2017 Program Guidelines

Applications for the 2017 program closed at 5pm, 9 August 2017.

NOTE: Changes have been made to the Community Building Partnership Program Guidelines for the 2017 round. Organisations MUST read all information in the Program Guidelines.

Download a PDF of these guidelines for your reference.

1. About the Community Building Partnership program

The NSW Community Building Partnership (CBP) program has awarded funding to over 10,000 valuable community projects since it commenced in 2009.

Run annually, the program awards grants for community infrastructure projects that:

  • deliver positive social, environmental and recreational outcomes.
  • promote community participation, inclusion and cohesion

$27.9 million is available in 2017, with an equal allocation of $300,000 available to fund projects in each State electorate of NSW. The CBP ensures our communities remain strong, connected and healthy by supporting organisations that think first and foremost of the needs of locals.

Grants are available for local councils and incorporated not-for-profit organisations.

2. Is the CBP the right program for your project?

The NSW Government has an array of funding programs to meet different needs of the communities around NSW. Given the high demand for CBP funding, organisations should consider whether their project is better suited to one of the funding programs below before applying.

NSW Regional Growth Fund – The NSW Government’s Regional Growth Fund commits $1.3 billion to deliver infrastructure that will drive economic growth and improve community amenity in regional NSW. For further details on the Fund and eligible projects visit www.nsw.gov.au/regionalgrowth

Local Sports Defibrillation Program – The NSW Office of Sport has funding of $4 million over four years to assist sporting clubs across NSW purchase and maintain Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). Visit www.sport.nsw.gov.au

Arts and Cultural Development Program – Create NSW offers direct funding to organisations, artists, practitioners and arts and cultural workers through the Arts and Cultural Development Program. Visit www.create.nsw.gov.au

Surf Club Facility Program – The NSW Government Surf Club Facilities Program increases the availability, standard and quality of surf lifesaving clubs in NSW for the benefit of their members and the wider community. www.sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants/SCFP

Sports Grants – The NSW Government offers millions of dollars over a number of sports-based grant programs to nurture sporting talent, help build sports facilities and develop the industry as a whole. www.sport.nsw.gov.au/clubs/grants

3. Funding available

  • $27.9 million is available in 2017 for community infrastructure projects. The total funding is divided in equal allocations of $300,000 available to each State electorate of NSW.
  • Individual grant requests must be a minimum of $2,500
  • While there is no upper grant limit, the average grant awarded is usually around $20,000.
  • Local councils (including their Section 355 committees) are required to provide matched funding to the CBP grants. Matched funding from councils must be in the form of cash and can be provided from council income sources or from other external funding sources.
  • Incorporated not-for-profit organisations are eligible to seek the entire project cost as a grant. Favourable consideration will be given to those projects with contributions from their own or from other sources.

Will all applications receive funding?

  • No – The application process is competitive, and applications will be assessed on merit against those from the same electorate. There is a limit of $300,000 funding available per electorate which is spread across numerous projects.
  • Successful applications will be those which best address the Project Assessment Criteria (see Section 5 of the Program Guidelines).

Is there a limit on the amount of funding requested per application?

  • Yes – a minimum funding request of $2,500 applies for each application.
  • While there is no upper grant limit, the average grant awarded is usually around $20,000.
  • Applications that seek funding for over the full allocation of one electorate ($300,000) will not be considered.

Will an application receive all funding requested?

  • Not necessarily. The application form allows organisations to nominate a full and partial funding amount to deliver their project. If funded the partial amount, organisations need to outline the modified project scope they will deliver.
  • Projects that receive partial funding must still deliver the modified project scope within the agreed timeframes.
  • If partial funding is offered, organisations are also encouraged to obtain the balance of funds from other sources. If this is not possible, an organisation will need to assess whether the project remains viable.

Can funding be sought for a project that has already commenced?

No – Applications must be for new projects that will commence after 9 August 2017. Works commenced prior to successful grants being announced should not rely on the grant application being successful.

4. Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible to apply:

  • Incorporated, community based not-for-profit organisations.
  • NSW local councils (and their Section 355 committees) operating under the Local Government Act (1993).

Incorporated not-for-profit bodies are organisations that are registered and approved as not-for-profit bodies by NSW Fair Trading. Generally, this may include;

  • Charities
  • Organisations with DGR status
  • Not-for-profit status
  • Benevolent status
  • Cooperatives
  • Limited by Guarantee / Limited by Shares (non distributing of profits or dividends)
  • Trusts
  • Associations (under the Associations Act)
  • Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Religious Organisations
  • Organisations established under an Act of Parliament

Note: Organisations listed on the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) must have a current and up-to-date record. Any organisation who has defaulted on providing the required documentation to the ACNC will have funding withheld (if the project is successful) until such time that records with the ACNC are resolved.

