At a glance

1. Seed Innovation
2. Scaling-up Innovation
Seed Innovation Grants: Up to $50,000, for one year
Scaling-up Innovation Grants: Up to $300,000, over two years (maximum of $150,000 per year)
Applicants are encouraged to only apply for the amount required.
14 January - 12 February 2021
25 January - 18 February 2021
Seed Innovation
  • Final: early May 2021
Scaling-up Innovation
  • Shortlist: early May 2021
  • Presentation: early June 2021
  • Final: late June 2021
Submit an enquiry and wait to be contacted by the relevant Program Manager.


Innovation Grants are an opportunity for leaders within the charitable sector to develop and implement effective solutions to social and environmental issues.

Whether it is piloting or scaling a new program, service delivery model, social enterprise or developing policy & research for systems change, Innovation Grants are to test, develop and demonstrate new solutions, big or small.


Innovation Grants support projects or initiatives aligned with one or more outcomes of the Foundation's Impact Areas: 

The Foundation offers two types of Innovation grants: 

1. Seed Innovation Grants
Up to $50,000 for one year.

These grants support the researching, testing or piloting of a new idea or approach. This can include:

  • Project funding to test, demonstrate, trial or pilot a new concept or idea that will lead to a service improvement or an advance in a major community issue.
  • Research funding to build understanding of an area or issue.
  • Inform program design or practice, inform policy development and philanthropic investment or identify best practice.
  • Funding to support the initial development phase of a social enterprise.

Seed Innovation Grant projects may be considered for a Scaling-up Innovation Grant in future years.​

2. Scaling-up Innovation Grants
Up to $300,000 for two years (maximum of $150,000 per year).

These grants support the expansion or replication of a proven innovation with the potential to be transformative on a broader community or systems level. This can include:

  • Piloting or scaling-up a new service model or developing social enterprise.
  • Applying a new approach to improving service effectiveness and/or service quality.
  • Increasing impact and/or service effectiveness through sharing space or back office support, or other forms of partnership, merger or collaboration.
  • Building an understanding of an emerging issue or area through applied research (i.e. research that has application in practice).


Download Essential Application Documents



Impact Area
Project must align with one or more of the outcomes of the Foundation's Impact Areas.

Tax Endorsements and Location
Organisations applying under the Education & Employment and Environment & Sustainability Impact Areas:

  • Must be endorsed as a Tax Concession Charity (TCC). 
  • Grants provided especially to Australian charities operating in Victoria, New South Wales and Australia Capital Territory.

Organisations applying under the Healthy & Resilient Communities and Homelessness & Affordable Housing Impact Areas:

  • Must be endorsed as a Tax Concession Charity (TCC) and as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) as covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. 
  • Grants provided to Australian charities registered and operating in Victoria, especially but not limited to Greater Melbourne.

Universities and Research Institutes
In addition to these general requirements, universities or research institutes must adhere to unique application requirements.

How to apply

Before submitting an Innovation Grant enquiry, please ensure that you have read the Innovation Grant Guidelines and referred to the Foundation's Grants Program Approach.

Eligible organisations working in any of the Foundation's four Impact Areas can submit an enquiry for either a Seed or Scaling-up Innovation Grant from 2pm Thursday 14 January 2021 to 2pm Friday 12 February 2021. 

Enquiries must be submitted via the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Grant Enquiry Form to be considered. 

After submitting your enquiry, please wait to be contacted by the relevant Program Manager. Given the anticipated high volume of enquiries, Program Managers will endeavour to make contact within five business days.