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Wollongong City Council

Connecting Neighbours Grants

Our Connecting Neighbours Grants fund your great ideas to bring people together and make your neighbourhood a better place.

Your neighbourhood could include a street, a few houses, a local group, or a place where your socialise.

Applications for projects to be held in 2020 are open until 5pm, Monday 28 October 2019.

Read the information below, then apply online or download a hard copy form at the bottom of the page.

To apply for this program you must:

  • Live or be based in the Wollongong City Council area.
  • Be an individual with at least two other friends or neighbours who support your idea (for grants up to $250) OR have a local organisation willing to support your project (for grants over $250 and up to $1000).
  • Be able to match any funds provided by Council with in-kind or voluntary contributions. For example, if you apply for $250, you must show that you will also provide at least $250 worth of time, materials, goods, funds and / or volunteer hours.

This program isn't for larger community organisations that already receive government funding. However larger organisations are welcome to support a community-led project. See the 'Support organisations' section of this page for details.

The activity you're applying for needs to be a new initiative that involves local residents and helps build connections between neighbours.

We're looking for ideas that do one of more of these things:

  • Help neighbours get to know each other
  • Involve people in neighbourhood activities, especially people who may be socially isolated
  • Increase feelings of community safety
  • Improve how the area looks
  • Build local skills or job opportunities.

If your project doesn't fit these areas but you believe it still meets the selection criteria shown in the next section of this page, please email or call us on (02) 4227 7111 for advice.

Some examples of projects that could be funded include:

  • Holding a BBQ to welcome new neighbours
  • Group training, art or exercise classes
  • Working bees or gardening
  • Social outings, such as for a group of isolated older neighbours.

Ideas can be simple, and you're welcome to come up with other projects not listed above!

Applications will be looked at by a panel of Council staff and an independent representative. They will then recommend projects to be approved by Council.

Priority will be given to projects that are not already provided in our Local Government Area by other community organisations, individuals or businesses.

Applications will be reviewed against the following seven criteria:

Applicants:

  1. Must be based in the Wollongong Local Government Area.
  2. Need to be community members with a shared idea, part of a community group, or representing a small community organisation (not a government agency or a large non-government or community organisation).
  3. Will ‘match’ the funding via in-kind and voluntary contributions.

The idea:

  1. Is a new initiative and involves local residents.
  2. Connects people and/or strengthens the neighbourhood.

Funding:

  1. Of more than $250 will be managed by an incorporated organisation.
  2. Will need to be spent by 31 August 2020.
  • Up to $250 for individual community members with a shared project idea
  • Up to $1000 for projects with the backing of a support organisation. See the 'Support organisations' section of this page for more details.

How funding is provided

For projects funded up to $250, you will receive a letter of offer and be asked to sign an agreement with Council. To receive funding, you'll also have to provide an invoice to Council. The person nominated on your application will receive funds by cheque or direct deposit.

For projects up to $1,000, the support organisation and the applicant will receive a letter of offer and be asked to sign an agreement with Council. The support organisation will need to invoice Council, and funds will be provided to that organisation by cheque or direct deposit.

You need the support of an incorporated organisation to apply for Connecting Neighbours Grants of more than $250.

Your support organisation will need to:

  • Take responsibility for guiding the project
  • Sign an agreement with Council if the application is successful
  • Agree to cover the event or activity under their insurances
  • Invoice Council, and receive and manage the grant funds
  • Work with the project coordinator to write a report to acquit the grant.

Examples of suitable support organisations could include your local neighbourhood or community centre, a sports group, club or larger community organisation.

We may be able to help you find a support organisation if you don't have one for your project. Get in touch by email or call us on (02) 4227 7111 for advice.

We also welcome larger organisations that would like to be connected with a neighbourhood project to contact us.

Confirmation of support

For online applications, you will need to attach a letter from the support organisation that confirms they will take responsibility for the project and manage the grant funds. It must also clearly show the name, position, contact details and signature of the support organisation's authorised representative.

For applications using a hard copy form, a representative of the support organisation will need to complete and sign section 7 of the form.

We're happy to chat to you about your ideas before you put in an application.

Our staff can act as 'coaches' to help you develop your ideas, complete an application and, if needed, find a support organisation.

Get in touch by email or call (02) 4227 7111 to start the conversation.

September 2019
  • Applications open
  • Council staff available to help with applications
28 October 2019
  • Applications close
January 2020
  • Recommended applications reported to Council for approval
February 2020
  • Successful applicants notified
  • Funds distributed
August 2020
  • Funds must be spent by 31 August
  • Reminders sent out for projects that have not provided their final report
September 2020
  • Final reports on funded projects due.

Applications close 5pm, Monday 28 October 2019.

Prefer hard copy? Download the form that applies to your project below.

Completed hard copy forms can be sent to us by email, posted to 'Connecting Neighbours Grants' at the mailing address in the footer of this page, or delivered in person during business hours to 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong. Alternatively, you can fax applications to (02) 4227 2641.

If you have any questions about Connecting Neighbours Grants, please email or call us on (02) 4227 7111.