Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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How Our Grants Matrix Works

The HMSTrust grants matrix is a graphic representation of our grants structure. The matrix has enabled the Trust to work more strategically, with greater efficiencies and to greater effect. The 5 x 5 matrix was developed to be an easy reference for grantseekers. The horizontal rows represent the Trust’s five programs and the vertical columns 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

See if your project ticks the right boxes.

1. Programs and Focus Areas

Select your Program and focus area.

Applicants can apply in one program only and projects are required to match a minimum of one focus area within that nominated program.

GOAL: To improve access to quality, relevant and supportive education through initiatives that provide disadvantaged Victorians with the opportunity to reach their full potential. 

Education focus areas:

  • Engaging and retaining P-12 students
    Initiatives that target students at risk of disengaging from school.
  • Creating vocational pathways
    Certified education and training pathways that lead to meaningful work.
  • Transitioning migrants and refugees
    Education and training opportunities that will enable migrants and refugees to transition into Victoria’s culturally diverse communities.

GOAL: To improve the outcomes of all Victorians by building their capabilities and resilience.

Community focus areas:

  • Strengthening family cohesion
    Programs and services that build parenting skills and improve long-term outcomes for children.
  • Advancing early childhood development
    Initiatives that focus on the social, emotional and cognitive development of disadvantaged pre-school children.
  • Building financial resilience
    Programs that improve the financial knowledge and behaviour of Victorians exposed to risk.

GOAL: To increase local participation, encourage public engagement and develop a sense of place through the arts.

Arts and culture focus areas:

  • Building social inclusion and access
    Arts projects that facilitate diverse representation, participation and engagement to build understanding and respect.
  • Developing digital capability
    Strategic adoption of digital solutions, resources and tools that enable arts organisations to be more effective and sustainable.
  • Supporting arts workers and artists
    Supporting organisations to build the business skills and financial independence of Victorian arts workers and artists to support viable careers.

GOAL: To protect and improve Victoria’s natural environments through responsible conservation projects that advance cooperative and sustainable practices.

Environment focus areas:

  • Conserving and restoring biodiversity
    Projects that benefit at-risk habitats and species indigenous to Victoria.
  • Protecting natural systems
    Projects that protect and improve land and water systems to meet the environmental and economic needs of current and future generations.
  • Nurturing sustainable landscapes
    Initiatives that encourage sustainable land practices and improve connectivity across landscapes.

Blue dotHEALTH
GOAL: To improve affordable access to quality mental health services in rural and regional Victoria.

This grants program is ONLY available for Impact Grants and has one specific focus area, which will be reviewed every three years.

Health focus area:

  • Improving access to mental health services in rural and regional Victoria
    Projects that provide affordable access to a full range of reliable, quality mental health services for Victorians living in rural and regional Victoria.

2. Key Objectives

Select a minimum of three objectives.

The Trust’s five key objectives apply to all programs and focus areas.

Applicants are required to match a minimum of three objectives, of which one must be selected as a ‘primary objective’.

Strengthening rural and regional Victoria
GOAL: To strengthen the capacity, resilience and potential of communities in rural and regional Victoria.

Reducing inequality
GOAL: To reduce disadvantage, protect basic rights and extend opportunities for Victorians, with a special interest in equity for women, girls and Victorian First Peoples.

Enabling financial sustainability
GOAL: To support organisations and projects to be more viable and sustainable.

Building organisational capacity
GOAL: To develop the capabilities and capacity of organisations, communities and sectors to deliver long-term benefits.

Encouraging collaboration and partnership
GOAL: To maximise the impact of the Trust’s funding through strategic collaboration and partnerships across community sectors. Partnerships include other service providers and/or other funders including government.