Here you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you have a question about the program you might find the answer here. If not, email us at bettertogether@sa.gov.au and we'll try to answer your question.



FAQ Applicants

What is Fund My Community?

It’s a grant program that provides one-off funding to community organisations, with the community deciding what projects get funded.

What can be funded?

Round 3 Fund My Community will focus on the theme ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’, within the broader mandate to improve the lives of disadvantaged, isolated or vulnerable South Australians. Under the theme ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’, Fund My Community Round 3 will provide funding for projects that seek to encourage participation of disadvantaged, isolated or vulnerable South Australians in their local communities, and that contribute to or build foundations for positive change in their lives that can be sustained over the longer term (i.e. beyond the duration of funding).

Why ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’?

A focus on ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’ will encourage disadvantaged, isolated or vulnerable people to be more connected and actively participating in the communities. This will lead to an increase in their sense of belonging and improve social cohesion in South Australia.

What projects and activities will assist individuals to ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’?

Programs and initiatives could have a focus on:

  • Building social connection / cohesion in the community
  • Improving physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Improving the natural environment or community infrastructure / facilities
  • Increasing the active and meaningful participation across the local community

Note that all initiatives must predominantly benefit disadvantaged, isolated or vulnerable members of the community.

Examples of projects that align with the theme include:

  • Bringing neighbours together to build a community vegetable garden
  • Establishing a friendly neighbourhood initiative - bringing local community members together to talk about and plan ongoing ways to bring people together
  • Set up costs for a play group and/or interest group that brings in people across communities
  • Renovating a space for use across community groups
How do you measure the impact of the project?

Three simple questions can assist your organization measure the impact of its project:

  1. ‘How much did we do?’
  2. ‘How well did we do it?’
  3. ‘Are the beneficiaries better off?’

How much did we do: this measures the quantity of the effort – how much service was provided (for example: number of clients; number of appointments; number of workshops).

How well did we do it: this measures the quality of the effort – how well was the service provided (for example: percentage of clients satisfied with the service; percentage of appointments attended; percentage of activities provided on time).

Are the beneficiaries better off: this measures the quantity and the quality of how effective the initiative was – how many clients are better off; what proportion of the clients are better off and how are they better off? (for example: number and percentage of clients with improved skills/knowledge; number and percentage of clients who gained employment; number and percentage of clients with improved health/wellbeing/connectedness).

As part of the verification process, the Fund My Community program team will work with successful organisations to refine individual measurements that best reflect the intended outcomes of funded projects. Funded projects will be required to report against these measures.

Who should the project benefit?

Projects must benefit South Australians who experience unequal access to resources, services or opportunity due to their personal, social, economic or geographic circumstances:

  • people on low family income, or who are long term unemployed or underemployed
  • young people who are disengaged from education or work
  • people living with disability or a chronic health issue
  • people living in a community with persistent, entrenched disadvantage
  • people who are experiencing, or have experienced, domestic or family violence or other discrimination or abuse
  • people who are experiencing discrimination
Who can apply for funding?

Organisations that are non-government, not-for-profit and:

  • are incorporated (or equivalent)
  • have a registered Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • assist disadvantaged South Australians
  • are South Australian based

A local council can apply on behalf of a community group for the group to deliver a project.

What if my organisation is not eligible?

If your organisation is not eligible (e.g. it is not incorporated, does not have an ABN or does not assist disadvantaged South Australians) it is not eligible to apply to Fund My Community. You could ask an eligible organisation to sponsor your application. Use the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) database to search for an organisation to approach. Alternatively, you could ask your local council to sponsor your application.

Who is excluded from applying for funding?

Applications cannot be submitted by:

  • organisations that have licensed gaming machines in their facilities
  • government departments/agencies including emergency services (e.g. ambulance, SES, CFS)
  • individuals, including applications placed by organisations on behalf of individuals
  • academic institutions or related representative bodies (including schools, universities and for-profit childcare centres)
  • unincorporated organisations/individuals
I’m a community member with an idea on how to improve community connectedness. Can I apply for funding?

No, the legislation precludes individuals from receiving funding from Fund My Community. But if you have a great idea to improve community connectedness or improve the community participation and social cohesion of disadvantaged, isolated or vulnerable South Australians, why not identify an eligible organisation working in your area or that has similar aims and objectives and seek to collaborate with them to develop and deliver the project. Use the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) database to search for organisations.

What is excluded from funding?

All of the following are excluded from funding:

  • projects delivered outside South Australia
  • ongoing staff costs (e.g. wages, training etc)
  • the organisation’s ongoing costs (e.g. repayment of loans, payment of bills, etc)
  • annual or ongoing events or activities
  • religious or political activities, exhibitions, sponsorship or fundraising activities and research projects
  • funding for items that will be given to individuals. This includes emergency relief activities (e.g. food vouchers, food, payment of bills, clothing, etc)
  • funding for other bodies (unless the application is being auspiced)
  • sport and recreation projects eligible for funding under the Sport and Recreation Fund
  • programs and services that are the core responsibility of government (including health, education, employment and training programs and emergency services, etc)
  • projects that duplicate existing programs in the same community or for the same population group
  • organisations that have an outstanding acquittal with Grants SA
If successful, how long do we have to spend the grant?

