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Department of Human Services

Funding Opportunities

Organisations in the community sector can access the following types of funding opportunities to help them secure sustainable funding for their programs and initiatives:


All levels of government, as well as the private and philanthropic sectors, allocate billions of dollars towards grants for community organisations.

The following websites provide details of current grants programs for community organisations.

  • DHS Grants for Organisations - information on DHS' grants programs for communities, including the prominent Grants SA program
  • Community Grants Hub - provides a current list of grant opportunities from the Australian Commonwealth Government.
  • GRANTassist - search across all State Government departments for programs for communities, clubs and individuals
  • The Funding Centre - a hub for information on Australian grants and fundraising. Requires annual membership fees.


Organisations that cannot meet requirements for grants might consider getting another organisation to enter into a funding agreement to receive project funds on their behalf. This is known as 'auspicing'. Not for Profit law provides a useful guide and checklist concerning the issues and processes involved in auspicing.

Social Impact Investment

Social Impact investments improve communities while also financially benefiting investors. This webinar by Not for Profit Law outlines the state of social impact investing in Australia, providing relevant case studies.

Social Enterprise

Organisations buying and selling goods or services with the purpose of supporting the community are engaging in social enterprise. This business model can create lasting social change and develop organisational sustainability. For an introduction, see this video by Community Services SA.

The following resources provide useful information on social enterprise:

  • Social Traders - aim to grow the social enterprise sector in Australia by raising awareness, building enterprise capability, and opening markets for products and services.
  • Social Enterprise Services - established to assist community, the not-for-profit sector, business and government to engage with social media.
  • Sesteem - provides long-term, sustainable income security to other not-for-profit organisations by establishing social enterprise businesses on their behalf.
  • Flinders University New Venture Institute - organises student teams to help organisations grow and innovate their business with fresh insights and the latest technology.
  • Introduction to Social Enterprises webinar - produced by Not for Profit Law, targeted at organisations in Victoria and New South Wales, but useful for context.
  • Social Enterprise Guide - online guide by Not for Profit Law that outlines issues to consider in establishing or operating a social enterprise.

Community-Business Partnerships or Sponsorships

Partnerships between community organisations and businesses can benefit both parties, as well as the wider community. Partnerships can involve Volunteering, or any of the following arrangements.

Financial donations

Financial donations from individuals or businesses can make a real difference to community organisations. The following resources may be useful in this regard:

  • - your organisation could establish a presence on this website, which is Australia's first online donations platform and the only commission-free service.
  • Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status - A DGR is an entity or fund that can receive tax deductible donations. Organisations can either have DGR endorsement in their own right or have DGR in relation to a fund, authority or institution they operate. This factsheet from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission provides more information.
  • ACNC videos on What is a Charity and Registering as a Charity - these videos will help you determine whether you can register as a charity and outline the process involved. Charities receive the highest level of tax concessions/exemptions/rebates.

In-kind donations

Community organisations can collaborate with businesses to receive other forms of material assistance such as goods, services or resources like computers, furniture, auction items, administrative support or yard maintenance. The Smart State PC Donation Program, which enables South Australian community groups to access surplus state government computer equipment, is an example of an in-kind donation program.

Pro-bono or discounted services and products

Businesses might offer your organisation valuable skills, knowledge or expertise for free or at a heavily discounted price. The following initiatives are examples of this form of partnership.

  • Connecting Up - this not-for-profit organisation provides donated and discounted technology, resources and training to not-for-profit community organisations. The initiative also helps to build relationships between business, community and government sectors. In Australia, Connecting Up has helped over 18,000 organisations and coordinated donations of $450 million of products.
  • Improve IT - helps to educate community organisations about information and communication technology. The site provides free guides, templates, webinars, links and a blog.
  • JusticeNet SA - provides a pro-bono referral service connecting organisations with solicitors or barristers who will work on their behalf for free.


Crowdfunding is a way of raising funds through websites that provide online payment or pledge facilities. Your organisation could consider creating a fundraising page on the following websites:

  • - people from over 105 countries have pledged over $50 million for over 12,000 projects on this Australian-based website which only charges fees when targets are met.
  • Causes - claims to be the world's largest online campaigning platform. In addition to fundraising, campaigns can create petitions and take pledges.
  • - personal online fundraising pages for individuals, groups and organisations
  • Start Some Good - this website provides personalised support to social entrepreneurs, not-for-profits and community groups to  help them raise funds.The website charged fees when a campaign reaches a 'tipping point'. It offers a free email course for non-profits and social entrepreneurs and has helped over 736 ventures raise over $6 million.
  • Crowdrise - this site claims to be the world's number one fundraising site for charitable and personal causes, bringing together volunteers and philanthropists.
  • Indiegogo - organisations set a goal and select between fixed and flexible accounts on the page. If goals in fixed accounts are not met, any monies raised are returned to the donor. If goals for flexible accounts are not met, the organisation keeps some money but the website keeps a higher percentage.
  • FirstGiving - with over a decade of fundraising, this website boasts some big names in the not-for-profit sector such as Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics and The Humane Society. It offers a suite of tools to help organisations reach their fundraising goals.
  • CauseVox - a start-up social site that focuses on helping small to medium-sized not-for-profits raise funds. It has a unique pricing system ranging from free accounts to premium packages.
  • Rally (US based) - organisations build free pages and receive community contributions. There is no minimum donation.

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .

Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
18 Feb 2019
The DHS website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016