Grant Round
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About the Fund

The Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund was created in June 2018 with the objective to assist in meeting the social, economic, cultural, educational, environmental and other charitable needs of the community in the Australian Capital Territory (and the immediately surrounding region) for the public benefit. The ACT Government invested $5 million as seed funding to kick-start a long term commitment to our local charities and community sector to support their incredible work and also explore innovative solutions to meeting community needs. The Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund Grant Program is aimed at addressing the needs of vulnerable people by supporting and working with charitable organisations and social enterprises. The fund is managed by Hands Across Canberra.

The CMCF grants program – Fall 2021

The Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund Grant Program (CMCF Grant Program) is aimed at addressing the needs of marginalised and disadvantaged people in Canberra and the nearby region by supporting and working with charitable organisations and social enterprises.

We are listening to community organisations in our region and our conversations with them are integral to help us identify how we can best support them and those doing it tough in our community.  Key will be demonstrating the positive contribution and impact that a grant will have on those doing it tough in Canberra and the nearby region.

Applications will be accepted from 6 May 2021 until 4 June 2021.

Applications are open to community organisations and social enterprises working with marginalised and disadvantaged people in Canberra and the nearby region.

To apply, if you aren’t already registered on our website please do so first at the following link:  Registration will only take 5 minutes and is free. NOTE, we recently transitioned to a new website so if you were previously registered on our old website, you will need to re-register at here.

Please read the below application guidelines carefully before completing your application form online. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Julia (

  • approximately $400,000
  • funds expended within the FY 2021/22
  • Capped at $50,000 with a majority expected in the $10,000-$20,000 range.
  • Multi-year community grants may be considered based on an expressions of interest.
  • Community organisations and social enterprises working with socially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups[1]
  • Location: projects delivered in Canberra and the nearby region
  • Exclusions: funding will not be considered for overseas study, or travel, lobbying, political activities, completed projects for expenses that have already been acquitted or salaries for regular staff. To avoid duplication, activities that receive funds from the ACT government’s stimulus packages will not be eligible.
  • If you have an outstanding 2019 or 2020 grant with us for which we have not received an acquittal please contact us before applying.

[1] At-risk children, youth, young people, women, men and elderly persons; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, migrants, precariously employed people, unemployed people, prisoners, domestic violence victims and perpetrators, homeless people, persons with a disability, persons identifying as LGBTIQ+ amongst others.

We are listening to community organisations in our region and our conversations with them are integral to help us identify how we can best support them and the great work they do during this tumultuous time. In response, we are going out with another grant round to support organisations serving our marginalised and socially disadvantaged community members. In our commitment to sector needs, grants may cover COVID-19 recovery activities as well as activities that are NOT linked to COVID-19. Key will be demonstrating the impact that a grant will have on those doing it tough in Canberra and the nearby region.

Grant proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Aligns to the purpose of the grant round
  • Clarity of project description and activities
  • Achievable timeline that corresponds to the key activities, realistic project budget;
  • Organisational capacity to deliver proposed activities
  • Established track record in specific program content area or potential to achieve needed content expertise, alignment with organisation’s mission
  • Benefit to the community/needs addressed – evidence of needs

Other Considerations:

  • Consultation and/or collaboration with other community organisations
  • The proposed project should not overlap with or replace government activities/projects/services, but rather complement these.
  • Ability to leverage financial, human and technical resources for greater impact

Hands Across Canberra will ensure that no more time is spent on the selection process than the duration of the round. Once the grant round closes, a decision will be taken within 4 weeks and the organisation will inform applicants of the outcome thereafter.

Applicants may receive a telephone call and/or other types of communication from a Consortium member as part of the application review process.

Successful applicants will be emailed a Grant Terms of Agreement (contract) to be signed.

Payment will be expedited as much as possible. Grants will be fully paid out within a few days of receiving the signed Grant Terms of Agreement.

Hands Across Canberra may consult with other funding bodies in seeking complementary funding for a project.

A final acquittal report that includes financial statement and a narrative of the activities undertaken, number of clients serviced (if service-based activity) and certified by the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation will be required. If the organisation has a pre-existing format for the acquittal report, a sample can be provided with the application for consideration. Alternatively, Hands Across Canberra can provide a sample acquittal report. If other funding is being sourced/used for the project, please identify this in the grant application.

A final grant acquittal report as outlined above will be due within three months of project completion unless developments of the pandemic require otherwise.

Grantees may receive a site visit, telephone call and/or other type of communication from Hands Across Canberra, requesting updates as part of compliance monitoring processes.

