your Annual Statement
If your organisation is a registered Not-For-Profit with ACNC, you are required to submit a Profit and Loss as part of your Annual Information Statement.
You can see an example as part of a Board’s financial report on the Our Community website
We are an Aboriginal Corporation, can we apply?
Yes. We encourage Indigenous Corporations to apply.
Grant writing workshop
Do you have a question we haven’t covered? Contact the Community Grants Officer on 9205 2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.