Ineligible to apply:

  • Organisations with two or more unacquitted CBP projects from 2010-2015. Eligibility will be assessed based on 2010-2015 acquittal paperwork received by the CBP team on or before 31 July 2017
  • Individuals, groups of individuals.
  • Unincorporated organisations.
  • For profit, commercial organisations.
  • State and Federal Government agencies and their entities (including NSW Government schools, Area Health Services and public hospitals). However, these organisations should consider whether they have an incorporated-not-for-profit body (such as a P&C Association or hospital auxiliary) that may be eligible to apply for funding.

Do School P&C’s require the Department of Education’s approval?

Yes. CBP projects located on the premises of NSW Public Schools must have the school Principal sign this form before applications close on 9 August 2017. Note catholic and other private schools DO NOT need to complete this form. In the form, the P&C should fill in the:

  • AMU location; (Principal can advise if unsure)
  • School;
  • School Principal;
  • Funding source;
  • Detailed description of works (refer to Q.15 of the Application Form)

Once the above information has been put in the form, the school Principal MUST sign it before the CBP application is submitted. No other signatures are required at this stage. The school Principal is responsible for submitting the form to the Department of Education’s Asset Management Unit only if the CBP funding application is successful.

P&Cs should keep a signed copy of the completed form for their records.

As part of the CBP eligibility process, the Department of Education Asset Management Unit (AMU) will assess whether school-based projects are appropriate and viable from the information provided in the application form.

Please note that school Principal signature on the form does not qualify as approval to proceed with works. A fully completed form will need to be submitted and approved by the AMU if a project is awarded funding.

Can not-for-profit groups make a joint application?

An application needs to be made by a single organisation which will accept responsibility for the delivery of the project if the application is successful.

Our organisation is not incorporated, is there any way we can apply for funding?

No – You need to become incorporated. Dial 1800 502 042 for the Registry of Co-operatives and Associations at NSW Fair Trading to assist you to become incorporated.

Does my organisation require an ABN?

  • It is preferable that your organisation holds an ABN and that it links to your organisation's name and/or trading or business name. If your organisation name does not match the details for the ABN, please liaise with NSW Fair Trading to update your details.
  • If your organisation does not have an ABN but has an Incorporation Number you are still be eligible to apply for funding. You will be required to provide a Statement by Supplier Form (refer to the ATO website) to receive payment of the funds if your application is successful.

5. What type of projects may be funded?

Projects must be for:

  • Construction of new community infrastructure; or
  • Refurbishment, repair and maintenance to existing community infrastructure; or
  • The purchase of capital equipment with a minimum individual asset value of $2,500 and a projected life expectancy of 5+ years.

The following types of projects are NOT ELIGIBLE for funding:

  • Projects that have commenced works prior to 9 August 2017 are not eligible,
  • Projects that involve workshops, training/facilitation or program costs are not eligible.
  • Projects that seek funding to stage events, exhibit a display or for filming / recording are not eligible.
  • Projects seeking funding exclusively for the costs associated with planning or a development consent application are not eligible.
  • Projects that involve the development of private or commercial ventures including licensed areas of registered clubs (liquor and / or gaming areas) are not eligible.
  • Projects that seek funding for an organisation's operating costs or recurrent expenses (eg: staff, insurance, leases, bills, consumables etc) are not eligible.
  • Projects to undertake studies or investigations are not eligible.
  • Projects that seek funds to deliver a program or service are not eligible.
  • Projects for non-capital equipment as the sole component of an application (unless the equipment has an minimum individual value of at least $2,500)
  • Purchase of land or buildings (fixed assets) is not eligible.
  • Projects receiving funding from other grant programs for the same project activities.
  • Projects that should be funded as a core responsibility from another source, such as a Local Government, State Government or Federal Government are not eligible.
  • Project works or costs that are covered by insurance claims. If your project has been impacted by weather or other events causing damage etc, the Program will not fund works that are covered by insurance claims.

Non-capital equipment valued less than $2,500 (e.g. computers, IT equipment, sporting equipment, kitchen appliances etc) will only be considered to receive CBP funding if the equipment forms a smaller part (less than 30%) of the total works that are funded with CBP grant funds. Therefore a minimum of 70% of CBP grant funding must be for capital works in this circumstance.

Vehicles and community buses, including modifications to existing vehicles, will only be considered if they form an integral part of the applicant organisation’s core business.

