Supporting the Most Vulnerable

We’re here to help your organisation assist people currently in crisis related to COVID-19 and avoid entrenched disadvantage.

This grant program has two streams:

Crisis and Emergency Relief - the objective of this stream is to help organisations providing support to people experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, to meet their immediate basic needs.

Prevention and Early Intervention - the objective of this stream is to support prevention and early intervention programs that address the longer-term impacts and the social and economic consequences of the pandemic.

Grant applications must seek to achieve one or more of the outcomes outlined below.

Outcomes focus

Crisis and Emergency Relief

  1. Organisations which provide support to people experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis have support to help them to meet their immediate basic needs.

  2. Those most vulnerable in the community who are already experiencing hardship, that is exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, have support to meet their immediate basic needs to avoid becoming further entrenched in disadvantage.

Prevention and Early Intervention

  1. Secondary and longer-term impacts resulting from the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis are minimised through prevention and early intervention initiatives that are complementary to and reduce demand for government-funded intervention and welfare services.

  2. Knowledge is shared to strengthen the community services sector to better respond to potential second or third waves of COVID-19.

Apply now

Applications for both streams of the Supporting the Most Vulnerable Grant Program are now open and are expected to remain open for 2020-21.

We encourage you to talk to our team to discuss your idea before submitting an application. Applications will be assessed monthly and approvals for this program may take a few months or longer should further work be required.

Click here to apply now.

How to apply

Your application will take place in two parts.

Part A – Registering and receiving an application number
Part A occurs within the Lotterywest Portal. Completing Part A will register your organisation and enable you to receive an application number. You will be required to: 

  • Register your organisation with Lotterywest (for new grant customers only);
  • Provide high level details and a point of contact for your application;
  • Identify two referees for your organisation;
  • Confirm your organisation’s details; and
  • Upload your most recent financial reports and Annual Report/AGM minutes.

Part B – Telling us about your grant idea
Once you have completed Part A, you will be sent an email with a link to access Part B of the application for your chosen grant program. Your application can not be assessed until Part B is submitted. 

Part B is an online form where you will be asked to answer questions about your proposed grant, how you plan to spend the funding, the outcomes you hope to achieve and other questions in line with the grant program criteria.

To view the Part B application question in advance, please click here. Please note that this is not the application form. A link to the Part B application form will be sent to you after submitting Part A.

General Information

To find out what documents you will be asked to provide during your application please click here.

Please call us if you'd like to discuss your initiative or for help in how to apply.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable - Who can be supported?

Not-for-profit organisations and local government authorities.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable - What can be supported?

To be eligible for Lotterywest support, a grant request must be:

  • for charitable or benevolent purposes with outcomes that align with one of our COVID-19 Relief Fund streams. 
  • directly related to your organisation’s purpose. Quick tip: You can check the ‘objects’ or ‘purpose’ in your organisation’s constitution or rules
  • taking place in WA, or be of direct benefit to the WA community

The following can be supported through this funding program:

Crisis and Emergency Relief

Costs related to increased demand for emergency relief (ER) services as a result of COVID-19 for time-limited interventions such as:

  • food, blankets, homelessness support, transport, essential pharmaceuticals and essential personal items such as clothing
  • utility payments where they cannot be covered by existing hardship schemes
  • coordination and collaboration costs to deliver ER services
  • costs related to connecting people to other relevant services to avoid entrenched disadvantage and to overcome barriers to accessing new opportunities

Prevention and Early Intervention

Project costs and resources related to:

  • Time-limited prevention and early intervention initiatives and innovations to minimise the secondary impacts of COVID-19 on socio-economic disadvantage, family and domestic violence (FDV), mental health and homelessness
  • Time-limited initiatives that work to help protect and prepare vulnerable parts of the WA community from a potential second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Initiatives that are complementary to other government funded interventions and welfare services.

For more general information about what Lotterywest can and can't support, please visit the What can be supported page.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable - What won't be supported?
  • Initiatives that are the core responsibilities of other government departments
  • Initiatives fully funded by others, or where there is partial funding and the remainder is more appropriately met by another funder
  • Ongoing costs for emergency relief services unrelated to the impacts of COVID‑19
  • Ongoing initiatives or programs relating to existing entrenched disadvantage, ongoing vulnerability and/or illness that has not been exacerbated as a result of COVID-19
  • Costs unrelated to prevention and early intervention initiatives such as acute service delivery
  • Contingency costs
  • Large infrastructure projects
Supporting the most vulnerable - What are some example projects which may be funded?

This program could involve support for things such as:

  • An outreach service to people that are newly homeless, or at risk of homelessness to link them with housing options to minimise the potential long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • An initiative to help a number of emergency relief service providers collaborate and share information to quickly identify people newly experiencing financial hardship or hardship exacerbated by COVID-19.
  • Collaborative initiatives to provide a range of time limited support for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 over and above existing service provision.
  • An early intervention program to support women and children experiencing an increase in family and domestic violence to access financial planning information and support.
  • A time-limited program to provide support to people at risk of developing mental health issues as a result of prolonged social isolation or the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Supporting the Most Vulnerable - Who are our priority communities?
  • People experiencing (or at risk of) homelessness
  • People experiencing family and domestic violence
  • People experiencing mental health issues
  • Newly unemployed (including temporary visa holders)
Supporting the Most Vulnerable - What are the expected outcomes for this grant program?

Crisis and Emergency Relief

  • Organisations supporting people experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis have support to help them to meet their immediate basic needs.
  • Those most vulnerable in the community who are already experiencing hardship, that is exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, have support to meet their immediate basic needs to avoid becoming further entrenched in disadvantage.

