Contact us: +61 8 8226 8800

Department of Human Services

Major Round $10,001 to $100,000

Currently CLOSED - expected to open in April 2020


Grants SA is a one-off-project funding program that provides approximately $3 million in grants annually to not-for-profit community organisations to improve community participation, wellbeing and quality of life for people living and working in South Australia.

Key Priorities

The priority groups for Grants SA funding are people and/or communities experiencing disadvantage, meaning those with less access to social and economic opportunities.

Refer to the Glossary of Terms for a more detailed definition.

2019–20 Funding Guidelines — Major Round $10,001 to $100,000

Download the Funding Guidelines — Major Round (PDF 528.9 KB)

How much funding can an organisation apply for?

How much funding can an organisation apply for?

Applications can be submitted for funding of between $10,001 and $100,000. If the cost of items requested or purchased is more than the approved amount, it is the organisation’s responsibility to fund the difference.

Additional funding

A funding pool of up to $300,000 per year will be made available to support programs or projects assessed as highly effective in achieving outcomes. Identified programs or services will be eligible to receive further funding for up to 12 months, to a maximum of three years in total.

Organisations will need to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program or project through data and commentary, along with how they will direct the additional funding over the following 12 months.

Applications will need to score over 75% when assessed to be considered for additional funding.

Organisations funded for a program or project will be contacted approximately six months prior to the end of their contract and invited to apply for an additional period of up to 12 months of funding of up to $100,000.

What types of projects can an organisation apply for?

What types of projects can an organisation apply for?

Organisations can apply for one-off programs or services, upgrades to community facilities, and vehicles.

Note: Applications will only be considered for one purpose and not a combination of purposes to add up to the total available grant funds, unless the items are directly related to achieve the outcomes of the application. Refer to What can be funded for more detail on activity categories.

How often can an organisation apply?

How often can an organisation apply?

Organisations can only apply once in each round. Organisations or sponsored organisations are eligible to be successful for a maximum of two Grants SA grants (Minor or Major) per financial year. There is no limit to the number of times an eligible organisation can sponsor other organisations.

Eligible organisations

Eligible organisations

All organisations must:

  • have not-for-profit objectives
  • be community based
  • be currently operating with an office within South Australia, delivering services or support to the South Australian community

AND be one of the following:

  • a legal entity
  • a sponsored entity, if applying through a legal entity.

All legal entities must:

  • be incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 1985, or the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976, or have evidence of a comparable legal status,


  • be constituted under the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Act, 2005, for example: Emergency sector organisations including Country Fire Service (CFS) brigades and State Emergency Services (SES) units,


  • be a council under the Local Government Act 1999; to act as a sponsor or engage a registered training organisation to deliver training for volunteers working in community organisations.


  • be currently registered with a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have a bank account in the name of the legal entity
  • agree to the terms and conditions of the grant
  • if sponsoring an organisation, ensure the sponsored entity has not-for-profit objectives and
  • if sponsoring an organisation, agree to accept legal and financial responsibility for the grant.

Organisations must be one of the following:

  • a legal entity; or
  • a sponsored entity if applying through a legal entity

Organisations that are not incorporated 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 sponsor organisation is then responsible for submitting the application online, the legal and financial accountability of the project, and will be required to enter into the grant agreement. Sponsor organisations will receive funding and be responsible for acquitting funding.

Ineligible organisations

Ineligible organisations

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

  • have any outstanding contractual or financial obligations (e.g.reports, unpaid invoices) for any funded Department of Human Services projects/programs.
  • have licensed gaming machines in their facilities
  • are educational institutions or related representative bodies e.g. schools and/or their parents’ associations, universities
  • are trusts (excluding fixed trusts), individuals, 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 or engage a registered training organisation to deliver training for volunteers working in community organisations).
  • organisations that have been operating in South Australia for less than 12 months

What can be funded

What can be funded

The Department of Human Services (DHS) funds organisations for a maximum of 12 months to contribute to the Grants SA outcomes through a range of one-off activities that are innovative and build community capacity for more sustainable outcomes.

