Make It Happen - Hobsons Bay Recovery and Reconnection Grants


Make It Happen - Hobsons Bay Recovery and Reconnection grants

Grants are now open

Do you have ideas and initiatives which can help contribute to recovery or reconnection in our community? Is your group or organisation looking at innovative ways to recover and reconnect? 

The Hobsons Bay Recovery and Reconnection grants program provides funding to support our community to ‘make things happen’ as we learn about, work through and adapt to the impacts experienced in our city as a result of COVID-19.

Make It Happen - Hobsons Bay Recovery and Reconnection Grants can provide support to enable activities, projects, programs, events and resources across all sectors including environment, sustainability, projects by and for young people, sport and recreation, arts and culture, health and wellbeing, multicultural, technology, community and neighbourhood development.

If your group or organisation is active or planning to be active, providing benefits to our community and city, and needs support to make good things happen, contact a Council Officer to discuss your ideas.

  • Recovery and Reconnection funding round is open for applications from 20 November 2020 with short (monthly) assessment times in place until May 2021. 
  • It supports activities and programs that take place until 30 June 2022.
  • Applications can be made for funding amounts between $500 and $25,000.  
  • The Recovery and Reconnection Round will replace and incorporate the Hobsons Bay Community Grants, Environmental Grants, Events and Festivals and Quick Response Grants Funding for 2020-21.
  • $500,000 is allocated to the round through Council’s COVID-19 Community Support Package 3 

Make It Happen - Recovery and Reconnection is a newly designed program. As COVID-19 is creating a changing environment, COVID response and recovery needs may also rapidly evolve. The program and priorities may be adjusted in response to changing community need and feedback.

Applicants should read the guidelines prior to applying. The guidelines provide valuable information that will assist organisations in understanding Council’s grants program. Download guidelines here.(PDF, 232KB)

Applications are made online through SmartyGrants, click here.

Grant Information and Writing Workshops will be held online via zoom from 6pm to 8.30pm on the following dates:

Monday 17 May 2021 - register here by Monday 17 May, 1pm

For further information or to discuss an idea or opportunity, your first point of contact can be with Council’s grants team or a staff member in the relevant content area. Call Council’s Community Grants Officer on 1300 179 944 for assistance or email

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more info:

1. I need help with my application, what should I do?

Groups are encouraged to contact our Community Grants Officer to discuss any specific needs or additional support that may be required to complete and submit a grant application. Email or call 1300 179 944. 

2. Where and when can I apply?

Applications are made online through SmartyGrants, click here.

Applicants can preview a copy of the application to get an idea of the proposal questions that are being asked, click here.

Applicants can apply now, there will be six rounds of funding.  Applications are assessed monthly and close at the end of May 2021 or earlier if funds are exhausted.


Assessment closing dates


Wednesday 16 December 2020

January 2021

Wednesday 27 January 2021

February 2021

Wednesday 24 February 2021

March 2021

Wednesday 24 March 2021

April 2021

Wednesday 28 April 2021

May 2021

Wednesday 26 May 2021

June 2021


Projects are due to be completed by June 2022. If projects are impacted by further COVID-19 restrictions, this will likely be flexible, with extensions and variations available.

3. What is the minimum/maximum funding amount I can apply for?

Applications can be made for funding amounts up to $25,000, unless it is an equipment request, which are capped at a maximum of $3,000.

For applications between $10,000 and $25,000 it is a requirement that you make contact first with our staff, either in grants or in your relevant content area.

Email or call 1300 179 944.

4. Grant information, workshops and resources

As part of the program, Council offers assistance and advice on how to prepare applications. Applicants are encouraged to take up this offer.

Grant information and writing workshops will be held regularly. The first session will be conducted online via zoom on Monday 7 December from 6pm to 8.30pm with expert grant writer Debby Maziarz and further sessions will follow. Register here by Sunday 6 December 5pm.

For further information or to discuss an idea or opportunity, your first point of contact can be with Council’s Community Grants Officer, who can connect you with people in the relevant content area. Email or call 1300 179 944.

Information sheets listing priorities and proposal examples are available on the theme or content of your proposal. Refer to FAQ 7.

