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.

Grant rounds

Please discuss your proposal with a Grants Team member before commencing an application for any of our grant levels.

Grant level

Multi-year Grants    NOTE NEW DATES
($31,000 – $90,000)
August 2020* (TBC) Sept 2020
End Nov
Impact Grants
($91,000 – $200,000)
Apr 2020
June 2020
End Oct
One-off Grants       NOTE NEW DATES
(up to $30,000)
21 Jan 2020* 27 Feb 2020
End April

*Please note that from 2020, One-off Grant rounds will held in January/February and Multi-year Grant rounds will be held in August/September. (There will be no One-off Grant round 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 low.

One-off Grants – up to $30,000

  • One-off grants 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.

Multi-year Grants – $31,000 to $90,000 in total

  • Multi-year grants target 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 One-off Grant such as annual milestones. Expected outputs and outcomes, measurement and evaluation are standard requirements;
  • Projects are 2-3 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.

Impact Grants – $91,000 to $200,000 in total

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

As the name suggests, the key for this grant level is ‘impact’. 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: Impact Grant online application forms can only be accessed via a special individual pass code provided by Grants staff following consultation and acceptance to proceed.

  • Impact Grants respond to large funding requests for well-developed initiatives. Impact Grants involve a longer and more complex 3-step application process and there is a 5-month turnaround from the Stage 1 closing date to notification.
    Step 1. Consultation with Grants staff is essential. A pass code to access the online Stage 1 application form will be only be provided to requests that are a strong fit to HMSTrust’s areas of interest and objectives.
    Step 2. Online Impact Grant Stage 1 application lodged by due date. The Trustee Grants Advisory Committee considers all Stage 1 applications. Successful Stage 1 applications proceed to the Final Impact Grant Stage 2 application.
    Step 3. Online Final Impact Grant  Stage 2 application form lodged by due date for decision by Trustees.
  • Impact 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.