Getting started

We receive around 1,000 grant applications each year and aim to support as many of those as we possibly can. In this section you’ll find a broad overview of who we support, and how we support them. Hopefully this will help you get your application up and running!

Who and what can we support?

We provide grants for not-for-profit organisations and local government authorities. Not-for-profit organisations can range from small unincorporated groups to large multi-functional organisations. Grants can support charitable or benevolent purposes.

What don’t we support?

While we try to support any initiative that comes our way, to make sure we are meeting requirements for grants to support charitable or benevolent purposes and good grant making, there are some restrictions on what may be supported such as:

  • Competitive sporting activities (e.g. equipment or a vehicle that will support competitive sporting games)
  • Activities and assets that are core school responsibilities (e.g. playground equipment for schools or education materials). There may be scope to support for projects linked to schools that meet a community identified need
  • Interstate or overseas projects (including those located on Christmas Island or Cocos (Keeling) Islands). However, we can consider projects run by international or national groups where the project will take place in WA or be of direct benefit to WA
  • Ongoing operating costs, other than in an emergency or for projects with an end date. Where relevant we ask for projects with an internal wage component to have a sustainability plan beyond Lotterywest support
  • Promotion of a particular religious or spiritual philosophy. Our support to faith based groups focuses on welfare and community service activities that are not of a religious nature
  • Retrospective requests
  • Costs associated with the core delivery of a service purchased by local, State and Federal Governments

Call us if you'd like to check your initiative and if there is any scope for us to provide support.

What do we look for?

For an organisation to be supported with a grant we look for evidence of ‘good governance’. We look to ensure your organisation is well managed and operated to be confident that grant funding can be responsibly and reliably managed and that the project or items supported can be effectively delivered for the approved grant purpose.

How much can I ask for?

We accept applications from $1,000 upwards. Your application should request the amount you need to serve the purpose properly – make sure you don’t under or overestimate your request.

We don’t generally expect to be the only source of funding. Our grants should be used to complement other sources of support, including a contribution from your organisation's own resources. We can also help you to combine our grant with other sources of funding.

Are there limits on what I can apply for?

If you’re an unincorporated group or organisation not GST registered, you can apply for a combined total of up to $15,000 each financial year.

For all other applicants, we rarely impose a maximum on grant amounts. Grant type information will detail wherever a limit applies.

Is there anybody I can talk to before I apply?

Absolutely! We’re keen to work with you and understand your needs. Please call us before submitting an application, we’re here to listen, discuss and help.

Your application

Your application

Application approval

Application approval

Sharing the news

Sharing the news

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I ask for?

We accept applications from $1,000 upwards. Please don't under or over estimate your request. Apply for the amount that will serve the need properly.

  • There are limits for unincorporated groups and organisations not GST registered. The limit is a combined total of up to $15,000 for each financial year.
How long is the process?

If your application is complete when you submit it to us  it will generally take four months to progress to the Lotterywest Board for consideration. If your request is more complex, or there are aspects of your application that are outstanding or need development, it can take longer. The process from application to approval can take less than four months for simple requests where all the supporting information is provided with the application. Please factor in these timeframes for funding your event or project. We will let you know as soon as possible if your application is not eligible for Lotterywest support, not ready to progress or hasn’t provided enough time for us to assess it before you need an outcome.

How likely am I to be successful?

Lotterywest approves around 1,000 grant applications every year. Our intent is to support your idea if we can.

Check out our common grant types to find the one that fits best with your request and then please call us to discuss and get some guidance from our team members before you submit an application.

How many times can I apply?

There are no set limits on how often you can apply. We consider the need for the request and the benefit it will support. Please call us if you plan to make multiple applications in a year so we can work with you on how best to do this.

How do I show ‘good governance’?

To help us understand an applicant organisation’s governance arrangements we typically ask you to provide us with your organisation’s constituent documents, including governance arrangements, and a list of Directors/Board Members. Relevant information can also be found in documents such as minutes from Board or Management meetings, policies and codes of conduct. Advice is available to help not-for-profit organisations make sure they have appropriate governance arrangements in place. The following links provide information to assist not-for-profit organisations ensure the appropriate governance arrangements:

  •  ACNC – resources for governing charities registered with the national regulator
  •  ATO – self-governance checklist for NFP organisations
  • Linkwest – good practice governance for members of NFP management committees
How much information should I provide?

