Local government can provide grants directly to community organisations.
If the council has allocated money for councillor discretionary funds, the councillors can also use their discretionary funds to allocate grants to community organisations.
A community organisation is defined by the Local Government Regulation 2012 and the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 to be an entity that carries on activities for a public purpose, or another entity whose primary object is not directed at making a profit.
The provision of grants to community organisations is an important way for local governments to support their local communities.
Your local government must have a community grants policy and make the policy available to the public. The public must also be able to purchase copies of the policy from the local government.
Visit your local government's website for information about its community grants.
Reporting to the community
The local government's annual report must contain a summary of its expenditure on grants to community organisations for the year.
Councillor discretionary funds
Local governments are able to allocate funds out of the budget for the discretional use by councillors. These funds are called councillor discretionary funds.
Notifying the community
Your local government must publish a notice on its website and in a visible place in its public office within 20 days after adopting the budget which advises:
- the amount of discretionary funds allocated to each councillor for the year
- that community organisations may apply for allocation of the funds
- how community organisations can apply for funds.
Visit your local government's website for information about councillors' discretionary funds.
Use of discretionary funds
Councillors may use their discretionary funds in any of the following ways:
- to spend on a community purpose
- to allocate for capital works of the local government that are for a community purpose
- to allocate to a community organisation for a community purpose.
Where a councillor wants to allocate some of their discretionary funds to a community organisation, the councillor must do so in accordance with the requirements of the councillors' discretionary funds notice and the community grants policy of your local government.
Reporting to the community
After a councillor has spent money from their discretionary funds, a notice must be published as soon as practicable on your local government's website and in a visible place in the local government's public office stating the amount and purpose for which the money was spent and, if the money was given to a community organisation, the name of the organisation.
The local government is also required to list all grants to community organisations made out of councillor discretionary funds and the purpose of the grants in its annual report for the year.
Applying for a grant from your local government
Contact your local government or visit its website to find out what funding is available and how to apply.