Our beautiful State of Queensland has a large source of potential funding for Not-for-Profit community groups, which is often tied up by paid sites trying to eek the last cent from community groups, by providing an easy to find list of available grants, and how to source them. We provide a complete informational source!

39588f6Funding sources for Queensland community organisations

Raising funds

Many not-for-profit organisations, especially new organisations operate with small budgets and very few, if any paid staff. Your organisation may receive income from membership fees, donations or other types of fundraising. However, to continue to provide their services and/or to expand their activities, most organisations will also want to apply for funding from other organisations.

Who offers funding?

Funding or grants are offered by:

  • Federal government departments or agencies
  • State government departments or agencies
  • Local government
  • Businesses
  • Philanthropic organisations

To find grants that might be suitable you could ask the government bodies that you deal with, ask other agencies or organisations that do similar work, find out if your local government offers community grants, ask your state or federal MP about government grants and check the newspapers for advertisements.

There are many different types of funding available but your organisation will only be able to apply to those that share the same aims and interests as you. If you are applying to government or philanthropic organisations, there will usually be funding guidelines that describe the purpose of the funding as well as information about which organisation are eligible to apply and what the grant can be used to fund.

Funding guidelines also include important dates such as when the application must be received, when the project can start and/or finish and when you will be told if you are successful. Most funding guidelines require that you write a funding submission or application that describe what youd like to do, how you intend to do it and any other information required in the guidelines such as a budget.

For most grants, submission writing involves a lot of time in addition to the day-to-day work of the organisation, and your application will not necessarily be successful. Before applying for funding, your organisation will need to decide if it is able to spend sufficient time on writing submissions and if it has the resources to meet the reporting and other requirements of the funding body if it is successful.

Most funding bodies ask for regular reports that include details about how the money is being spent and these might have to be provided in a particular format. You may need to develop policies and procedures outlined by the funding body that are aimed at ensuring your organisation is providing services according to best practice standards. All of these requirements will have an effect on the way that you plan and run your organisation.

Writing a submission

If you do decide to apply for funding and have found one or more funding programs that might suit your organisation and its needs, you will need to write a submission. As well as funding guidelines, many funding bodies will also provide their own application form for you to complete. If you are applying for a small amount of money to buy a piece of equipment, for example, you may only need to complete a short application. For larger projects or a program of activities, you will probably need to include more details including some/all of the following information.

Describing the project and why your organisation should receive the funding

You might want to include research that your organisation or others have done already and provide statistics and other data that shows a community need. If your organisation has already done similar work, you can include information about how you can build on this. It is often a good idea to include letters of support from other organisations or the community that your project will benefit.

The funding body will also be interested in whether you have received other funding and if you met all the requirements. If you havent received funding in the past, it may help your application if you can show that your organisation is well-managed and accountable to its clients, staff and the community. You may also be asked to provide an annual report, financial statements and the qualifications of your staff.

What the project will achieve and how your organisation will complete it

You will need to include details about what you want to achieve through the project and how you will know if you have been successful. This means thinking of ways that you can measure improvements during and after the project. If you are going to run activities, you will need to provide details about what they will involve, who might be interested and how your organisation will run them. Most funding bodies will also expect to see a detailed budget for your program or project. You may want to talk to the contact person for the funding body before completing your submission to ensure that you include all the necessary information.

Funding decisions

Most funding is competitive which means that there will be many other organisations applying at the same time. Sometimes you will need to wait for some weeks or even months to hear whether your application has been successful. If your organisation does receive funding, you will usually be asked to sign an agreement that describes certain requirements which you will be expected to meet. This is a legal document so if your organisation cannot meet these requirements, they might have to repay the funding and may not be able to apply for further funding. Before signing the agreement, you might want to ask for advice from a solicitor.

Major Funding

The Queensland Council of Social Service have an excellent and regularly updated grants page that is specific to the community services sector in Queensland.

Department of Communities Funding

Information on funding available to community service organisations in Queensland.

Community Benefit Funds

The Community Benifit Funds provide grants to a broad range of community groups from revenue collected from gambling activities such as poker machines and casinos.

