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Investing in women grassroots grant program

Up to $10,000 in grants is available for activities that support and empower women and improve gender equality.

$0 - $10,000
Not-for-profit groups

This grants program aims to:

  • support and empower Victorian women
  • celebrate and promote their contributions to their communities
  • improve gender equality across Victoria.

Our vision is that Victorians of all genders:

  • live in a safe and equal society
  • have access to equal power, resources and opportunities
  • are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.

We want to see progress in key facets of the lives of women and girls, with a focus on improving whole-of-community outcomes including:

  • Cultural change: Victoria is free from gender stereotypes, gender roles and prejudices.
  • Health and wellbeing: the health and wellbeing of Victorians are not limited by gender.
  • Safety and respect: all Victorians are safe and treated with respect.
  • Economic and material security: Victorians have equal access to economic and material security.

This program will fund activities across Victoria that contribute to the above goals.

Information sessions and FAQ

The slides from the information sessions contain an overview of the program and information about applying for a grant.

How to apply

Please read the guidelines before you start your application.

You can apply online using our Grants Gateway.

If you cannot apply online, email to discuss options for submitting your application in an alternative format.

Apply for a grant

Closing date

Applications close 3 pm Monday 22 May 2023.


  • Overarching considerations

    Everyone should be able to:

    • engage fully and meaningfully in community life
    • feel empowered, supported, safe and equal.

    Gender inequalities accumulate over a lifetime. We need action to support women at all stages of their lives – from childhood to youth, adulthood and throughout older age.

    The government recognises that many women experience overlapping forms of discrimination or disadvantage. This could be based on attributes such as:

    • Aboriginality
    • age
    • disability
    • ethnicity and race
    • religion
    • gender identity and sexual orientation
    • where they live.

    We strongly encourage applicants to consider the intersectional impacts of these factors when designing projects.

    Specific objectives

    These grants will support community organisations to:

    • foster community engagement in celebrating and supporting Victorian women
    • model, celebrate and promote gender equality by challenging gender stereotypes, gender roles and prejudice
    • support women to achieve good physical and mental health
    • advocate and campaign for equitable participation of women in education and the economy.

    Examples of how to support these objectives include:

    • hosting events that engage the community to celebrate and support women
    • developing initiatives that support women’s progression into leadership and decision-making roles in workplaces and the community (this could include mentoring programs or upskilling existing leadership within women’s organisations)
    • partnering with organisations, workplaces, community leaders or sporting clubs to promote gender equality and collaborate on initiatives in community settings
    • fostering community engagement and involving community members in designing and implementing health and wellbeing initiatives, especially people who are often marginalised
    • developing initiatives that support women and girls’ mental health, wellbeing and sense of belonging, including hosting local events
    • developing initiatives that educate, improve access to and reduce stigma around women’s health issues at different stages of their lives, including periods, sexual and reproductive health and menopause
    • promoting and supporting initiatives that enable young women to build the financial literacy skills and confidence they need to be independent
    • supporting community initiatives to increase the digital literacy of older women, in particular those from multicultural communities and women with disability
    • delivering workshops or community events that support women facing complex barriers to taking part in the labour market and those who are at increased risk of falling through the cracks in support
    • developing initiatives to support women-led businesses and entrepreneurs.

    The grant money cannot be used for:

    • activities that do not align with the program’s principles and objectives
    • research activities
    • commercial or fundraising activities
    • activities that promote or are held for politically partisan purposes
    • activities taking place outside Victoria
    • activities occurring outside the funding period
    • salaries for staff (not including event-specific staff contracted for the project period)
    • buying alcohol
    • building works
    • interstate and international travel
    • items not clearly described or are labelled ‘miscellaneous’ in the application
    • retrospective funding for projects or programs that have already started or are complete
    • applications from organisations that have not met the terms and conditions of other departmental grants.

  • The total available funding is $200,000. Organisations may apply for up to a maximum of $10,000.

    All approved projects must be completed and funds spent by Saturday, 31 March 2024.

    Due to the competitive nature of this program, we may allocate less than the requested amount to successful applicants.

    You should plan for contingencies and consider other funding sources and options in case your application is unsuccessful (either in full or in part).

    Avoid assuming you are successful or entering into financial or other commitments until you are formally notified of the outcome of your application.

  • How to apply

    • Read the program guidelines.
    • Make sure your organisation meets the eligibility criteria.
    • Attend an information session.
    • Email if you have questions.
    • Register to log in to the Grants Gateway to complete an application.
    • Complete the online application form.
    • Answer all assessment criteria questions. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
    • Attach relevant or mandatory documents with the application.
    • Submit the application by the due date and time.

    Assessment criteria questions

    You must answer these questions in your application:

    • How does your project align with program objectives? Program objectives (25 per cent)
    • What are you going to do? Project delivery (25 per cent)
    • What will the project achieve? Project outcomes (25 per cent)
    • How will the project contribute to addressing gender inequality? Project impact (25 per cent)

    Preparing applications

    For more information to help prepare your application and plan and deliver your project, visit:

    Applicants must ensure each element of their application meets the program guidelines. If any aspect of an application falls outside the guidelines, the whole application could be ineligible.

    Apply for a grant

    Survey on gender equality

    As part of your application, you will need to watch a short video and complete a related survey on gender equality.

    De-identified information collected in the survey may be shared with other branches of the department. Only the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector will be able to access individual survey responses.