The following activities can be applied for in Major Rounds:

Deliver a one-off program or service

This funding is directed to short-term one-off programs or the establishment of new services, or a project with direct benefit to Grants SA priority groups.

Upgrade community facilities

These grants are to upgrade facilities/infrastructure so the organisation is better able to undertake its work.

A facility upgrade is for items that cannot be easily removed from the premises, items requiring fixed posts or a foundation, or where installation is required needing land/building owner consent.

Organisations can apply for up to 75% of the total project cost. The applicant’s 25% contribution towards the project can include voluntary labour and/or donated materials and/or significant professional in-kind services and support.

Applications must be accompanied by: building owner consent, minimum two year lease (at the close of the round), and council development approval if applicable. Please note: Council consent is not accepted. If development approval is not required, proof must be provided, e.g. letter from council or link to the appropriate webpage.

Purchase a vehicle that is essential to the delivery of services for a high needs target group

These grants are to purchase a vehicle that is essential to the delivery of services for a high needs target group.

Organisations can apply for up to 75% of the total cost of the vehicle. Applications for vehicles are capped at $30,000.

Applications must include details about how often the vehicle will be used, where the vehicle will be stored, and who can access the vehicle. The use of the vehicle must be maximised where possible by sharing it with other community organisations.

Successful applicants must provide a copy of the vehicle registration in the name of their organisation, when reporting on their expenditure (acquittal).

Priority themes for funding rounds

Priority themes for funding rounds

The Minister will introduce priority themes for rounds so that the government can respond to emerging issues and areas of need, as they arise in the community. Refer to ‘How applications are assessed’ for further information on how themes are considered as part of the assessment process and the importance this has on your application.

The following annual themes outline areas of government priority across all Grants SA rounds for 2019/20:

Cost of living

Supporting projects that will assist to address cost of living concerns through:

  • increasing community financial resilience and wellbeing, or
  • increasing food security within the community, particularly access to fresh and nutritious food.

Prevention of domestic, family and sexual violence

Supporting prevention and early intervention responses to domestic, family and sexual violence.

Disability inclusion

Supporting disability inclusion in South Australian communities. This includes ensuring that services and facilities are accessible and responsive to people with disability.

Supporting innovation

Supporting projects that use new methods, ideas, products or technology to contribute to the continuing success of community organisations and the outcomes their services/activities deliver in the community. This includes supporting social enterprises and continuous improvement.

Additional themes are announced prior to the opening of each round where determined, and will be promoted on the Grants SA website

Eligible items

Eligible items

Organisations can apply for any item, except ineligible items. When applying, organisations should consider the list of unlikely to be funded items.

Ineligible items

Ineligible items

Organisational operational expenses

Expenses to conduct your services such as:

  • core (normal) operating costs of applicant organisations
  • rent, purchase or lease of land and buildings, lease of vehicles, insurance, telephone, internet
  • operational staff/positions  – e.g. chief executive, administration staff, accounting staff, etc.
  • training for paid staff
  • debts or shortfalls
  • police checks / DHS screening
  • marketing and promotion of the organisation or existing services
  • ongoing costs of programs and services
  • maintenance costs e.g. building or equipment repairs
  • items, projects, programs or equipment on or for leased property that are the responsibility of the land or building owner

Duplication of funding from other government areas

  • sport and recreation projects eligible for grants administered by the Office for Recreation and Sport
  • any items that are supported through the Community Emergency Services Fund (CESF),
  • programs for school age children during school hours
  • items, projects, programs or equipment that are already funded or are the core responsibility of other state and commonwealth government departments

Funding for individuals

  • items for individuals
  • funds to distribute to individuals via sponsorships, scholarships, donations, financial assistance, reimbursement, uniforms
  • honorariums, per diems or other reimbursements
  • emergency relief such as food, food vouchers, payment of bills, clothing, money