Queensland Government Grants

Search for a grant by name, category, or department.

Commonwealth Grants Link

Information on Commonwealth Government grants, including a grants search tool and tips on completing application forms.

Local Government Funding

Many local governments offer grants to community groups in their area and advertise this information on their website. This page allows you lookup your local council and find their website.

Other funding sources

Tips, links, information and directories from a variety of potential funding sources throughout Australia.

  • Community builders contains information about available grants, fundraising tips and help with writing submissions.
  • Philanthropy Australia includes a directory of grants and funding sources available from Australian philanthropic societies and information about workshops for organisations seeking grants.


Philanthrophy is the planned giving of money or other resources for the purpose of developing community well being. It represents a potential alternative source of funding from government grants, fund raising, corporate sponsorship, earned income and memberships.   Philanthropic funding can be more discretionary than funds from other sources, and it can fund projects or organisations that are more risky than government might fund.  Securing philanthropic funding therefore enables a nonprofit organisation to diversify its support base.  Most charitable organisations receive less than 10% of their funding from the philanthropic sector.

How many philanthropic foundations are there in Australia, and how much do they give?

The size of the philanthropic sector in Australia is unknown, as there are currently no reporting requirements for grant making trusts and foundations.  However, chapter deven of the Productivity Commission’s 2010 report into the Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector, summarises what is known.

Philanthropy Australia estimates that there are approximately 5,000 foundations in Australia giving between half a billion and one billion dollars per annum.  This number includes 863 Private Ancillary Funds or PAFs (as at October 2010) and approximately 2,000 charitable trusts and foundations administered by trustee companies.

Significant philanthropic foundations that make grants in Queensland include:

How can Philanthropy Australia assist you?

Philanthropy Australia (PA) is the national peak body for philanthropy and is a not-for-profit membership organisation.  Its members are trusts and foundations, families and individuals who want to make a difference through their own philanthropy and to encourage others to become philanthropists. Its mission is to represent, grow and inspire an effective and robust philanthropic sector for the community.

Philanthropy Australia provides a great range of resources, some freely available on its website and through the PhilanthropyWiki as well as a range of paid professional development

PA also offers a helpful section on its website called “Fast Facts and Statistics” which provides answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Australian philanthropy.

Information for donors on getting started in philanthropy can be found in the “Guide to Giving”.  The Guide is written for people who are new to the idea of planned giving, and are looking for some basic information to guide their decision making.

What other useful organisations can I access?

Organisations exist to help grow giving in particular areas, for example:

What kinds of organisations are supported by philanthropy?

Charitable trusts and foundations can have different restrictions on what organisations they can fund.  In particular, charitable trusts established under a Will are legally bound by the terms of the Will or Trust Deed.    Very few charitable trusts and foundations can make grants directly to individuals.

In general, however, most grant-making trusts and foundations will require that organisations applying to them for funding are endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a Tax Concession Charity (TCC) and/or as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). You can find more information on the ATO website.

Free resources at the Queensland University of Technology

QUT is home to the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, or ACPNS.  The ACPNS brings together academics and researchers with expertise in philanthropy, nonprofit organisations, and the social economy.

ACPNS also offers teaching programs tailored for students interested in pursuing careers in the management of philanthropic and nonprofit organisations, or in public administration associated with nonprofit organisations.

Also at QUT, the Library provides free access to a rich resource of case studies, research, how-to guides and reports for nonprofits and philanthropists, called The QUT Community Collection for grantseekers, fundraisers and philanthropists.  This Collection was made possible by the QUT Library being granted “cooperating collection” status by the Foundation Center in New York.  It provides public access to:

  • Grantmaker directories (both for Australia and internationally)
  • Books on fundraising and nonprofit management
  • Foundation Center electronic databases (so it is possible to see which US foundations for instance support in Australia in the different cause areas and get their contact details, history of grants into this country and so on).

Please link to The QUT Community Collection for grantseekers, fundraisers and philanthropists, or visit in person at QUT’s Gardens Point Campus.


The following factsheet has been compiled by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, a research centre of the Queensland University of Technology.

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Information was sourced from various websites.