We have no limit on the amount of information you can provide, although we encourage you to provide only the level of detail necessary. If your application includes a lot of information, it can be helpful if you add an index to your attachments. It may also be useful to provide a summary to give us an overview of your request.

How much of my request will Lotterywest support?

We do not have set amounts, however we would not expect to be the only source of funding. We expect to be a complementary funder. We anticipate that most organisations will make a contribution from their own resources, whether financial or in kind. We can offer ideas to help you to combine our grant with other sources of support.

What if the request is for items that relate to services that are purchased by government?

Lotterywest can consider requests to funded organisations that are outside the scope of government purchase arrangements. This can include value add components to the purchased service, items that support aspects of the organisation’s work that are not part of government purchase arrangements and items that support the organisation’s corporate services and development.

More information is provided on our grants approach to purchased services guide.

How are applications assessed?

Your application will be assessed by a member of our team who then makes a recommendation to the Lotterywest Board. Our Board reviews all grant recommendations. A final recommendation is then presented to the Minister for Lotterywest for approval.

A typical grant process looks like this:

  1. Seek information via website
  2. Talk with us about your proposal
  3. Gather your requirements and necessary documentation
  4. Develop and submit your application
  5. Assessment, including referee checks and any follow up conversation with you
  6. Our internal review and recommendation to the Board
  7. Board meeting and review
  8. Recommendation to the Minister for Lotterywest
  9. Application decision and advice
  10. Grant payment and acquittal
  11. Sharing your good news
Are there any grant conditions?

All organisations are required to agree to the Lotterywest General Conditions of Grant.

If you are applying for a community spaces or community and workplace buildings grant, a Lotterywest building grant agreement may apply.

If you are applying for a projectresearch or big ideas grant a Lotterywest project grant agreement may apply.

Please note: The clauses listed in these documents are provided as a guide. Further conditions may apply to your grant and these would be communicated in your grant approval advice letter if a grant is approved.

Do I need to provide an Australian Business Number (ABN)?

If you have an ABN yes, please provide your eleven digit number in your application. We can't provide grants to your organisation if it is eligible for an ABN but does not have one.

If you do not have an ABN, as part of the conditions of grant you will need to declare your organisation:

  • Is not eligible for an ABN because you do not meet the definition of ‘enterprise’ for tax purposes, or
  • Has an ‘exempt income’ status, or
  • The application for an ABN has been rejected by the Tax Office
What about my GST status?

No matter what your GST status please don’t include the GST in your request.

If your organisation is not registered for GST and would find it difficult to pay the tax, please call us to discuss.

What do we mean by a delegated signing authority?

Lotterywest grant conditions and agreements must be signed by the person legally able to enter into contracts on behalf of your organisation. We refer to this person as the legal signatory.

  • For incorporated organisations, the legal signatory is normally the Chairperson or President
  • For Local Government Authorities, the legal signatory is generally the Chief Executive Officer
  • For Aboriginal Corporations, the legal signatory is usually two Directors
  • For not-for-profit Companies and Trusts, the legal signatory is generally 2 Directors / or a Director and Secretary

Your organisation’s constitution or equivalent document usually sets out who the legal signatory is. Please check those documents if you are not sure.

If your organisation’s legal signatory chooses to give this responsibility to someone else within your organisation we refer to the person nominated for responsibility as the ‘Delegated Authority’. If this is the case for your organisation, you need to complete our Delegated Signing Authority Form.

Please note: you only need to complete this form once and it will remain on our records for future grant applications. You will only need to complete this form again if your ‘Delegated Authority’ changes.

Can Lotterywest help me prepare my grant application?

We can’t prepare an application for you, however a member of our team will be happy to talk about your proposal and provide information to help you develop the application. It is important that you call us to discuss your idea or project and any questions about applying before you apply.

Which form do I fill out to apply for a grant?

Our range of grant types gives you an idea of what we can support. If your idea doesn't fit one of these or your request covers more than one grant type, please call us.

For full functionality and visibility of our forms and application buttons, you will need to use the latest version of Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Grant application forms expire 6 months after being downloaded from our website. If your form has expired, please call us for advice on how to progress your application. Grant application forms cannot be downloaded from mobile devices.

Should I engage a consultant?