Other resources to assist when writing an application:

The Funding Centre  sample answers for grant applications:

The Funding Centre – grant writing tips:

Budget example - to view a budget example for the application form, click here

5. Who/what is eligible and not eligible?

Eligible to apply are: 

  • non-profit or not for profit, incorporated clubs, groups, organisations, community centres, neighbourhood houses, schools and other facilities
  • professional producers are eligible to apply for events and festivals, if the activity proposed provides demonstrated benefits to the city of Hobsons Bay, with significant community and cultural value and/or visitation and economic benefits
  • applicants can be based in Hobsons Bay or outside Hobsons Bay, however the application must be for resources and activities that take place in Hobsons Bay and must demonstrate local need and impact; if online, highly relevant to Hobsons Bay
  • community activities require the majority of participants to come from Hobsons Bay. Event and festival applications may encourage local as well as tourist and visitor experiences

Depending on the priorities and applications received, applicants based in Hobsons Bay may be prioritised.

Not eligible to be funded:

  • organisations that have previously received a grant from Council and have not provided a satisfactory Acquittal Report
  • organisations that derive income from gambling or promote gambling
  • organisations currently funded by Council to undertake the same activity
  • proposals which are deemed as core curriculum activities of educational institutions (schools and kindergartens) and are totally education focused
  • proposals for ongoing salaries, capital works, maintenance, vehicles, trophies, fundraising (except for events and festivals), donations, sponsorship and administration costs
  • proposals that would require ongoing financial support from Council
  • proposals that have been or could be funded from other sources (e.g. fees, sponsorship, service agreements, etc.) or other levels of government
  • equipment requests over $3,000
  • equipment that is for an individual and is not stored or located within Hobsons Bay

Groups with an active grant(s) or in receipt of Council support can apply for a new project

Groups or organisations who are in receipt of funding or other support from Council including recovery or program funding, and groups with active grants are able to make an application for a new project however, if Council has received other applications that have similar benefits, new applicants may have a higher chance of success.


Groups that are not incorporated must have an auspice agent that meets the above eligibility. Contact the Community Grants Officer at or call 1300 179 944  to discuss auspicing options or talk through other ways to activate your project. 

6. What are some examples of proposals?

Successful applications will focus on meeting needs that can’t be met by other grants programs (e.g. state government programs), and that are most appropriately supported by Council. As these are unprecedented times the scope is broad, and could include requests for needs such as:

  • digital tools, including online conferencing subscriptions, online learning, webinars, web design and redevelopment and training
  • creative online program projects
  • bridging isolation and building connections projects
  • assistance to develop different ways of operating to meet emerging needs
  • online connection programs
  • events and festivals
  • sporting ‘come and try’ days
  • environmental and sustainability initiatives
  • initiatives responding to specific needs within cultural groups, age groups or neighbourhoods
  • leadership and volunteer development for new and emerging members training in online platforms
  • guest speakers on topics relevant to the club or group e.g. mental health, coping with COVID-19 restrictions and recovery
  • resources to assist group hygiene and sanitising
  • club/group gatherings when restrictions allow to foster reconnection
  • other emerging needs from the COVID-19 pandemic that meet the Recovery and Reconnection Grants guidelines(PDF, 232KB)  

Information sheets listing priorities and proposal examples are available on the theme or content of your proposal. Refer to FAQ 7.


8. What are the purpose, aims and priorities of the program?

Applicants will need to consider the purpose and aims of the program when developing a proposal.


The purpose of this grants program is to support our community to ‘make things happen’ as we learn about, work through and adapt to the impacts experienced in Hobsons Bay through COVID-19


Reconnection and Recovery grants aim to:

  • Promote health, wellbeing and reconnection
  • Build group/club recovery/resilience capacity and skill development to support recovery
  • Facilitate social inclusion and participation from diverse populations
  • Contribute to the development and strengthening of local communities
  • Develop responses from local clubs, community groups and organisations to continue, adapt, build resilience and engage through the COVID-19 environment
  • Assist groups/clubs and organisations to recover through the COVID-19 environment
  • Support event and festival opportunities for celebration, expression, active participation and/or visitor, tourism and economic benefits that help build the profile of our city
  • Support and enhance positive environmental outcomes


Council welcomes proposals that support social inclusion and focus on diverse and priority populations.  These include children and young people (0-25years) older people (55 years and over), people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, people living with a disability, women and girls, LGBTIQA+ and gender diverse communities and vulnerable populations.