  • research projects or feasibility studies
  • activities primarily aimed at meeting religious or political outcomes
  • activities primarily aimed at sporting and recreation outcomes
  • personal pursuits, or hobbies
  • funds to distribute to other bodies
  • retrospective funding for any function or activity (prior to the expected contract start date)
  • activities that will be implemented interstate (not including attendance at events)
  • fundraising activities, prizes, competitions or donations
  • overseas personnel such as artists, facilitators or speakers
  • catering including food, beverages and consumables
  • grant writer fees. auspice fees, auditor fees
  • contingency costs
  • volunteer training not provided by a third party
  • pre-paid or store cards
  • petrol expenses or reimbursements

Unlikely to be funded items

Participation in interstate events (extent of benefit for the South Australian community)



  • ACNC – Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
  • Financial Statement – must include the organisation’s income, expenditure, assets and liabilities for the most recent financial year
  • Disadvantage – Disadvantage is caused by issues related to discrimination, income, education, employment, housing, domestic and family violence and access to services and supports. These factors can create a complex web of challenges that limit people’s access to life opportunities and their capacity to act on these opportunities.
  • Innovation - projects that use new methods, ideas, products or technology to contribute to the continuing success of community services/activities delivered in the community.
  • Legal entity – the entity with legal responsibility for a grant; must be capable by law of entering into an agreement.
  • Members – refers to those people who are members of community organisations eligible for a grant under the Grants SA program.
  • One-off - a short-term project with a start and end date within a 12-month period.
  • Operating within South Australia – office located in South Australia.
  • Organisation – either a legal entity or a sponsored entity
  • Sponsored entity – an organisation that requires a legal entity to sponsor a grant application. A sponsored entity must be authorised by a legal entity to apply and be sponsored for funding through that legal entity. A sponsored entity is not capable of entering into an agreement in its own right.
  • Volunteers – volunteers give their time willingly for the common good and without financial gain.
  • Young people – refers to young people aged 12 to 25 years inclusive.

Appendix 1 – Guide to funding process

Appendix 1 – Guide to funding process

Appendix 1 Guide to funding process

The following information outlines the funding administration process and further requirements of a Grants SA grant application.

Round dates

Applications can only be submitted when a round is open. For opening, closing and expected notification dates of all Grants SA rounds, visit the Grants SA home page.

How does an organisation apply?

Organisations must register and apply for funding on the SmartyGrants online portal.

Before applying the organisation must thoroughly read and understand the Grants SA guidelines (minor or major) to determine whether the organisation meets the eligibility criteria for funding. If you are unsure, contact the Grants SA team on 1300 650 985. Please ensure you review the guidelines each time you apply.

Ensure you apply at least three months prior to the intended activity commencing or that you are applying for a round where the contract starting date meets your requirements. If successful, you cannot spend funds outside of the agreement dates. Grant rounds, notification dates and anticipated contract start dates are available on the Grants SA website.

Complete the online application in full with all the required attachments. Applications submitted with missing or incomplete attachments are ineligible.

Required documentation

The following documentation is required to accompany your Grants SA application:

  • Quotes in Australian Dollars for items $1,000 and over.
  • Applications for salaries must outline the position title, Award, level, hourly rate, weekly hours and length of employment.
  • Most recent end of year financial statement (see glossary in Grants SA guidelines for further details). Bank statements, bank reconciliation reports and profit and loss statements are not accepted. Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) registered organisations with recent financial statements on the ACNC website do not have to attach financial statements.
  • Community Facility upgrade grants only - building owner consent, lease agreement of a minimum of two years at the close of the round as well as council development approval if required by your council. If development approval is not required, proof must be provided, e.g letter from council or link to the appropriate webpage.

Additional requirements

  • Applications need to provide specific examples of how the project will benefit the target group, including the direct target group benefit, the indirect (wider) benefit and the potential sustainability of the benefit; how the project will build capacity of the target group; and, what value the project will add to the organisation’s existing services.
  • If you are working with a particular population group or another organisation, it is recommended that you provide a support letter or evidence of partnership/collaboration in your application.
  • It is anticipated that the number of eligible applications and funds sought will exceed the funds available and therefore the Department of Human Services does not guarantee applications will be successful, nor that all successful applications will receive the full amount of funding requested.