Whether you are developing a strategic, business or marketing plan, conducting a training review, planning your information and communications technology needs or designing a community facility - engaging a consultant may help in the following circumstances:

  • If you need expert advice
  • When you don't have enough people to do the work
  • If attempts to do something internally haven't worked
  • To help move past internal differences of opinion
  • When you need a fresh view
  • To challenge your organisation’s culture and assumptions

Choose a consultant who is recommended by others and has a proven track record in providing relevant, high quality advice. They should also have the ability to offer fresh ideas and someone who understands your organisation, its work and values so that they may add value by sharing and building skills with your staff.

We can help with the cost of engaging a consultant, for details please refer to our organisational development grants. You may also want to explore options for pro bono (free) or discounted consultancy support.

We’ve developed a Directory of Consultants to help you look for consultancy support to suit your project. The Lotterywest Directory of Consultants provides details of consultants, together with referees, who’ve provided services to other community organisations and/or local government authorities in a range of areas.

The inclusion of a consultant in the Directory is not an endorsement of their work by Lotterywest. It is up to you to do your own research to decide whether a consultant is suitable for your project. You do not need to use the services of one of these consultants for your project to be supported. We welcome your feedback to help us keep the Directory current and useful.

Other helpful tips:

  • Don’t hire a consultant to justify a decision that has already been made
  • Make sure everyone in your organisation understands what the consultant is doing and what will be provided
  • Provide a clear written brief to the consultant before engaging them outlining what you want done and why
  • Make sure you agree what you want the consultant to deliver, together with a defined timeframe
  • Check the contract before you sign and engage the consultant
  • Be prepared to modify the contract if circumstances change
  • Use the contract as a reference point to make sure you receive what you have agreed before making a final payment

Common Use Agreements (CUAs) are whole-of-government standing offers. They are awarded to a single or panel of suppliers to provide goods or services commonly used by government agencies. Western Australian public authorities, other government entities, local government authorities and registered Public Benevolent Institutions can buy from CUA suppliers. Your organisation may be in a position to benefit from CUA arrangements. Find out more at Contracts WA.

The Connecting Up Suppliers Directory connects Not-For-Profit organisations with IT providers. Visit Connecting Up for more information.

How do I create successful partnerships?

Partnerships between organisations can deliver improved outcomes from streamlining administrative tasks and shared workspaces to working together to deliver a community project.

We often achieve more when we work with others. Many organisations say that their best partnerships have created opportunities and results never imagined when they started working together. The information below shares ideas to help you create successful partnerships.

There are many forms of partnership. For the purpose of this section, we are referring to a relationship which endures for a period ranging from a few months to several years.

Partnerships often develop between community organisations in the same sector working together to deliver better services, share facilities or combine administration functions.

Community-business partnerships develop when a community organisation works with private business to raise funds, build capacity, share work spaces, increase opportunities, improve outcomes or achieve other goals. Community organisations can also form partnerships with public sector agencies. This is most common at local government level however they are also developed at State or Federal level.

Good partnerships often have:

  • Support by the leadership of both partners
  • Mutual understanding and respect
  • Alignment of organisational values and culture
  • Careful and thorough planning
  • Well understood objectives for all parties and the partnership, as well as the resources required
  • Clear, open and regular communication throughout the partnership
  • Clarity on roles, responsibilities, goals and boundaries as well as criteria for success and how each party will exit the partnership when the time comes
  • Commitment and honesty
  • Shared responsibilities, contributions and benefits

Other helpful tips:

  • Don’t rush the beginning stage – take time getting to know each other
  • Start small. Tackle manageable objectives together first before taking on bigger ones
  • Build ownership of the partnership across all levels of organisations
  • Each partner should agree on issues such as requirements and responsibilities for risk and insurance
  • Decide who will communicate with the media
  • Be willing to learn and adapt as the partnership develops
  • Make time to communicate regularly
  • Look out for ways to add value to the partnership
  • Remember that business, government and community sectors can have different cultures relating to time and priorities
  • Express appreciation and communicate benefits
How to I get the right support to turn my idea into reality?

Financial and in-kind support can help organistions transform their idea into reality. Getting the right support for your project can mean bringing in more financial resources, new expertise, contacts and in-kind support. The information below has some questions for you to consider and tips for gaining external support.

Generally we would not expect to be the only source of funding for your request, even though we may be the major contributor. We also anticipate that most organisations will make a contribution from their own resources, whether financial or in kind. We are able to work with you to offer ideas for other resources and relationships that you may be able to source to make your project more viable.