Twelve months. All funding must be expended by June 2018.

How do I apply for funding?

Use the on-line application form that will be available from 10:00am 6 February 2017.

Can I apply through another method if I cannot use the on-line form?

Yes. Other ways to submit an application will be available. Call 1300 650 985 during business hours to discuss these options.

Can I have an extension to submit my application?

No. Applications submitted after 5:00pm Friday 31 March 2017 will not be accepted.

Who can I contact for further information about my project, the FAQs or eligibility?

Call 1300 650 985 during business hours.

Who can I contact for assistance with the on-line form?

Call 1300 650 985 during business hours.

What is the assessment process?

There are three stages to the assessment process as follows:

  1. Stage One: Applications/organisations are assessed for eligibility by the Fund My Community program team. We refer to this as the screening phase
  2. Stage Two: South Australians assess the eligible applications and select the projects that they think will have the biggest impact. We refer to this as the community assessment phase
  3. Stage Three: DCSI endorses the outcomes of the community assessment and the Executive Director, Community Services Division, DCSI approves the funding
Why does DCSI verify the top-ranked projects and endorse the outcomes of the community assessment?

Fund My Community is allocating $1 million in public funds. We therefore need to apply standard probity requirements in spending public funds.

My application was selected by the community. What now?

You must provide additional information about your organisation and the project, work with the Fund My Community program team to develop or refine appropriate outcome measures and enter into a funding agreement with DCSI.

What additional information has to be provided during the verification stage?

All organisations must provide:

  • more information about the project
  • quotes for all budget items over $500
  • evidence of approval to apply for the grant (e.g. a letter or email from the Chief Executive Officer or Chair of the board or board minutes, etc)
  • copies of its latest audited financial statement

For a facility upgrade the following documents are also required:

  • evidence of approval from the building owner (e.g. a letter)
  • a copy of the lease agreement if your organisation does not own the property
  • council approval (if required) • plans and drawings (if required)
Why must this additional information be provided?

Fund My Community is trying to balance simplifying the application process for community organisations while making sure the Government has all the information it needs to spend public funds appropriately.

Can my organisation change the scope or budget items if our project is selected for funding?

No. Requests for variations will not normally be approved as the community selected the project and associated budget that your organisation listed on the website. Any requests for changes or amendments will have to be submitted formally and will be considered by the Fund My Community Assessor Panel.

Can a project receive funding from both Fund My Community and Grants SA?

No. The same project cannot receive funding from both programs.

Can my organisation submit more than one application to Fund My Community?

No. A local council or peak community sector organisation may apply on behalf of more than one community group but only once for each group.

If my project does not get funding through Fund My Community, can it apply through Grants SA?

Yes, if it meets the Grants SA eligibility criteria. The criteria are available from the program’s website. You might also want to investigate other funding avenues. GRANTassist is the South Australian Government’s one-stop grant shop.

For community members

What is the community assessment?

It involves South Australians in deciding which projects get funding.

Who can take part in the community assessment?

Current residents of South Australia can take part in the community assessment.

How can I take part in the community assessment?

The community assessment happens through the YourSAy website. To take part, you need to be a registered YourSAy user and log in to your account. Once you are logged in there are two ways to take part, depending on how much time you have. If you have just a few minutes you could review the projects seeking funding and leave a message of support for individual projects. Note that this will not influence the funding outcome.

However, if you have a bit longer, and want to influence the funding outcome, you’ll need to create a Plan. You create a Plan by reviewing the projects and selecting the ones that you want to support while meeting the guidelines. We estimate that this process might take 30 minutes or longer.

Watch the video for more detailed instructions on how to create a Plan. It’s important to note you can’t choose just one project for funding (for example the project of an organisation you’re a member of). If you don’t want to create a Plan, you can take part by leaving a message of support for your preferred project.

What is a plan and why do I have to create one?

Creating a plan in Fund My Community is how you choose which organisations you want to support!

The plan is there to promote a large diversity of communities and organisations receiving funding. Creating a plan is simple, just follow the easy step-by-step instructions once you have created a YourSAy account. A short video on completing a plan can be found here.

If you don’t want to complete a plan, you can leave a message of support for an organisation. To leave a message, you’ll need to log in or register for a YourSAy account, go to the project and write a message in the Comments section. While the project's nominator will appreciate this message, it's important to note that they won't influence the funding outcome. To be involved in the funding decision you need to complete and submit a Plan

I’m trying to submit a plan but it won’t work

When you create a plan, you have to complete the three requirements before you can submit.

The three requirements of the Plan are:

1. Allocate funding between $700,000 and $1 million. A requirement of the plan is that you must allocate between $700,000 and $1 million.

2. Choose projects from four different categories. You must select projects from four different categories. You can select multiple projects from each category, but you must ensure that you select at least one project from at least four different categories.

3. Choose one small, one medium and one large project. You must select at least one small, one medium and one large project. You can select multiple projects from each size, however, you must ensure that you select at least one project from each size. If you have met these requirements and still can’t submit your plan, please email us at bettertogether@sa.gov.au.