Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Next open date for applications is 15.01.2019 View Grant Dates

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How We Grant

HMSTrust’s funding decisions are guided by our vision, mission and values, and strategic aims of Building. Enabling. Leading.

HMSTrust’s grants strategy reflects the legal parameters of Helen’s will, her philanthropic preferences and the prime source of her legacy which was regional Victoria. Within these boundaries, the Trust’s grants strategy is continuously evolving as it responds to changes in social needs, legislation and sector trends. Our grants strategy is designed to meet current community needs and expectations, but also to maximise the major social impacts and long-term benefits that can be delivered through strategic philanthropy.

HMSTrust encourages grant applications for projects which show vision and an innovative approach to solving problems, which have an emphasis on research or shared knowledge, and which have potential for further development and long-term outcomes.

HMSTrust can only fund organisations and projects that meet essential criteria. Check your eligibility before you decide to apply.

Our Grants Matrix

The grants matrix is a graphic representation of our grants structure. The horizontal rows represent the Trust’s five programs, and the vertical columns represent the Trust’s five key objectives.

HMSTrust Funding Criteria

Projects must:

  1. Match to one program and at least one focus area of that program, and;
  2. Match to at least three of our five key objectives

Program and focus areas: The project must fall within one of HMSTrust’s five programs and is required to address at least one of the selected program’s three focus areas, which define the Trust’s current areas of interest. You can apply in one program only. You can choose more than one relevant focus area for that program, but you will need to justify your selection. Please note, our Health program area is only available at the Impact Grants level.

Key objectives: The proposed project is also required to match at least three of HMSTrust’s five key objectives of which one must be selected as a primary objective. These objectives must match your own project objectives.


See if your project ticks the right boxes.

What we look for

Here are some key points to consider when developing your application:

  • Potential for leverage
    Our grants have greater impact when combined with support from other sources. These might include other trusts and foundations, government, business or volunteers. We are happy to be one of a number of supporters of a program.
  • Sustainability
    In addition to reviewing the project budget, we take into account your organisation’s financial position and capacity to deliver the proposed project.
  • Long-term thinking
    We look for projects that will continue to have an impact well beyond the period of our grant. The long term sustainability of the project is an important consideration.
  • Evaluation
    We look for a commitment to measurement and evaluation. At the conclusion of a project, grantees are required to report outcomes and outputs against the project’s original objectives, which match HMSTrust’s objectives.

What we have funded

View the list of approved grants in our Grants Database or read case studies of current and past grants in Programs.