Sisters of Charity Foundation Australia

Why we’re changing our Community Grants Program application process

The Sisters of Charity Foundation is simplifying its Community Grants Program application process, beginning with the July grant round which opens on 8 July and closes on 31 July 2021. Learn what’s changing and why.

The Foundation was launched in 2000 with the Community Grants Program, which has to date distributed more than $9.4 million to 970+ community groups and charities.

We’ve always sought to help those smaller groups and charities who may fall through the cracks when it comes to attracting funding. Our grant applicants tend to be tiny operations, run on a shoestring – lacking in staff, money and time. Yet despite this they have a vast positive impact on their local communities.

Community Grants Program application process

Give Write takes donations of new and pre-loved stationery to recycle, repackage and regift to kids who start the school year with nothing – we were proud to support them with a Community Grant.

“We are in awe of the achievements of small organisations and we want to lessen the burden on them when applying for funding,” explains Sisters of Charity Foundation CEO Louise M Burton. “So we are introducing an Expression of Interest approach that asks only for essential information about the project that requires funding.

“Streamlining our process means we are not diverting organisations – they can focus on continuing their impactful work in their communities.”

What’s changing in the application process?

Previously, applicants would have to complete an extensive form that asked for details including organisation background and qualifications, evidence of sound financial management, a budget breakdown and supplementary funding details for the proposed project – and lots more.

Filling out one of these forms took a long time!

These details are all essential to allow our Grants Application Committee to make its decision – however, we believe it is unnecessary to ask applicants with a lower chance of success to spend so much time at this stage.

That is why we are taking a new approach and implementing a 2-stage process:

  • Stage 1: Applicants submit an EOI (Expression of Interest).
  • Stage 2: Selected EOIs – that have a much higher chance of success – will be invited to submit a full application.
Hair Aid - Helping homeless people with free haircuts

Hair Aid organises volunteer hairdressers to provide free haircuts for people who are homeless or on low incomes. We awarded a Community Grant so they could open 10 new locations.

About the new EOI (Expression of Interest) form

The EOI form will ask applicants to:

  • Demonstrate a well-defined project with clear goals, objectives and measurable outcomes, and explain how they will be evaluated.
  • Provide a specific timeline for implementation.
  • Indicate who is expected to benefit or is benefiting most from the project and how it will impact on the wider community.

The introduction of an EOI form will mean applicants invest far less time initially. Filling out the EOI form should take applicants approximately one third of the time, compared to the original application form.

And applicants that make it to stage 2 of the process won’t have to start from scratch when submitting their full application – they will simply add more information to their EOI.

Helping at-risk youth reconnect with community

RuffTRACK takes on young people who have disengaged from school and the community to give them skills, education, and a sense of self-worth. They dropped by to say a big thank you for their Community Grant, which helped fund a trip through regional NSW and Queensland.

Timeline for the next grant round: July 2021

Please note, the September grant round has been renamed to July, while the March grant round has been renamed February.

  • 8 July: Grant round opens. Applicants will be able to submit their EOI through our online grants portal.
  • 31 July: Closing date for submission of EOI form.
  • 7 September: Successful EOIs will be contacted and invited to submit their full application.
  • 30 September: Closing date for submission of full application form.
  • 17 November: Applicants will be notified whether they are successful or unsuccessful.
  • 26 November: Successful applicants/grantees should submit their grant acceptance form by this date.
  • 6 December: Grant payments are made to grantees.
Community Grants Program application process

We awarded a Community Grant to Regional Opportunities Australia to help them connect refugees and migrants, like Gus (right), with regional job opportunities.

How to apply for a Community Grant in the next round

If you are unsure about whether your program meets the criteria, or if you are having problems completing the online EOI form, please contact Foundation Manager Judy Christie by email foundationadmin@rscoffice.com or phone 02 9367 1211.

All information provided will be treated as confidential.

Good luck!

How We Help

Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.

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