Before looking for external support, it’s important to think through and be clear about why you need support and what for. Starting from this point will help you to decide who to approach, how to engage them in a relevant way, and rouse enthusiasm for your proposal. It can help to think about questions such as:

  • What is it that we are trying to do?
  • Why do we think this idea will make a difference to our community?
  • Are we sure that in all likelihood the project will work, and difference it will make, are worth the time, effort and money it will require?
  • Would other ideas be effective?
  • What makes us the best organisation to receive support for this?
  • Are there other organisations we could work with on this?
  • Do we have the skills and resources to do this properly?
  • Is this project viable or sustainable?
  • What might go wrong and prevent this project being completed or being effective?
  • How can we reduce and manage risks?
  • What are the most appropriate sources of funding?

Other helpful tips:

  • Identify and prioritise your goals and what is needed first. Question whether it reflects your strategic and business plans
  • Keep all the information needed for completing application forms, including official details and documents, media articles, planning documents, statistics, annual reports and other in-house publications, letters of support, auditor’s reports, insurance information and copies of previous applications 
  • Remember that seeking, obtaining and then managing a grant can be a lot of work and comes with responsibility. Before you look for support for any idea or project, think through its feasibility and likely effectiveness to make sure it is worth it
  • Call us and discuss whether your proposal is something that will be considered by the organisation you’re targeting for support
Which online directories may assist me in developing my grant idea?
What other scholarship programs are available for the not-for-profit sector?

Atlantic Philanthropies- Led by the University of Melbourne
Starting in 2017, up to 25 fellowships will be awarded annually for the next 20 years, to develop some 500 social change agents, influential leaders and innovative thinkers. Find out more here.

Australian Institute of Company Directors
Scholarships assist participants to attend not-for-profit courses run by the Institute of Company Directors across Australia. Find out more here.

Australian Institute of Management Western Australia
The Australian Institute of Management WA recognises the work of not-for-profit organisations and aspiring professionals in the community wishing to embark on professional development by providing training up to the value of $4,000 that can be used to fund participation in any of the Open Programs offered by the Institute. Find out more here.

Australian Scholarships Foundation
The Australian Scholarship Foundation(ASF) provides access to free or substantially discounted executive management, mentoring and training programs in a range of management disciplines to directors, staff and volunteers of not for profit organisations through its scholarship programs. Find out more here.

CPA and Pro Bono Australia - Mentor the Treasurer
This program allows qualified CPAs to volunteer their time and expertise to mentor treasurers of small not-for-profit organisations. Find out more here.

Fulbright Scholarship
The Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership provides an opportunity for an emerging leader in the not-for-profit sector to undertake a program of research and/or professional development in the U.S. with an approved U.S. charitable organisation. Find out more here.

Harvard Club of Australia
Scholarships allow participants to attend the renowned Harvard Business School course titled “Strategic Perspectives in Non Profit Management” (SPNM)  held in July each year. Find out more here.

Leadership WA Skillsbank
Provides details of graduates and Fellows that may work on a pro-bono basis to help not-for-profit organisations work strategically. Find out more here.

Macquarie Group Foundation - David Clarke Social Innovation Fellowship
Scholarships are available for leaders of not-for-profit organisations to visit and research best practice social innovation projects/ sites in their field. Find out more here.

University of NSW Business School
Scholarships are available to build capacity in community organisations by offering training and business education to talented management staff. Find out more here.

University of Technology Sydney - Mark Lyons Scholarship
Scholarships aim to improve the quality of leadership and management skills in the Australian not-for-profit sector. Find out more here.

University of Western Australia Business School/Centre for Social Impact - BHP Billiton Social Impact (Not-for-Profit) Scholarship  
Scholarships provide financial assistance to students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact at UWA and currently working in the not-for-profit sector. Find out more here.

What other funding or finance sources may be available?
  • Other support may come from a range of sources including government, agencies, philanthropists, corporates, local governments, crowd funding, financing arrangements and your own fundraising activities with individuals and the community.
  • The Department of Local Government has developed an online grants directory to help communities and local governments in regional and metropolitan Western Australia in locating sources of financial assistance for their projects and initiatives.
  • It may be appropriate to seek a loan or leasing arrangement to help meet some of the costs of your project. Banks and other financial institutions will often support not-for-profit organisations with financing solutions for capital items such as buildings, information technology or vehicles. You may want to talk to your own bank first to discuss what financing options might be available to your organisation and then see what other options may exist from other providers.
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