Notification of applicants

All applicants will be notified in writing approximately 10 weeks after the closing date of the round.

If your application is successful:

Successful applicants will receive written notification from the Minister. You will then receive an agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the funding provided.

All applicants will be required to sign the agreement and comply with its conditions, which will include requirements to:

  • submit an online final report on how you have spent the money provided (financial acquittal), including receipts for all purchases over $500.
  • measure and report on the outcomes from the funded project
  • 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 agreement.

If your application is unsuccessful:

All ineligible or unsuccessful applicants will receive written notification from the Department of Human Services.

Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to contact the Grants SA team for feedback regarding their application.

Links to policy

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

How applications are assessed

Stage one – application screening

Once the round has closed, the applications are screened to check that:

  • the applicant organisation is eligible to apply
  • the application has been completed in full and all required information has been provided
  • the applicant does not have any outstanding obligations for projects funded by DHS.

Note: Applications that do not meet stage one requirements will be ineligible and will not be progressed to stage two.

Stage two – assessment against criteria

Applications that pass the screening process will be assessed by an assessment panel with experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas – financial management, charitable or social welfare organisation administration, multicultural, young people and volunteering.

The panel will assess the applications against the following criteria using a scoring system that ranks projects from highest to lowest in each criterion. The final ranking is an accumulation of all the criteria:

Criteria Major Rounds

Quality systems

The extent to which the organisation is accredited in a quality system of management eg Australian Service Excellence

Standards (ASES).

Organisations with long term accreditation are ranked higher in this criterion

Value for money

The extent of value for money given the number of people who will directly benefit; the costs proposed are reasonable and realistic; level of complementary funding/in-kind support; and cost of comparable programs.

Projects with co contribution and/or in kind contribution are ranked higher in this criterion

Community need

The extent to which the project addresses a need within the community.

Projects that can show evidence of a higher community need, such as servicing a gap in the area, projects in regions experiencing a high disadvantage, are ranked higher in this criterion.

Impact or benefit for target group/community

The extent of positive impact benefit for the target group and South Australian community, taking into account the number of people and significant or long term benefits.

Projects that show innovation and sustainability with high positive impact or benefit are ranked higher in this criterion.

Link to a theme

The extent to which the project will address a theme.

Projects that can show evidence of a high degree of linkage to theme are ranked higher in this criterion.

The panel will also take into consideration the following when making a final decision to allocate funding

Whole program funding distribution

The extent to which funding the project contributes to an equitable allocation of funding across target groups and geographic regions of South Australia.

Reporting requirements

On completion of the project, you will need to sign a declaration that you have spent your

funds in accordance with your agreement. You are required to keep receipts for all purchased items, and submit receipts with your financial report for all purchases over $500. Up to 5% of grant recipients will be audited annually.

Reports are completed online. Once grant funds have been paid to the organisation, the registered user (the person who submitted the application), will receive a link to the online portal.

You will be required to provide a short summary about the difference your project has made, including a description of project outcomes addressing the following performance measures:

How much?

  • How well?
  • Is anyone better off?

The table below provides information about what these performance measures might include.


Measures: How Much?

Measures: How Well?

Measures: Is Anyone Better Off?

Deliver a one-off program or service

Number of participants directly involved in the project

Level of

satisfaction of participants/ organisation with the project.

Extent of change for the participants/ organisation as a result of the project.

Upgrade community facilities

Number of participants directly involved in the project

Level of

satisfaction of participants/ organisation with the project.

Extent of change for the participants/ organisation as a result of the project.

Purchase a vehicle

Number of participants directly involved in the project

Level of

satisfaction of participants/ organisation with the project.

Extent of change for the participants/ organisation as a result of the project.

Contact us

Contact us

Grants SA team
Department of Human Services
Phone: 1300 650 985

Page last updated : 11 Dec 2019

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS .[sm v5.4.7.1]