Can funding be sought for planning and development application costs?

  • Grant applications seeking funding exclusively for the costs associated with planning or a development consent application are not eligible
  • A maximum of 5% of grant funding may be allocated towards the costs associated with applying for and securing development approval (DA) and/or design, project preparation, project supervision/project management costs. These costs must be considered integral to the successful delivery of a project.
  • If a DA is unsuccessful and the project cannot proceed, the costs of the DA will not be reimbursed to the organisation.

Should I have applied for planning approval before submitting an application for funding?

  • It is preferable that projects requiring Development Consent have this granted prior to applying for CBP funding.
  • Projects that do not have a Development Consent will still be considered, however the organisation must have commenced discussions with their local council and be ready to lodge the Development Application by January 2018
  • Development Consent must be granted by 31 August 2018
  • Release of the grant funds will be conditional on the Development Consent being secured
  • If you have not secured the necessary Development Consent by 31 August 2018 the grant offer may be withdrawn.

Can I submit an application which is for a project that is a component or stage within a larger project?

Yes – provided that the works funded with the CBP grant are:

  • A new project stage/proposal/application that does not commence prior to 9 August 2017.
  • Able to be completed by 31 March 2019

6. Program assessment criteria

All projects will be assessed against all other projects lodged within a State Electorate. All projects are assessed on merit against the following program criteria:

  • Enhance facilities: The project develops a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive community through the enhancement or construction of community infrastructure
  • Meet community need: The project supports activities and services needed by local communities.
  • Increase community participation: The project encourages participation in activities or services needed by a broad section of the community.
  • Organisations capacity: The applicant has the capacity to deliver the project on time and within scope.

7. How to apply

Applicants must read all parts of the CBP Program Guidelines before starting an application.

The application process has three key stages:

Stage One: Register

Each organisation wishing to apply for a grant must first register via the online grants portal SmartyGrants.

If your organisation already has a SmartyGrants registration established from another grant program or a previous CBP funding round, you may use the same login information. You can Log in HERE.

If you do not have a SmartyGrants registration, you will need to create one prior to commencing an application. You can register HERE

You do not need to purchase or download the SmartyGrants software in order to log in / register or apply for a grant. You do not need to contact the SmartyGrants software provider to gain access to our online system - simply click on one of the links above.

Stage Two: Log in

Once you have registered in SmartyGrants you will be able to log in and read more about the application process and how to write a good grant application.

Stage Three: Apply

To start the application process log-in to SmartyGrants and click ‘Begin the Online Application Process’.

You do not have to complete the application in one session; applications may be saved, revisited and edited before being submitted. The closing date for applications is 5pm, 9 August 2017.

* In your application form, it is critical that you select the correct NSW state electorate district in which your project is located. If you are unsure which electoral district your project is based, please use the Electorate Office website or your local Member of Parliament will be able to assist you.

Remember to:

  • Complete one online application form for each project.
  • Submit the completed application by the closing date, 5 pm Wednesday 9 August 2017

Please note:

  • Your application must be accurate and completed upon submission. If all of the required information is not provided, your application may be deemed ineligible.
  • Once submitted, no information provided in the application may be edited.
  • Submission of an application does not guarantee funding. The cost of preparing an application is the responsibility of the applicant.
  • If you require assistance please contact the Community Building Partnership Program’s Call Centre on 13 77 88 or email CBP2017@facs.nsw.gov.au

Can I confirm that my project has been submitted?

  • Yes - Once you have completed an application you will be asked to review and submit it. Your application is not officially submitted for consideration until you have reviewed it, corrected any errors and clicked on the submit button.
  • Once you click the submit button you will then receive a confirmation email which will also contain a PDF copy of your application. Check to ensure that you have received this email and please retain it as a record of your application. If you do not receive this email, you can log-in to the online system, click on ‘My Submissions’ to view all submitted and unsubmitted applications. Submitted applications are identified by a green tick.

Can more than one application be submitted?

  • Organisations may submit multiple applications. However, organisations should be aware that there is usually a very high demand for funds in each electorate so may wish to consider which application is the highest priority.
  • Local councils may submit project proposals for projects in each electorate within their area.
  • Section 355 Committees of Council must submit applications under the relevant local council name.

Can a Local Council application be for activities over more than one site?

No. If a local council seeks funding across a number of different sites, even if they within the same electorate, there should be one application per project location. Council applications are assessed against all other applications for the available funding within the State Electorate.

Does my organisation need to identify which State Electorate the project is based in?

