Department of Human Services

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Governance and Sustainability Funding Guidelines

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    The Department of Human Services

    The Department of Human Services’ purpose is making a difference so South Australia thrives, and has three priorities:

    • Increasing inclusion, independence, and shared decision-making for all.
    • Supporting our communities when it matters most.
    • Delivering modern services for our communities

    About Grants SA

    Grants SA funding is for not-for-profit community organisations, including Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, to improve community participation, social and emotional wellbeing, and quality of life for people living and working in South Australia. This funding is prioritised to support people and/or communities experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage.

    The purpose of this funding round and these guidelines have been developed to align to the Department of Human Services’ Social Impact Framework and the SA Government’s commitments under Closing the Gap.

    The Social Impact Framework defines five objectives that underpin quality of life:

    • Belonging - to communities that are inclusive, equitable and resilient
    • Connecting - with opportunities to engage and participate
    • Building - resources and skills for self-direction and a fulfilling life
    • Aspiring - toward economic social and civic empowerment
    • Creating - safe environments and wellbeing

    Closing the Gap, Priority Reform Two: Building the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Sector to deliver services. This includes:

    • Sustained capacity building and investment.
    • Dedicated and identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce.
    • Community-controlled organisations are supported by a Peak Body, which has strong governance and policy development and influencing capacity.
    • Community-controlled organisations have a dedicated, reliable and consistent funding model designed to suit the types of services required by communities.

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    Eligible organisations

    Organisations must be:

    • Small to medium size. That is, whose annual revenue is under $3 million.
    • Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations or other not-for-profit organisations.
    A not-for-profit organisation provides services to the community and doesn't operate for the profit or personal gain of its individual members. All profits made must go back into the services the organisation provides. Profits must not be distributed to owners, members or other private people.

    Revenue is a component of total income: Revenue + Other Income = Total Income For further information:

    Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) - Revenue

    Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) - Charity Size

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    Funding focus

    This funding opportunity offers one-off grants of up to $50,000 available. The focus of this funding round is for eligible organisations working in community services to:

    • build their governance and compliance capacity including to develop or strengthen partnerships or collaboration with other community organisations to improve sustainability and deliver common social impact objectives, and /or
    • undertake upgrades to build organisational capacity and resilience that are both environmentally and organisationally sustainable.

    Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisations are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Applications from eligible organisations in areas of disadvantage as identified by the Socio- Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA Index) and applications from regional and remote areas will be prioritised.


    Any eligible organisation or sponsored organisation can be funded for a maximum of two Grants SA grants (Community Sheds, Minor or Medium) per financial year. There is no limit to the number of times an eligible organisation can sponsor other organisations with not-for-profit or community-controlled objectives.

    To apply you must:

    • read and understand these guidelines and the application requirements
    • register and complete the online application form for funding via the SmartyGrants online portal.
    • be an authorised signatory for the organisation (that is, Chief Executive, President, Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary)
    • provide all information requested, including quotes or evidence of costs for all budget items
    • address all eligibility and assessment criteria
    • This round is open between 16 January 2023 and 23 March 2023 at 3.00 pm.

    Please note that assessment will occur after the closure of the round.

    If you cannot meet the application deadline, we ask that you please phone us prior to round closure. Phone Grants SA Team on 1300 650 985.

    Before starting your application, please read the application requirements outlined on pages 6-12 to ensure you are eligible for this funding. This includes key information explaining the application process, grant assessment processes and contractual obligations.

    Enquiries and feedback

    If you have any questions about applying for a grant through Grants SA or wish to obtain support or feedback on an application, please contact:

    Grants SA Team

    Phone 1300 650 985


    Eligible Applicants

    Organisations applying for grants must:

    • Be an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Organisation or other not-for-profit organisation.
    • A not-for-profit organisation provides services to the community and doesn't operate for the profit or personal gain of its individual members. All profits made must go back into the services the organisation provides. Profits mustn't be distributed to owners, members or other private people. Not-for-profit (NFP) organisations fall into two broad categories: (1) charities and (2) other NFP organisations that are not charities - for example, most sporting and recreational clubs, community service organisations, professional and business associations and social organisations.

