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Australia: Mary MacKillop Today’s Community Grants Program 2020

Australia: Mary MacKillop Today’s Community Grants Program 2020

Deadline:  26 August 2019

Eligible organizations may apply for grants of up to $10,000 AUD to deliver small, life-changing projects that promote life-long learning for Australians affected by vulnerability. By participating in these projects, individuals build skills and gain knowledge to improve their engagement with the community and take advantage of life opportunities.

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The Mary MacKillop Today Community Grants Program seeks to empower those in need to take control of their lives and to build a better future for themselves and their communities.

The Program began as a response to on-the-ground work that the Sisters of St Joseph were doing with the vulnerable communities. In 2019, the Program awarded $175,000 in small grants to 20 recipients in urban, regional and remote communities.


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  • The Community Grants Program supports small but life-changing initiatives that provide opportunities for life-long learning in Australian communities.
  • The Community Grants Program aims to help people in need by improving access to quality learning opportunities which allow people to realize their rights, achieve positive social outcomes, and effect change in their lives and their communities.
  • Given the size and nature of grants, priority is given to small or emerging organizations. The Mary MacKillop Today prioritizes innovative and grass-roots projects which are targeted toward those at the margins.


The management and administration of this program is implemented by Partnerships and Performance Team. Projects are selected, monitored and evaluated on the extent to which they achieve the following:

  • Help people aspire to learn, and increase people’s confidence to undertake learning opportunities (e.g. mentoring, bridging or transitional education).
  • Improve access to education or learning opportunities for people who are vulnerable (e.g. by supporting learning opportunities in remote communities, enabling access to technology, breaking down learning barriers for people with disability).
  • Improve the quality of education or learning opportunities available to people who are vulnerable (e.g. training for parents or caregivers, development of high-quality teaching and learning resources, ensuring learning environments are culturally and linguistically inclusive).
  • Provide learning opportunities which empower people to strengthen skills for self-sufficiency including through improved financial inclusion, improved participation in communities and improved wellbeing (e.g. transition to work projects, health literacy and health promotion, financial literacy or leadership activities).

Projects must target members of the Australian community who may experience marginalization, vulnerability or exclusion. Priority groups include:

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  • Women and girls
  • First Nations people (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people)
  • People from refugee backgrounds, people seeking asylum and/or newly arrived migrants
  • People with disability
  • Other key vulnerable communities and groups

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for funding, applications must comply with the below criteria:

  • Applications must align with the mission and purpose of Mary MacKillop Today
  • Applications are for a maximum of $10,000 AUD
  • Specific Project activities funded by the Community Grant must be completed between 1 January and 31 December 2020 (although the project itself may continue after this date)
  • New applicants must supply two available referees
  • Projects must be consistent with the main purpose of a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI); however, organization does not need to be a PBI
  • Applicants must be a community organization or charity with an Australian Business Number (ABN), and the project must be delivered within Australia. Individuals are not eligible.
  • Existing Grantees are encouraged to apply for either an existing or new project; however, it should be noted that preference is to not fund ongoing service delivery, and encourage grantees to show evidence of a sustainability strategy.
  • Given the size and nature of funding, preference will be given to organizations classified as ‘Small Charities’ i.e. with annual revenue below $250,000. Larger organizations are encouraged to highlight partnerships with Small Charities or other community organizations to strengthen their application.
  • Applicants must be able and willing to comply with Mary MacKillop Today’s Policy Requirements in the delivery of the funded project.

Selection Criteria

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Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Evidence of a strong fit with Mary MacKillop Today’s Mission and the Community Grants Program Priorities outlined above.
  • The number of beneficiaries being served (i.e. more than one individual).
  • Clear demonstration of project approach and potential outcomes/community impact.
  • Organizational capacity to undertake and complete the project objectives.
  • Evidence that the project represents good value for money.
  • Demonstration of organizational funding needs and sustainability strategy/s.

How to Apply

Applicants must fill the online application form available on the given website.

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For more information, please visit https://www.marymackilloptoday.org.au/what-we-do/our-projects/grants/

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