Yes – This is very important. Each application must accurately identify the State Electorate that the project is located in. If you are unsure which electoral district your project is based, the Electorate Office website or your local Member of Parliament will be able to assist you.

Do we need to provide quotes for the project?

  • It is preferred that at least one quote is uploaded to substantiate the funding amount requested. Quotes should align with and substantiate information provided in the project budget.
  • The project budget should be presented by major line items and in enough detail for assessors to consider it within the competitive assessment process.

Can value-in-kind be considered as funding contributed by a not-for-profit organisation?

  • Yes – Voluntary labour and donated materials are allowed as part of the not-for-profit organisation's contribution to the cost of a project. Voluntary labour and donated materials including estimated value should be provided in the project budget.
  • Local council applications are required to provide matching cash contributions for projects they submit. Value in-kind contributions can be included in the project's budget but will not be counted as part of the Council's matching cash contribution.

Should my grant application include GST?

  • Yes – you should include in your funding request the GST you will be charged by contractors or suppliers, as they are part of the project cost.
  • At the time of funding release, if the successful applicant is registered with ATO to pay GST an additional 10% on top of the grant amount should be included in their invoice. If the successful applicant is not registered to pay GST they will be paid the grant amount only.

Where can we access the application forms?

  • Applications can only be made online. Click HERE to register or log-in
  • If you have difficulties with internet access we suggest you contact your State Member of Parliament who may be able to assist. You may also like to visit your local library, or seek assistance from your local council.

What is the process after applications close?

  • Applications are reviewed for general eligibility and then subject to the assessment process (See Section 8)
  • Projects located on NSW Public School premises will be checked by the NSW Department of Education Asset Management Unit to ensure the project is appropriate and viable.
  • Applicants will be formally notified in December 2017 on whether their application has been successful or unsuccessful. All correspondence will be via email.
  • A list of successful project applications will be published on the CBP website.

Will late applications be accepted?

  • No – The online system will not accept applications submitted after the advertised closing date of 5 pm on Wednesday 9 August 2017.
  • If you are having problems submitting your application you should contact the help line on 13 77 88 well in advance of the closing date and in time to seek assistance.

Do I need authorisation from the land or property owner/s?

  • You are responsible for obtaining approval for the proposed project from the appropriate land or property owner/s.
  • You should indicate whether you have secured approval from the land or property owner as part of your application. If not yet secured at the time of application, the relevant discussions / approvals should have commenced before submitting your application.
  • If your project is successful, the release of grant funds will depend on evidence of the land or property owner’s consent if applicable for the approved project.

8. Assessment process

Applications will be assessed in two stages:

Stage 1: Is the organisation and project eligible?

We will check that:

  • The applicant organisation is eligible to apply (see section 4).
  • The application is complete, including quotes or an estimate of the project cost, and meets program requirements in regards to project commencement and completion dates and the amount of funds requested.
  • The project is an eligible type of project that may be funded (see section 5).
  • Projects located on NSW Public School premises will be checked by the NSW Department of Education Asset Management Unit to ensure the project is appropriate and viable.

Stage 2: Assessment on merit against the Program Assessment Criteria (section 6)

Projects are assessed in the NSW Electorate where they are located. Eligible applications are provided to the respective State Member of Parliament (MP) and Independent Review Panel members who concurrently undertake the assessment process to determine the relative merit against the program assessment criteria (Section 6).

  • Recommendations for projects to receive funding will be made on the basis of these assessments.
  • The Department of Premier and Cabinet works with State MPs to finalise the funding recommendations for projects in their respective electorates before they are submitted to the Premier for final approval.
  • Applicants will be formally notified in December 2017 on whether their application has been successful or unsuccessful. All correspondence will be via email.
  • A list of successful project applications will be published on the CBP website.

9. Notification

All applicants will receive a system generated email confirming that each application has been successfully submitted.

The assessment and recommendation of applications is through a merit selection process. Many worthwhile applications will be submitted, however funding is limited and not all applications will receive funding.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application, either successful or unsuccessful, in writing in December 2017. There are no appeals under the CBP program.

A list of all successful applicants will be published on the Community Building Partnership website. To view successful applications from previous rounds click here.

All correspondence with applicants is via email. Please ensure that your contact details remain current and correct for each application. To update your details please contact us by email at CBP2017@facs.nsw.gov.au.

What happens if my application is successful?