    Data collection will help build an evidence base for how the government, agencies and community organisations can improve gender equality through funding reform. It will also help decide where future efforts should be focused for maximum impact.

    The data collected through this survey will inform funding guidelines that could be rolled out across the government and its agencies.

    The data collected will not have any impact on current or future grant funding that the government may award to your organisation.


    Your personal information will be handled in line with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Public Records Act 1973 (Vic).

    The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. If you have questions about personal information that the department holds, please email

  • You must be either:

    • an organisation incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012, Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or equivalent legislation, or
    • a company incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 and registered as a not-for-profit through the ACNC.

    You must have:

    • a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • at least $10 million in public liability insurance to cover all aspects of funded activity for the term of the funding agreement or an auspice arrangement with this insurance cover
    • no outstanding final reports from other Department of Families, Fairness and Housing grants.

    If you do not meet the above criteria, consider an auspice arrangement with an eligible organisation. View Auspice arrangements.


    The following cannot apply for these grants:

    • state and federal government departments and agencies
    • commercial enterprises
    • local government authorities (LGAs) including LGA-managed, operated, administered and regulated trusts
    • registered primary and secondary schools, preschools, TAFEs and universities
    • applicants with overdue or outstanding final reports from previous or current departmental grants
    • applicants based outside Victoria.

    Auspice arrangements

    If your organisation is not eligible, you may nominate an auspice organisation to apply for a grant on your behalf.

    Any organisation that meets the eligibility criteria may act as an auspice.

    If the application is successful, the auspice organisation will receive the funds. They will be responsible for overseeing the project, including reporting on and acquitting funds. Make sure you understand your obligations to your auspicing body.

    If your application is auspiced by an organisation, you can include any associated auspice fees in your funding request. Included auspice fees must not exceed 10 per cent of your total funding request.

  • All grant applications will undergo the following process:

    • Eligibility assessment: All applications will be checked against the eligibility criteria. The eligibility assessment determines whether the application should proceed for merit assessment.
    • Merit assessment: Eligible applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria based on responses provided in the application form.
    • Assessment panel: All applications will be reviewed by a panel, which includes experts in gender equality policy.
    • Ministerial approval: The Minister for Women will make the final decision based on the recommendations from the assessment panel.
    • Application outcome: All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email.

    All decisions are final. This includes decisions about eligibility and the assessment process. The government reserves the right to offer or award a grant under the program or to withdraw the offer or cancel the grant funding agreement.

    Merit assessment

    A panel will assess applications against the following weighted assessment criteria:

    • program objectives (25 per cent)
    • project delivery (25 per cent)
    • project outcomes (25 per cent)
    • project impact (25 per cent).

    You can upload relevant supporting material to improve the panel’s understanding of your proposed project. Note: This is not essential. We will not penalise you for not doing so.

    Program objectives (25 per cent)

    • How does this project align with the program objectives?
    • Which objective(s) does your project address?

    Project delivery (25 per cent)

    • What are you going to do? Explain what your project involves.
    • What planning have you done so far for your project?

    Project outcomes (25 per cent)

    • What will the project achieve?

    Project impact (25 per cent)

    • How will the project help address gender inequality?
  • Funding agreements

    Successful organisations and auspice bodies must enter into a Victorian Common Funding Agreement (VCFA) with the department.

    The VCFA outlines the terms and conditions of the grant including the:

    • use of funds
    • term of the agreement
    • reporting requirements.

    The VCFA is a contract that outlines the roles and responsibilities of both the department and the funded organisation.

    If you would like more information about entering into a VCFA with the department, email and request a call back.

    Payment of grant funds and reporting requirements

    Successful organisations will be paid when they complete agreed project milestones and deliverables outlined in the VCFA.

    Milestone payments are made via electronic funds transfer (EFT) once deliverables are met.

    Goods and Services Tax (GST)

    • GST will be paid if the grant is funding a good or service, and if the recipient organisation is registered for GST.
    • GST will not be paid if the recipient organisation is not registered for GST.
    • GST will not be paid if the recipient organisation is a government entity (for example, public library).
    • GST will not be paid if the grant is not funding a good or service.

    Funding acknowledgement

    Successful applicants must acknowledge funding from the Victorian Government. Promotional guidelines form part of the VCFA. They include the requirement that all activities must acknowledge Victorian Government support through logo presentation on any activity-related publications, media releases and promotional material. Details of the requirements for funded projects will be sent to all successful grant recipients.

    Legal responsibilities

    If you apply for a grant, you must ensure the project activity follows relevant laws, regulations, by-laws and codes. It must also meet requirements of Commonwealth, state, territory or local authorities. It is your responsibility to be aware of laws and protocols that regulate the way you conduct your work.

    Insurance requirements

    You must have public liability insurance and any other insurance that is relevant to the activities of your project. The department will ask for proof of insurance that covers the project period.

    Non-government organisations that are funded to deliver services for children must be:

    • incorporated separate legal entities that can be sued in child abuse proceedings
    • appropriately insured against child abuse.

    More information is on the Department of Justice and Community Safety websiteExternal Link .

  • All applicants will receive written notification of the outcome. If you are successful, we will tell you about any specific conditions attached to the grant.

    If you are unsuccessful, you may ask for feedback within two weeks of being advised of the outcome. We will give written feedback within one month of your request.

Reviewed 11 May 2023

Contact us

Office for Women Department of Families, Fairness and Housing