Hands Across Canberra may periodically request impact stories and/or photographs of project progress or completion for possible inclusion on its website, social media outlets or annual report (photographs that feature faces require permission from all individuals or their guardians).

This Grant Round will be administered by Hands Across Canberra which uses the  Foundant grant management portal to manage applications. All applications must be submitted via the online Grant Program Application Forms.

Interested grant applicants are encouraged to contact Hands Across Canberra before making a submission.

You can apply by clicking on the green “Apply Now” button at the bottom of the page or clicking on the following link: Logon Page – Grant Lifecycle Manager (


Applicants, please click on “Create New Account” to complete the registration process and create your logon credentials. Once complete you will see our currently open grant rounds and be able to apply.


If you wish to leave a partially completed application, press ‘save and close’ and log out. When you log back in and click on the ‘My Submissions’ link at the top of the screen, you will find a list of any applications you have started or submitted. You can reopen your draft application and start where you left off.

You can also download any application, whether draft or completed, as a PDF. Click on the ‘Download PDF’ button located at the bottom of the last page of the application form.


You will find a Review and Submit button at the bottom of the Navigation Panel. You need to review your application before you can submit it.

Once you have reviewed your application you can submit it by clicking on ‘Submit’ at the top or bottom of the screen or on the navigation panel. You will not be able to submit your application until all the compulsory questions are completed.

Once you have submitted your application, no further editing or uploading of support materials is possible.

When you submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your submitted application attached. This will be sent to the email you used to register.

If you do not receive a confirmation of submission email then you should presume that your submission has NOT been submitted.

Hint: also check the email hasn’t landed in your spam or junk email folder.


You may need to upload/submit attachments to support your application. This is very simple, but requires you to have the documents saved on your computer, or on a storage device.

You need to allow enough time for each file to upload before trying to attach another file. Files can be up to 25MB each; however, we do recommend trying to keep files to a maximum of 5MB – the larger the file, the longer the upload time.


A number of people can work on an application using the same log in details as long as only one person is working at a time. Ensure you save as you go.


For any questions please contact

Your feedback is important to us. We value and appreciate receiving your compliments and suggestions so that we can improve the grant program and optimise our collective impact.

For feedback, please send an email to

For formal complaints, please send an email to

Julia Lieser

Hands Across Canberra

Grants and Partnerships Manager

Tel. 0401799670


Peter Gordon

Hand Across Canberra


Tel. 0417064767

Ready to Apply?

We use Foundant to manage applications. All applications must be submitted via the online Grant Application Form. You can access this by clicking on the “Apply Now” button below. Please ensure you have read our guidelines carefully. Interested grant applicants are encouraged to contact Hands Across Canberra before making a submission. Also remember, you will need to be registered on our new website before applying (register here:

You will need to create a login to begin your application and you may begin anywhere in the Application Form. If an error occurs or you have any questions, please email

Apply Now

Grants funded by chief Minister’s Charitable Fund

Acting Out, Rebus Theatre

Acting Out received a $15,000 grant from the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund for a three-day school holiday film program aiming to provide social connection and creative expression opportunities to LGBTQIA+ youth aged 12-17years. The program was run by two drama tutors from Rebus and a support worker/counsellor provided by our project partners Meridian (formerly Aids Action Council).


Building Financial Resilience in Disadvantaged Women (Global Sisters)

This project’s aim was to support disadvantaged women facing barriers to mainstream employment to access face-to-face and online support and education by providing accessible pathways to entrepreneurship.


Connecting for Change program, the Paws Pet Therapy & CREATE Foundation

The aim of Connecting for Change was to build awareness of services in the community for children and young people living in residential care under child protection systems in the ACT and adjoining regions. ‘Pet therapy’ aims to create an environment in which a child or young person will feel comfortable to discuss mental health and wellbeing; alternative therapy methods; stigma and barriers to accessing support; and different services available in the community, with a trained practitioner.


Canberra Food Rescue (OzHarvest)

The aim of this project was to increase OzHarvest Canberra’s capacity to rescue quality surplus food from businesses and to deliver it to charities in need. A Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund investment of $10,000 enabled the organisation to deliver 20,000 meals to community members doing it tough across Canberra.

CommunityEmergency Relief and Safety

Axial Housing, Catholic Care

In 2019, CatholicCare received a $20,000 grant from the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund for a Housing First pilot, called Axial Housing, operating in Canberra. Built on a partnership between CatholicCare and Housing ACT, Axial Housing enabled the homelessness support sector in the ACT to provide permanent housing to people who are sleeping rough and who cannot navigate the housing system – and who would otherwise remain homeless’.