Community Grants FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a revenue cap of $1.5 million for applicants this year?

The core focus of our community grants program is to support local grassroots organisations working closely within their communities. After receiving a significant proportion of applications from organisations with very large revenues, we decided to make a formal commitment to supporting smaller local groups by refining the size of organisations eligible to apply.

This change will allow more opportunity for smaller charities to be successful and will also help improve the overall fairness of the process, particularly during the public voting phase.

If your annual revenue is marginally over $1.5 million, please contact Nick at or on (02) 8276 6234 to discuss if you are still eligible to apply.

How are the community grants distributed?

Each year 10% of Australian Ethical Investments Group’s profit-after-tax (before deducting bonus and grant expense) is distributed through the Australian Ethical Foundation. Approximately 50% of the funds are distributed through our annual Community Grants program. The remainder is distributed through strategic grants and impact investments in social and environmental impact initiatives.

How much money are you giving to Community Grants this year?

In 2019, we estimate $360,000 will be distributed through the Community Grants program, subject to final audit completion. This funding makes up one component of our annual philanthropic support to not-for-profit organisations. In conjunction with our community grants funding, we also provide strategic multi-year support to very select charities, which is not open for public application, and make some impact investments. The combination of Community Grant funding, strategic funding and impact investing comprises the annual 10% of profits (before deducting bonus and grant expense) that we distribute.

Who can apply?

Not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises and registered charities based in Australia. Organisations working for a charitable purpose for the benefit of people, animals, and/or the planet in Australia or internationally are encouraged to apply. New and emerging or small not-for-profit groups are eligible to apply as long as they have an Australian Business Number (ABN), a constitution, and an Australian bank account.

Is the Community Grants program open to Social Enterprises?

Yes, to not-for-profit social enterprises.

What grant amounts are being given this year?

We give grants of $10,000 and $20,000.

What if my project only requires $15,000 – which amount do I request?

Please apply for the $20,000 grant and state the total funds you require. If your application is successful, you will be given the lesser amount.

Can an organisation submit more than one application?

Yes, if your organisation has more than one distinct project that meets our criteria, you are welcome to submit as many applications as you like.

Are partner organisations to a project able to apply for separate components of funding for the same program?


Can wages be granted?

Yes.  Salary costs do make up a part of many projects and we will consider each project on its overall merits and measurable outcomes.

Do not-for-profit organisations need to have DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status to apply?


Can Government organisations apply for grants?

Unfortunately, we will not be accepting applications from government organisations.

When does the grant have to be used by?

Successful applicants will receive funding by 1 October 2019. Grant funding will need to be used within a 12 month window, running through to 1 October 2020.

Do successful grant recipients need to report on their funding?

Yes, all successful grant recipients will need to provide an end of funding report by 1 October 2020.

I received a grant last year. Do you have a template for the End of Funding Report that I need to complete?

Yes, please email for a copy.

When will I hear which organisations have won a grant?

We will notify winners in September, 2019.

Will the winners be based purely on the amount of votes?

Not entirely. Voting will play an important part of the final decision by the Australian Ethical community grants team. We understand the size of organisations can affect the amount of votes, so we will consider that in the decision making process.

Can I have feedback on why my application did not progress to the shortlist?

Unfortunately we cannot give feedback due to the amount of time it takes to review each application.  Our assessment process scores applications against our key criteria and the highest scoring projects progress to the shortlist.  If you’re interested in applying again next year please feel free to get in touch then to seek advice on how to frame your application.

What do you do with my name and email address from voting?

We will send you a follow up email announcing the winners. If you are not a member we will send you some emails about Australian Ethical. This Privacy Collection Notice explains how and why we do that. See our Privacy Policy for how we keep your information secure. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Why are your profits not given back to the shareholders or members?

Our members are supportive of our fundamental belief that investing can generate strong returns and drive positive impact in ways that may not necessarily be measured by traditional financial measures.

Our superannuation and managed funds are run to benefit our members. The trustee and board of directors are required by law to put members’ interests first. All our investments and operations are governed by our ethical charter which is embedded in our company’s constitution, and it’s within this context that the Australian Ethical Foundation was established.

We have a team of expert fund managers who invest in companies that both meet our Ethical Charter and deliver strong returns. These returns are 100% delivered to members. Australian Ethical – like all funds management companies – charges a fee for its investment services. These fees (which have come down by half since 2013) are the basis for our profit. The money we donate through the Foundation comes out of our profit from fees.

Since 2000 we have donated over $3 million to projects that are aligned with our ethical charter and are driving positive social and environmental impact across Australia and overseas.

I have other questions not included above; who can I contact?

Please email or call Nick on (02) 8276 6234.

Please note that we cannot meet individually with applicants before (or after) an application is submitted to discuss their specific project as this can create an unfair bias towards an organisation.