Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Next open date for applications is 15.01.2019 View Grant Dates

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New eligibility criteria apply from 1 July 2016.

HMSTrust is a testamentary trust governed by the Will of our benefactress, Helen Macpherson Schutt (née Smith), under both Victorian and Commonwealth law. The following eligibility criteria reflect HMSTrust’s policy, taking into account both its legal obligations and the spirit of the Will.

HMSTrust will only fund charitable organisations that meet our eligibility criteria. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

Please note that only eligible organisations will have access to the online application form.

Is your organisation eligible?

Charity status

Organisations must be registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). Click this link to check your organisation’s ACNC registration.

NOTE: HMSTrust does not require your charity to have DGR endorsement.

Situated in Victoria

HMSTrust will only fund:

  • a charity based in Victoria and operating solely within Victoria; or
  • a charity operating both inside and outside Victoria, if its head office is in Victoria.

If your ACNC registered charity has its head office outside of Victoria it is not eligible to apply.

Is your project eligible?

Applications will only be considered for projects that:

  • are undertaken solely in Victoria for the benefit of Victoria;
  • have a ‘Charitable purpose’ as defined in the Charities Act 2013;
  • match to one of our Programs and at least one of that Program’s focus areas; and
  • have a strong match to HMSTrust’s funding criteria.

HMSTrust will not consider the following:

  • Applications submitted by an auspice(1) organisation;
  • Maintenance of an established program;
  • Retrospective funding for projects that have already started or taken place;
  • Deficit funding or organisations with a potentially negative equity position;
  • General fundraising appeals;
  • Infrastructure projects and service programs considered to be government responsibility at a Federal, State or Local Government level;
  • Promotion of religion;
  • Conferences and seminars;
  • Political organisations;
  • School building projects, unless the project is used for wider community benefit; and
  • Current administration costs.

(1) Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that it not a charity) applying to HMSTrust via an eligible organisation which acts as the auspice. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under HMSTrust’s guidelines. The organisation applying to HMSTrust must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.


There are limitations on the number and frequency of grant applications that can be submitted by any one organisation:

  • Only one application per organisation within any 12-month period;
  • Existing grants need to be successfully acquitted at least three months before a new application is submitted (universities are excepted; see below for details);
  • An applicant cannot reapply for a previously declined project, except by invitation following discussion with HMSTrust staff;
  • An approved pilot project may be considered for a further multi-year grant by invitation following discussion with HMSTrust staff;
  • Organisations that are a party (other than the lead applicant) to a collaborative partnership application may also apply for a grant in their own right.

University limitations

  • HMSTrust does not deal directly with researchers. All approaches must be made through the university’s Advancement Office;
  • Victorian universities may only submit one application per grant round and via their Advancement Office or equivalent only;
  • A university may have up to two active grants at the time of submitting a new application;
  • The application must be signed-off by the university’s Advancement Office or equivalent; and
  • University research projects also require a letter signed by the Research Office confirming that this application is approved for consideration in the selected round.

Gateway to application

If your organisation and project meet HMSTrust’s eligibility criteria, proceed through the site to determine whether your project matches our current interests and meets our funding criteria.

  1. Check the Application Flowchart, which explains our grant-making process;
  2. Check Grant Dates for detail on the opening and closing dates for application;
  3. Read all the information in the Grantseekers section. The Forms page includes sample application forms.

The gateway to the application form is via the eligibility quiz. See Application Gateway. The application form is only open during a grant round.