Community Grants – Donations, Contributions and Grants

There are two types of financial assistance that Council provides to groups and organisations:

  1. Fee Waivers (Up to $2000) – We are accepting requests under this program all year round.
  2. Financial Assistance Program Grants  – Any other Grant requests under the Financial Assistance Program will be referred to Council for a resolution. It is important to note that the decisions about whether to grant an application request rests totally with Council and cannot be delegated to Council staff. Council only considers applications under this program four times per financial year. Therefore, to avoid disappointment, applicants are urged to provide a complete application and submit within the timelines provided.

Instructions for how to apply can be found below.

Applications for the first round of funding for the 2022/23 financial year are now open to be determined at the August 2022 Council Meeting.

Community groups and organisations within our Shire should consider their funding requests for the 2022/23 financial year.

Community groups seek a wide range of assistance from Council by way of fee waivers, donations, cash sponsorships, rate reductions and exemptions.

Community organisations seeking financial assistance or in-kind support for events held during the 2022/23 financial year are encouraged to lodge their applications to the Donations, Contributions and Grants Program once the application guidelines and form are available.

The Donations, Contributions and Grants application process was introduced in the 2011/12 financial year and has enabled fair and equitable decision making based on set eligibility criteria and contribution limits.

All decisions regarding grant allocations rest with Council and cannot be delegated to Council staff.

Please note as of 1 July 2019 any Grants Applications submitted from Organisations for financial assistance from Council for over $2000 and up to $5000 must include a copy of the organisation’s Current Audited Financial Statements.

Click to view Council’s Financial Assistance Policy.

Policy Intent

Council is accountable to the community for the management and disbursement of its funds, and is compelled to ensure that this is done in a manner that maximises the benefits to the community. Additionally, Council’s ability to make financial contributions is set out in sections 356, 377 & 610E of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act).

In establishing this policy Council is seeking to:

  • demonstrate financial prudence by adopting a strategic approach to the amount allocated to financial assistance;
  • to ensure that financial assistance provided to community groups & organisations is fair and equitable and undertaken within a system that fosters public confidence;
  • to ensure that Council fulfils its legislative requirements under Sections 356, 377 & 610E of the Act.
  • provide an application-based process to enable Council to consider all requests for financial assistance, enabling fair and equitable distribution of funding throughout the community

How Council will deal with all requests for financial assistance?

  • an Annual Budget Allocation will be made by Council each year for the provision of financial assistance to the community;
  • an Application Process will be established to enable Council to fairly and reasonably consider all requests for financial assistance that are made to it; and
  • an Annual list of exemptions will be approved by Council each year when determining the Annual Fees and Charges, enabling named organisations to be exempt from the application process for specific nominated purposes.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications will be accepted from not for profit community groups or organisations operating or providing services within the Wentworth Local Government Area for activities that provide a direct benefit to residents of the Wentworth Local Government Area.

To be eligible for funding an organisation must meet all of the following:

  • be a not-for-profit community based group or organisation; or
  • be an incorporated body or be auspiced (sponsored) by an incorporated body; and
  • offer services or activities within the Wentworth Local Government Area

The general criteria for evaluating requests for financial assistance includes the following items:

  • How the request links to the strategies and objectives in Community Strategic Plan;
  • How the request provides community benefit beyond a specific interest group;
  • Whether the applicant has access to other funding sources or has received funding from other sources;
  • Whether the applicant has received financial assistance from Council in previous years; and
  • Whether the applicant will be contributing to the initiative and the quantum of this contribution.

Section 610E of the Local Government Act 1993 allows Council to waive payment of, or reduce a fee in a particular case if it is satisfied that the case falls within a category of hardship or any other category that Council has determined that fees and charges be waived or reduced.

A request for a fee waiver or reduction should be made before the fee or charge is incurred, as requesting a refund of the fee or charge at a later date creates an administrative burden.

Any approval given for the reduction or waiver of fees for any organisation will only be applied to a single event. Any future or ongoing events will require further applications to be submitted to Council for consideration.

If an application for a waiver or reduction of fees and charges does not meet the evaluation criteria but is assessed by the General Manager as a case warranting further consideration, a report will be forwarded to Council for determination.

What is a Fee Waiver?

Fee Waivers are defined as being where an individual or group requests that a fee is reduced or waivered or refunded.

Examples of what will be considered as a request to waive fees are:

  • A reduction in the cost to hire a hall or reserve.
  • A reduction in the cost to hire Council plant or equipment.

Fee Waivers are not granted for any event where an entry fee is charged, as this can be factored in to the entry fee.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a waiver or reduction of Council’s fees and charges, the applicant must be in at least one of the following categories:

  • Charitable organisations;
  • Not for profit organisations;
  • Community groups;
  • School groups; or
  • Be able to demonstrate special circumstances as determined by the General Manager or Council’s delegated staff

Applicants may be required to provide supporting evidence of financial hardship with their application as Council offers substantially discounted rates for Charitable, Community and Not-for-profit organisations in their adopted fees and charges schedule.