    • be currently operating within South Australia, and/or delivering services or support to the South Australian community.
    • Have an annual revenue of under $3 million as per 2021/22 audited financial statement
    • be incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985, or the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006, or have evidence of a comparable legal status, such as Australian Public Company limited by guarantee.


    • be currently registered with a valid and eligible Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • have an Australian bank account in the name of the legal entity
    • agree to the terms and conditions of the grant agreement.

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    Sponsored organisations

    Organisations that are not incorporated and/or do not have an ABN, can apply if they meet all other eligibility criteria and are able to secure an eligible organisation to act as their sponsor (auspice) for the project. The sponsoring organisation is then responsible for submitting the application online and entering into the grant agreement. Sponsoring organisations will receive the funding and be legally responsible for acquitting the funding.

    • if sponsoring an organisation:
      • ensure the sponsored entity has not-for-profit objectives, and
      • agree to accept legal and financial responsibility for the grant.

    If your organisation is eligible as per the Eligible Applicants section, you cannot be sponsored by another eligible organisation.

    Ineligible Applicants

    Applications will not be accepted from organisations or sponsored organisations that:

    • Have any outstanding contractual or financial obligations (including reports, acquittals, unpaid invoices) for any funded Department of Human Services projects/programs.
    • Have licensed gaming machines in their facilities or hold a gaming machine license.
    • Are educational institutions or related representative bodies such as schools and/or their parent or student associations, universities, colleges.
    • Are trusts (excluding fixed trusts), individuals, sole traders, or organisations applying on behalf of an individual.
    • Are for-profit organisations or private companies.
    • Are Commonwealth or State Departments and agencies (Local Government Agencies can only act as a sponsor for community organisations).
    • Have annual revenue of $3 million or above as stated in the 2021/22 audited financial statement.

    Grants SA can only award funds to community-based or community-controlled, not-for- profit organisations which are either incorporated or can show evidence of a comparable legal status. This is to ensure funding is provided to organisations who are the intended recipients of the Charitable and Social Welfare Fund.

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    Funding Opportunities

    This funding opportunity is a one-off grant of up to $50,000 available to support governance and compliance and/or sustainability:

    Governance and Compliance

    • building governance capacity through the sharing of resources or initiatives, develop or strengthen organisational structures and partnerships with other organisations
    • preparing employees/volunteers to take on leadership roles (for example, governance, strategic, or financial planning)
    • increasing organisational capacity for service delivery (for example, training, digital skills training, mentoring or Mental Health First Aid) through training for employees/volunteers
    • Providing wage support for eligible organisations to achieve STARservice, a development program to build capacity and improve work practices in small community organisations.
    • Providing wage support for eligible organisations to achieve Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES) to help organisations improve business practices and client services.
    • Working collaboratively with other organisations on agreed goals that benefit consumers and the community. For example, to develop formal partnership such as MOU’s, procedures, performance measures, service agreements.


    • Increasing infrastructure sustainability measures including solar systems and batteries, heat pumps, rainwater tanks and pumps, shade sails.
    • Providing outdoor spaces including community gardens, raised beds and soils, tools and storage, irrigation, plants, and seedlings.
    • Access improvements including ramps, installation of handrails, and toilet upgrades
    • Upgrading communal spaces or kitchens including kitchen upgrades for health and hygiene, internal walling, the enclosing of outdoor spaces for additional workspaces, cooking equipment, fridges, tables and chairs, microwaves, filing cabinets.
    • Providing equipment and resources to build organisational capacity including IT equipment.
    • Providing resources to promote community connections, inclusion, and diversity.