  • If your application is successful, you will be formally notified in writing.
  • To receive your grant you will need to log in to SmartyGrants and fill out and return the online Funding Deed.
  • Once reviewed by the CBP team, a co-signed Funding Deed will be returned to you via email, along with a purchase order and invoicing instructions. You will be required to generate an appropriate tax invoice or statement by a supplier form and return it as per the invoicing instructions provided.
  • Please ensure that if your organisation's contact details change, or the project contact person changes, you inform us (CBP2017@facs.nsw.gov.au) as soon as possible so that the contracting and payment process occurs as smoothly as possible.
  • As a condition of funding, grant recipients will be required to provide:
  • progress reports (fill in an online template which will be provided)
  • evidence of project commencement and progress (photos, statements from tradesperson)
  • a completion report and acquittal statement (fill in an online template which will be provided) with supporting evidence upon project completion.
  • If you are awarded funds under the 2017 CBP program, the CBP program may withhold the payment of grant funds for these projects if you have any outstanding or incomplete projects from previous CBP funding rounds. If you are unable to complete previous projects due to circumstances outside of your control, please advise the CBP team in writing so that an exemption can be considered. For further information on Project Reporting and Closures (LINK - http://www.communitybuildingpartnership.nsw.gov.au/reporting_and_closures)

What NSW Government acknowledgement or signage is required for my project?

All grant recipients are required to acknowledge the support of the NSW Government in their annual reports for the period in which funding is received. Obligations and details of any signage required will be included as part of your Funding Deed for the project.

Organisations are encouraged to involve their State Member of Parliament in any launches, openings and media announcements about the facilities that have received funding through the Community Building Partnership program.

How long do we have to start and complete the project?

  • You should be ready to commence your project or seek planning approval by early 2018.
  • If planning approval is required and has not been obtained, development consent should be secured by 31August 2018.
  • The project should be completed by 31 March 2019.

10. Insurance requirements

Organisations applying for funding via this program are required to be covered by a minimum Public Liability Insurance cover of $5m where capital works are being undertaken. It is the responsibility of the applicant organisation to ensure that it has appropriate insurance coverage in place for the project works or activities, and its day to day operations.

It is recommended, but not a condition of funding, that applicant organisations also have Personal Accident, Professional Indemnity and Directors and Officers Insurance. Organisations that employ staff are required to comply with relevant industrial relations and workplace health and safety requirements.

11. Relevant government policies


Submission of an application does not guarantee funding. The cost of preparing an application is the responsibility of the applicant.

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009

Information received in applications and in respect of applications is treated as confidential. However, documents in the possession of the Government are subject to the provisions of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Under some circumstances a copy of the application form and other material supplied by the applicant may be released, subject to the deletion of exempt material, in response to a request made in accordance with the Act.

Privacy Policy

The NSW Government will collect and store the information you voluntarily provide to enable implementation of this grant program.

Any information provided by you will be stored on a database that will only be accessed by authorised personnel and is subject to privacy restrictions. The information will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected.

The NSW Government is required to comply with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. The NSW Government collects the minimum personal information to enable it to contact an organisation and to assess the merits of an application.

Applicants must ensure that people whose personal details are supplied with applications are aware that the NSW Government is being supplied with this information and how this information will be used.

Disclosure of Project Information

Should your application be successful, the NSW Government may wish to provide certain information to the media and State Members of Parliament for promotional purposes. This information will include organisation and project name, project description, electorate, town, amount of the approved grant and organisation contact details.

12. Declarations by applicant

Conflicts of Interest

All applicants MUST declare if they or key members of the organisation have an actual, perceived or potential conflict of interest with the relevant State Member of Parliament.

Declaring conflicts of interest does not generally impact a project’ s eligibility to receive grant funding under the CBP program, however as State Members of Parliament are involved in the assessment of CBP applications it is important that the declarations are recorded.

Examples of actual or perceived conflicts of interest may include;

  • The State Member has been invited to functions by our organisation or at our facility before
  • We have met with the State Member regarding funding for this project (or others) in the past
  • The State Member has children who attend(ed) our school / are enrolled with our sporting club etc
  • Key members of our organisation have worked with the State Member on a local campaign
  • The State Member attends our Church
  • Or any other relationship / meeting that you or members of your organisation have with the State Member, or have had in the past

Applicant’s Declaration

The declaration section of the application must be authorised as follows:

  • by a member of the executive/committee as deemed under the Articles of Association for not-for profit organisations, or
  • by the General Manager or delegated officer of the council submitting the application.

This will require the applicant to certify that the application is truthful and to agree that the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (or its delegated agents) may disclose information contained in the application to other government agencies, local government authorities, reviewers and staff assisting with the administration or promotion of State Government grant schemes.

13. Contact details

For assistance in applying for Community Building Partnership funding, please contact us on our toll free number 13 77 88 or email CBP2017@facs.nsw.gov.au