Prevention and Early Intervention

  • Secondary and longer-term impacts resulting from the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis are minimised through prevention and early intervention initiatives that are complementary to and reduce demand for government-funded intervention and welfare services.
  • Knowledge is shared to strengthen the community services sector to better respond to potential second or third waves of COVID-19.
Supporting the Most Vulnerable - How much can I apply for and how can I apply?

We accept applications from $3,000 upwards and you can submit an application through our website at any time. An Expression of Interest form doesn't need to be submitted first for this program.

The limit for unincorporated groups or organisations not GST registered is a combined total of up to $15,000 for each financial year.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable - What are the indicators of change for this grant program?

Crisis and Emergency Relief

  • Volume of emergency relief provided (for example; food supplies, clothing, shelter)
  • Nature and type of coordination undertaken to support identified needs
  • Number of people reporting their immediate basic needs are met and they are connected to other relevant services

Prevention and Early Intervention

  • The extent of changes to socio-economic disadvantage, mental health, homelessness and family and domestic violence (using program specific measures)
  • Nature and type of initiatives to support identified needs
  • Number of people reporting positive outcomes from program
Supporting the Most Vulnerable - Crisis and Emergency Relief assessment criteria

1. Community need: your application should demonstrate what the needs of the community are, and how the support through a Crisis and Emergency Relief grant will help your organisation to address this need.

We will be looking for the following:

  • How much is this support needed by the community now?
  • How many people do you estimate the grant will support?
  • Are they newly experiencing hardship?


2. Link to COVID-19: your application should demonstrate how you are responding to a need in the community that is a direct result of COVID-19, or is a community need that has been exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19.

We will be looking for the following:

  • How have needs changed or increased as a result of COVID-19?
  • Are others also reporting / responding to the same needs?
  • Data and evidence from internal and external sources corroborating community need; including any anecdotal feedback or client surveys.

3. Value for money: your application should provide a clear budget and sound proposal to deliver emergency relief in the community that demonstrates value for money.

We will be looking for the following:

  • What items and/ or essential costs will a grant support?
  • How long will the grant activities support people experiencing hardship?
  • Will the grant support an existing or a new approach to service delivery?
  • How you will achieve value for money?
  • Other sources of funding received and its purpose.

4. Organisational capacity: your application should demonstrate your organisation’s ability to respond to the community need and to deliver emergency relief services. This includes operating according to best practice, including an inclusive approach, having sound governance and strong relationships with your community.

We will be looking for the following:

  • How does your organisation currently deliver crisis and emergency relief?
  • If this is a new service, how will your organisation provide these services?
  • How will your organisation provide services according to good practice principles (for example, offering dignity, choice and ensuring services are inclusive and non-discriminatory)?
  • What structures, governance practices and processes including reporting does your organisation have in place to respond to community need and deliver crisis and emergency relief?
  • Who else is providing support to the same group of people in your region/area?
  • Is your organisation’s service listed on WA Connect?
  • How do you know the proposed grant is an appropriate response to this community need? Is this a proven strategy; or a new approach?

5. Outcomes: your application should demonstrate how your proposal will meet the outcomes of the Crisis and Emergency Relief grant stream and how this can be measured.

We will be looking for the following:

  • Does the proposal meet the outcomes of the grant stream?
  • Are the outcomes charitable or benevolent?
  • Can they be measured and how will they be measured?
Supporting the Most Vulnerable - Prevention and Early Intervention assessment criteria

1. Community need: your application should demonstrate what the needs of the community are, whether this need is time critical, if it targets a priority area for support and how a Prevention and Early Intervention grant will address this need.

We will be looking for the following:

  • Who will your proposal support?
  • Are they newly experiencing hardships?
  • How has COVID-19 impacted on or exacerbated their hardship?
  • What would the impact be if a Lotterywest grant isn’t received?
  • How much is this support needed by the community now?
  • How many people do you estimate the grant will support?
  • How have needs changed or increased as a result of COVID-19?
  • Are others also reporting / responding to the same needs?


2. Minimising secondary impacts: your application should demonstrate how your proposed Prevention or Early Intervention initiative will work to minimise the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic related to socio-economic disadvantage, mental health, homelessness or family and domestic violence.

We will be looking for the following:

  • What are the time-limited project activities you wish to implement?
  • How do you know the proposed approach is an appropriate response to community need?
  • Is this a proven strategy or approach?
  • What will happen beyond the grant period?
  • Will the project provide opportunities to collaborate and build sector capacity?

3. Value for money: your application should provide a clear budget and sound proposal to deliver the Prevention or Early Intervention initiative in the community that demonstrates value for money. Details of other funding and contributions should also be provided.

We will be looking for the following:

  • What is the total cost of the proposal?
  • Evidence of costs by way of quotes and budget calculations
  • Please specify what the Lotterywest grant will pay for?
  • Whether there are any other cash or in-kind contributions (by your organisation and / or others).
  • How you will achieve value for money?

4. Organisational capacity: your application should demonstrate your organisation’s ability to respond to the community need and to deliver the Prevention or Early Intervention initiative in an inclusive way. This includes working with key partners, having sound governance and strong relationships with your community.

We will be looking for the following:

  • What structures, governance practices and processes including reporting does your organisation have in place to respond to the identified community need and implement a time limited project?
  • Does your organisation provide services according to best practice principles (for example, offering dignity, choice and ensuring services are inclusive and non-discriminatory?
  • Who else is providing support to the same group of people in your region?
  • Are you linked with relevant Statewide or coordination groups?

5. Outcomes: your application should demonstrate how your proposal will meet the outcomes of the Prevention and Early Intervention grant stream and how this can be measured.

We will be looking for the following:

  • How will the proposed grant improve people’s current situation and alleviate secondary and longer-term impacts?
  • Are the outcomes charitable or benevolent?
  • How will you monitor and measure whether the grant has achieved its intended purpose?