Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Grant rounds

HMSTrust offers three grant rounds across the year. The grant levels are designed to suit different types of requests and stages of a project. The timing of the grant round is also relevant to your request as HMSTrust does not fund retrospectively. The table below lists relevant dates for each grant level, and the following guidelines will help you to identify which grant level is the best match for your request.

Please note the changed schedule of our three grant rounds listed below. We are currently undertaking a strategic review of our grantmaking, due to take effect later in 2020.

Grant rounds

Initial consultation with HMSTrust Grants staff is required before you make an application for any of our grant levels.

Round Grant Level Round opens Round closes Notification
Round 1 Up to $30,000 21 Jan 2020 27 Feb 2020
End April
Round 2 $31,000 – $90,000 5 May 2020 11 June 2020
End August
Round 3 $91,000 – $200,000 28 July 2020 10 Sept 2020
(enquiries close)
End Nov

*Please note that from 2020, the round for grants up to $30,000 (previously called One-off grants) will held in January/February. There will be no round for grants at this level in 2019.

Which grant should I apply for?

Please read How we grant, our Programs and Applying for a grant to see if your work relates to our current areas of interest.

If you feel that your request is a strong match, please contact our Grants staff to discuss a potential application well before the closing date of the grant round that best meets your needs.

Applicants should be aware that the likelihood of an unsolicited request being successful is extremely low.

Round 1: Grants – up to $30,000

  • Grants of up to $30,000 are increasingly approved for requests that help build the capacity and capability of organisations working across HMSTrust’s specific areas of interest and objectives. Requests can include: strategic business development and marketing, or initiatives that underpin a complex, long-term project including business planning, scoping a complex long-term project, or strategic evaluation. All applications are considered against a criterion for long-term community benefit;
  • Projects are normally completed within one year, but can extend over a longer period;
  • Available for all program areas except for Health;
  • 2-month turnaround from application closing date to notification.

Round 2: Grants – $31,000 to $90,000 in total

  • This level of grants targets larger projects across HMSTrust’s specific areas of interest and objectives, which deliver long-term community benefits.
  • The application form requires more detail than for a grant up to $30,000, such as annual milestones. Expected outputs and outcomes, measurement and evaluation are standard requirements;
  • Projects are up to 3 years in duration, and grant payments are made in annual instalments dependent on receipt of a satisfactory progress report and financial acquittal;
  • Available for all program areas except for Health;
  • 2-month turnaround from application closing date to notification.

Round 3: Grants – $91,000 to $200,000 in total

Grants at this level are limited and highly competitive, making consultation with Grants staff well in advance of the opening date essential.

The Trust is looking for proposals that have a strong potential to achieve significant outcomes within our program focus areas.

Proposals at this level must be at the right stage of planning, should have well-developed implementation plans, partners on board, and a well-thought through budget. It is not an appropriate grant round for projects which are still at the concept stage.

The type of activities that may be considered include those that:

  • will result in benefits across multiple organisations or communities;
  • have substantial reach in beneficiary numbers; or
  • take a new approach to an identified sector issue within one of our focus areas.

NOTE: The online application form for grants at this level can only be accessed via a special individual pass code provided by Grants staff following consultation and acceptance to proceed.

  • This grant round responds to large funding requests for well-developed initiatives. It involves a longer and more complex application process and there is a 3-month turnaround from the closing date to notification.
  • Consultation with Grants staff is essential. A pass code to access the online application form will be only be provided to requests that are a strong fit to HMSTrust’s areas of interest and objectives.
  • Grants up to 3 years in duration are considered for initiatives that clearly demonstrate positive long-term social impact. Applications are required to include:
    • Sustainable business model;
    • Robust business plan supported by substantiated data;
    • Milestones for each year of funding;
    • Confirmed partnerships and collaborations;
    • Clearly defined outputs and outcomes;
    • Plans for measurement and evaluation;
    • Detailed project budget;
    • Long-term benefits to the broader sector;
  • Grant payments for multi-year grants are made in annual instalments dependent on receipt of satisfactory progress report and financial acquittal.