    Please note for infrastructure sustainability, access, and capital works:

    • Evidence of freehold or leasehold arrangements (for a period of a minimum of three years) must be submitted with the application. If the building/land is owned by another entity, written consent by the land/building owner for the works to occur must be obtained and submitted as part of the application process.
    • Where relevant, copies of site plans or photos can be submitted with the application to assist the Panel assessing applications.
    • Current, written quotations for all requested items and/or services must be submitted with the application.
    • Funds secured from other sources are outlined in the budget section of the application with the most up to date information about the status of this funding included (for example, the grant applied for and status of the application).
    • If your application is successful and the project requires Local Government approvals and/or permits, these will be listed as a ‘Condition Precedent’ in the organisation’s Grant agreement, and copies of applicable documentation will need to be provided prior to funds being released.

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    Not a funding focus for this round

    The following funding requests are not a funding focus and are a lower priority for funding in this round:

    • Areas of responsibility of other Federal, State or Local Government Departments including Sport and Recreation, Health, Tourism, Arts, Environment and Education. Please check the websites or make direct contact with these entities for industry specific funding and support.
    • Applicants from Sporting and Recreational Clubs should contact the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR) to confirm eligibility for ORSR funding first. Applications must demonstrate charitable outcomes and benefit to the broader community beyond the general sporting activities of a club to be considered for Grants SA funding.
    • Core operating costs of applicant organisation. That is, core staff wages, committee reimbursements, rent, insurances, utilities, water, rates, taxes, consumables, and phone.
    • Marketing and promotion specific to organisation’s existing services.
    • Retrospective costs - Funding for items, services, or resources already purchased.
    • Religious or political outcomes.
    • Prizes, awards, gifts, reimbursements, sponsorships, scholarships, donations.
    • Emergency relief including food.
    • Pre-paid store cards, individual debt, or bill payments.
    • Purchase or lease of established buildings, land, and vehicles or leasing of IT equipment.
    • Maintenance of leased property that is the responsibility of the lessor.
    • Design fees, Local Government Approvals and/or permits, Engineering drawings.
    • Grants writer fees, auspice fees, audit fees, research projects, feasibility studies.
    • Repair of facilities damaged by vandalism, fire, or other natural disasters where the act is covered by insurance.
    • Projects that do not reflect the principles of community inclusion and appropriate access by community members.
    • Projects solely focussed on animal welfare.
    • Contingency costs – over 10% of grant request.
    • Applications from organisations that have been operating in South Australia for less than 12 months, may need to provide further information on how their operations are sustainable beyond this funding.

    If in doubt, please contact us before submitting your application. Phone the Grants SA Team on 1300 650 985.

    Project Budget

    The submitted budget must clearly demonstrate the items the Grants SA funds will support if the application is successful. The budget must also include other sources of income for the project including other grants, government or organisational support or support in-kind.

    The budget must be realistic and include quotes for items which are eligible as per these guidelines. This assists the Assessment Panel in understanding the size and scope of the project and how the funds will achieve positive and long-term benefits to the community as outlined in the proposal.

    Project Information

    The project description needs to contain key information to assist the assessment panel evaluate the application against the key criteria of:

    Link to Funding Focus

    Does this proposal link to the funding focus of Governance and/or Sustainability as outlined in these guidelines?

    Organisational Need

    • Who (target group/s) will eventually benefit from this funding (longer term)?
    • Why are you seeking this funding? Why is this proposal important?
    • Location of organisation being supported

    Organisation Impact or benefit

    • What outcomes will be achieved for the community or your organisation?
    • Who are your potential partners? (other organisations or within the community) How are you demonstrating an intent to strengthen partnerships and/or formalise alliances to achieve common social impact objectives.

    Value for money

    • How will the funds be spent?
    • Are the quotes included realistic for the activity proposed?
    • Other support for this proposal including cash or in-kind.

    These questions assist assessors to establish the need and merit of the proposal against other applications. The questions also help assessors establish if the community and /or organisation has the leadership capability, skills, and resources to deliver the desired outcomes.

    Grants SA funding is very competitive and there may not be enough funds to support all applications submitted.

    Please ensure all attachments are included at the time of submission. Applications will be assessed on the documentation provided at the time of submission.