Applications can only be made to waive or reduce fees which are not mandated under legislation and where Council has the legal ability to use discretion.

How Council will assess a Fee Waiver Application

The following criteria will be used as at minimum to assess any application for a fee waiver or reduction:

  • Public or community benefit gained from the request;
  • Whether the decision to waive or reduce the fee has the potential to result in an increased demand from certain groups relative to others or resulting in inequitable access to Council facilities or services as a result of subsidising certain users/groups; and
  • Ability of the applicant to raise funds;

Fee Waiver Applications Council will not consider

Unless the adopted fees or charge is considered unreasonable or inappropriate considering the special circumstances or work required, Council will not consider applications to waive fees and charges for:

  • Any profit making ventures for commercial entities;
  • Any activity, event or program that contravenes Council’s existing policies;
  • The Bond associated with the use of Council facilities, (only the waiver of fees for an activity, event or function will be considered);
  • Any organisation receiving other financial assistance under this policy for the activity, event or program for which the fee waiver is being sought;
  • Any organisation that has been already been approved two fee waivers for other purposes within the current calendar year; or
  • Any organisation that has an outstanding debt to Council.

Application Instructions

To apply, please complete this online Fee Waiver Request (Up to $2,000) Form.

Alternatively, you can also fill out this Fee Waiver Request (Up to $2,000) Form and forward your application to us.

FORWARD YOUR APPLICATION TO

Wentworth Shire Council

PO Box 81

WENTWORTH NSW 2648

Email: council@wentworth.nsw.gov.au

Or in person at Council Customer Service Centres:

26 Adelaide Street Wentworth NSW

6 Midway Drive Buronga NSW

The following Donations, Contribution & Grants Contribution categories are part of the Financial Assistance Program 2022/23 and will be referred to Council for a resolution.

  1. Fee Rebates – are defined as being where an individual or group requests that a fee is reduced or waivered or refunded. Under this program, fee rebates $2,000 and over. Please note, should a fee waiver be approved, only the hire fees will be waived. Bonds (where applicable), will not be reduced or waived.
  2. Donations – are defined as being a request for Council to make a small, one-off cash contribution to a cause, organisation or person. Donations are capped at $250.
  3. Grants (Cash Sponsorship) – are defined as being a request for Council to make a cash contribution to a specific item or event. Grants are capped at $5,000.
  4. Rate Reductions – are defined as being a request for a reduction in one of Council’s standard rates. Rate reductions are capped at a maximum refund of 25% and is only available for charitable organisations.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a grant under this program, the applicant must be in at least one of the following categories:

  • Charitable organisations;
  • Not for profit organisations;
  • Community groups;
  • School groups; or
  • Be able to demonstrate special circumstances as determined by the General Manager or Council’s delegated staff

Alignment with the Community Strategic Plan

As part of the general criteria for evaluating requests for financial assistance, groups and organisations must identify how the request links to the strategies and objectives in the Community Strategic Plan.

Objective

Number

Table 3: Community Strategic Plan
1.1 Promote the Shire as an ideal location for investment and the establishment of innovative, sustainable and diversified industries.
1.2 Promote the Wentworth Region as a desirable visitor and tourism destination.
1.3 High quality connectivity across the region.
1.4 Encourage lifelong learning opportunities.
1.5 Encourage and support initiatives that improve local employment opportunities.
2.1 Continue to create opportunities for inclusion where all people feel welcome and participate in community life.
2.2 Work together to solve a range of social and health issues that impact community wellbeing and vulnerable people.
2.3 To have a safe community.
2.4 A well informed, supported and engaged community.
2.5 To have a strong sense of place.
3.1 Ensure our planning decisions and controls enable the community to benefit from development.
3.2 Ensure that community assets and public infrastructure are well maintained.
3.3 Minimise the impact on the natural environment.
3.4 Use and manage our resources wisely.
3.5 Infrastructure meets the needs of our growing Shire.
4.1 Consistently engage and consult the whole community to ensure that feedback is captured and considered as part of decision-making and advocating processes.
4.2 A strong, responsible and representative government.
4.3 An effective and efficient organisation.
4.4 Provide strong leadership and work in partnership to strategically plan for the future.
4.5 Adopt practices of prudent asset, financial and human resource management across Council to ensure long-term sustainability and efficiency.

Application Instructions

To apply, please complete this online Financial Assistance Program Request Form. If you are completing the online form on our website, please see the Financial Assistance Program Application Guidelines which will assist you in completing the application.

Alternatively, you can also fill out this Financial Assistance Program Request Form and forward your application to us.

FORWARD YOUR APPLICATION TO

Wentworth Shire Council

PO Box 81

WENTWORTH NSW 2648

Email: council@wentworth.nsw.gov.au

Or in person at Council Customer Service Centres:

26 Adelaide Street Wentworth NSW

6 Midway Drive Buronga NSW