Information sheets listing priorities and proposal examples are available on the theme or content of your proposal. Refer to FAQ 7.

9. How will my application be assessed?

Council staff will be able to review your application against the eligibility criteria and if it is eligible will then be assessed.

Applications will be assessed against the criteria below:

Delivery & capacity – 30%

How well the proposal and budget has been outlined and is it achievable?

Value and benefit – 40%

Does the proposal provide value to the community?

Purpose/priorities – 30%

How well does the proposal respond to the grants program purpose and support recovery?

Council will endeavour to ensure the distribution of grant funds is fair and equitable. When making decisions, Council’s review panel will consider dispersion and diversity of proposals across Hobsons Bay.

10. Can I reapply if I am not successful?

Unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to contact the Community Grants Officer to seek feedback.

Applicants can reapply in the next rounds

Email or call 1300 179 944.

11. When will I be notified of the outcome of my application?

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their grant application after completion of the assessment and approval process.

Refer to FAQ 2 for more information.

12. How long will I have to use my grant?

Proposals funded through the Hobsons Bay Recovery and Reconnection grants program need to be completed by 30 June 2022. Successful applicants will be required to complete an acquittal form upon completion of their project.

13. Other sources of funding and ways for Council to support ideas

 Hobsons Bay Business Has Heart - supporting economic recovery through COVID-19, funding round for business is open for applications now, click here.

Pitch my Idea – people are invited to submit an idea or project that they would like Council to consider funding or implementing in its 2021-22 budget; open for applications until 31 December 2020

Small organisational funding registration for Hobsons Bay groups
(replaces Small expenses grant funding available through the Community Grant and Quick Response Grants Program)

Groups are not required to make a funding application in 2021. Groups seeking support can register by 28 February 2021 on using the subject heading 'Small organisational funding registration'.

Funding is available to support the needs of small community based groups and organisations that meet regularly, and which facilitate and promote social interaction or are new or emerging. Details include:

  • Groups or organisations with an income under $20,000 are eligible to register for this support
  • Up to $500 is available for existing groups and organisations
  • Up to $1,000 is available for new emerging groups or organisations
  • Funding can support insurance and governance costs and group operating costs
  • Groups already in receipt of a 2021 Small expenses grant are not eligible to re-apply for the 2021 year

14. Resources and alternate funding sources

Hobsons Bay Grant Finder - grant finding service for businesses, community groups and not for profits:

The Funding Centre – grants and fundraising hub (membership fee applies):

Bendigo Bank -

Hobsons Bay Community Fund:

Philanthropy How to guide - Effective Grant-Seeking:

Other Funding sources – listing of other grant websites, click here

Australian Sports Foundation – Fundraising Toolkit

Hobsons Bay Libraries – several publications are available that may assist with grant seeking and writing, e.g. Winning Grants Funding in Australia:

Our Community - Australia's Centre for Excellence for the nation's 600,000 not-for-profits & schools, providing advice, tools and resources:

Other resources to assist when writing an application:

The Funding Centre  sample answers for grant applications:

The Funding Centre – grant writing tips:

Budget example - to view a budget example for the application form, click here

Funding Centre Grant Help sheets  grants support helpsheets

15. Further information for Events and Festivals proposals

For more information on priorities and  examples of funded events please refer to the Events and Festivals information sheet. Refer to FAQ 7.

Depending on the complexity of your event, you may be required to include traffic management, operations and emergency planning well in advance of the event taking place. Please make contact with Council’s events staff on for information on what may be required. Support, templates and training are offered.

Applicants are encouraged to refer to the Events and Festivals Plan(PDF, 836KB) for further information on funding priorities.

Public events must adhere to the Victorian Government Public Events framework which includes an approval process for events. For more information visit





16. List of funded applications

Below is a list of funded applications: