Funding for community projects up for grabs

Image: Naradell Inc.’s inaugural Mental Health Walking Rally in October 2020

Kick those innovative projects which excite our community into planning gear with a Sunshine Coast Council Major Grant.

Grants up to $15,000 are now open for projects, events and activities that meet community need and provide community benefit. Grants up to $30,000 are also available for infrastructure projects.

Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said Major Grants strengthened the valuable contribution community groups made to the region.

“We want to bolster the incredible work our community groups, teams and the region’s volunteers do,” said Cr Law.

“We are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these community organisations, as working together helps us achieve our shared vision of Australia’s most sustainable region: healthy, smart and creative.

“I encourage community groups to attend a free grant writing workshop or Webinar.

“If you want to learn our top 10 tips for grant writing success and meet council’s Grants Team, I highly recommend visiting council’s website to book your spot in an online webinar or an in-person workshop being held during the last week of July or the first week of August.”

Naradell Inc. secretary Marlene Menzie applied for a Major Grant in the Community Development category in March 2020 knowing the funding would help get the organisation’s Mental Health Walking Rally off the ground.

“We couldn’t have held this inaugural community event without the grant and council’s support,” Ms Menzie said.

“The Walking Rally was held during Mental Health Week in October 2020, and our goal was to give our community, including many with a mental health condition, an activity that required some physical activity, mental stimulation, teamwork, social interaction, and was fun.

“The Major Grant funds were an immense help and were used to purchase a branded marquee, seating, and lanyards, which provided comfort and shade as well as branding and promotion for our organisation.

“With easy identification and the attractive nature of the open and fun event, people came over to ask us questions giving us the opportunity to have a chat, share a brochure and tell them what we’re all about.

“The feedback from volunteers, participants and partners was so positive, we hope to make this an annual event and are planning our 2021 Walking Rally.”

Another idea brought to life thanks to council’s Major Grants was the Maleny Gift Card, a program led by Maleny & District Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. former president Nicole Hilton.

“I was confident in this idea of a ‘local business only’ gift card and believed in what it could do for our community, so I wrote from the heart when working on the Major Grant application,” Ms Hilton said.

“The grant from council allowed us to initiate the Maleny Gift Card program, which, since July 2020, has seen more than $90,000 spent amongst more than 65 local businesses.

“Once we got this program started, there was a huge response and both customers and businesses loved the concept and how easy it was to use.

“With council’s support, followed quickly by the community jumping on board, this program has the potential to continue to benefit our Maleny businesses and community for years to come.”

Major Grants support eligible local community groups with funding up to $15,000 for projects (and up to $30,000 for infrastructure projects) in one of seven categories:

  • Community Development
  • Community events
  • Community Facilities
  • Cultural Development
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Economic Development, and
  • Sports, Recreation and Healthy Living.

Applications for Environment Levy Grants are also open, with up to $5000 available for not-for-profit community-based organisations to fund projects that make a positive and ongoing contribution to the region’s biodiversity and waterways.

The new financial year’s first round of Major Grants will close on 30 August 2021.

To learn more about council’s grant programs and funding opportunities, visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/grants.

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