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    Application Assessment

    Applications are screened for eligibility to check that:

    • the applicant organisation is eligible to apply and has no outstanding commitments to the Department for Human Services
    • the application is completed in full, and all required attachments are included (for example, quotes for budget items)

    Assessment Criteria

    Applications will be assessed by a merit-based assessment process using the criteria below.

    Link to Funding focus (20%)

    • Does the proposal link to the funding focus of governance or sustainability?

    Organisational need (40%)

    • Location of organisation being supported and/or demographic of the community that the organisation supports, considering the SEIFA and regional or remote location of applicant. What you aim to achieve with this project. (20%)
    • How has the need for the project been determined? How will this project address that need? (20%)

    Impact or benefit (30%)

    • The extent of the positive impact or benefit on the organisation seeking funding. How will it be measured?
    • Are there potential partnerships or collaborations with other groups or organisations?
    • Evidence that this funding is crucial to sustaining or expanding current operations.

    Value for Money (10%)

    • The value for money given the community who will benefit from the funding.
    • The value for money given the number of people who will benefit
    • Applications must contain reasonable and realistic costs as outlined in attached quotes.
    • Secured other funding support.

    The Assessment Panel assesses each application against the Assessment Criteria. The Assessment panel includes a mix of State Government officers and external community members with relevant specialist expertise.

    Assessors may also take into consideration the geographic or demand-driven funding distribution to ensure a range of proposals are supported and an equitable distribution of funding throughout South Australia.

    The information included in your application is confidential, with staff and assessment panels bound by DHS policies and procedures.

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    Outcome Notification

    All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email. Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to contact the Grants SA team for feedback on their application.

    Successful applications

    If your application is successful, you will receive an agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the funding provided. All applicants will be required to sign this agreement and comply with all conditions, which include requirements to:

    • submit an online final report accounting for how the funding is spent (financial acquittal), including copies of all receipts for all purchases relating to the original application submitted
    • measure and report on the outcomes from the funded project (project evaluation)
    • have public liability insurance – a minimum of $1 million or as required in your agreement
    • appropriately acknowledge the State Government of South Australia as a funding source for the project

    Payment will be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement.

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    Reporting Requirements

    On completion of the project, you are required to sign a declaration confirming the allocated funds were spent in accordance with terms of the agreement. Copies of all receipts of purchases funded through Grants SA as part of the acquittal process must be submitted.

    The acquittal report is completed online via the SmartyGrants portal. Once grant funds have been paid to the organisation, the registered user (person who submitted the application), will receive a link to the online portal.

    A short summary about the difference the project made in achieving real outcomes for people, communities or your organisation, including a description of what you learned from implementing the project is also required as part of the acquittal process.

    The following information is required for reporting purposes.

    What did you do?

    • Did you deliver what you originally planned to do?

    What is the outcome your project achieved?

    • What were the outcomes of your project?
    • What difference did the project make to community members?
    • Were your measures useful?

    What did you learn and what would you do differently?

    • Describe any learnings from the project or your organisation’s experience during the project.

    How was your Grants SA experience?

    • Provide a brief summary of your experience and whether you have any suggestions for improvement.

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    You must inform Grants SA if anything is likely to affect the spending of the grant in accordance with the agreement. You must also seek approval to vary the original contract from Grants SA. This includes any changes to purchases (including change of supplier), timeframes and business activities, particularly if they affect the ability to complete the activities stated in the grant.

    You must also inform us, via email of any changes to your:

    • organisation name and nominated contact details of key contacts of proposal
    • addresses including emails
    • bank account details.

    DHS Acknowledgement

    The State Government of South Australia may be appropriately acknowledged as a funding source for the project. You must not make, or permit to be made, a public announcement or media release about any aspect of the grant agreement without first giving reasonable notice, in writing, together with a summary of the proposed public announcement or copy of the media release, to the Minister through Grants SA staff.

    Links to Policy

    Grants SA links to the objectives, principles and recommendations in South Australian Government strategies and policies.

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    Page last updated : 20 Jan 2023

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