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The grants program


Partnering for impact

Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation addresses the big challenges of the day facing our community. 

Our work is organised around Impact Areas, which are revised following research and wide consultation with stakeholders as part of our strategic planning process.
The Impact Areas are currently alleviating homelessness; increasing community resilience to withstand major social and health challenges; reducing urban impacts on the natural environment; and reducing education and economic inequality.

The Foundation's grantmaking is driven by our vision of an inclusive and resilient community and guided by our values and granting principles. We seek out and develop projects and initiatives that reflect the many aspects of our Philanthropy Toolbox:


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We also work proactively on key initiatives in our Impact Areas, including the Affordable Housing Challenge, Energy Efficiency & Climate Resilience in Vulnerable Households, Hot Spots, and Resilient & Inclusive Melbourne.

Our project logic model helps us work with our grant partners to define project specific outputs and outcomes that align with our grant partner’s and the Foundation’s own impact objectives.


Click diagram to enlarge.

This collaborative approach is designed to increase the shared impact we can have together on the challenges the Foundation has prioritised. 

Grant partners report on activities, outputs, outcomes, targets and budget expenditure in Progress and Acquittal Reports. Learning is an important part of the innovation process and the Foundation is committed to sharing project findings and reports with the broader sector, including via our website. 

Projects that involve partnership, collaborations and/or networks designed to increase impact are encouraged by the Foundation. 

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Granting principles

Each year, Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation receives and evaluates grants applications from charities and not-for-profit organisations seeking assistance for initiatives which contribute to improving quality of life for those experiencing disadvantage and to address important social issues and challenges.

The Foundation's approach to grantmaking is reflected in the following funding principles:

Equality and equity 
Support projects and programs which provide equitable access to opportunities and overcome barriers for participation.

Require projects to be developed from a reliable evidence-base. Support the exploration of new ideas and solutions.

Promote social inclusion and cohesion
Support projects, programs or organisations which actively promote social inclusion and cohesion.

Community Engagement
Support projects, programs and organisations that encourage community engagement and consult and communicate with affected community members and relevant stakeholders.

Engage beyond grants
Leverage our grantmaking, wherever appropriate, with other tools for change.

Knowledge creation and dissemination
Promote and encourage knowledge creation and dissemination through our work, both as an organisation and as a partner.

Sustainability of the activity following the conclusion of the grant will be taken into consideration when assessing grants noting that change takes time.

Long-term change
Take a systems-change approach to addressing persistent social and environmental issues.

Balanced Giving
Work to achieve a balance in our granting between addressing immediate needs and investing in projects and organisations that support long-term social change.

Scalability and replicability 
Give priority to projects that can demonstrate scalability or replicability to amplify the impact of our grant making and investments. 

Partnerships and collaboration
Give priority to projects that include relevant and useful partnerships and work collaboratively to maximise impact.

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Grant types and key dates

Applications for 2019/2020 Innovation Grants have closed. Information about 2020/2021 Grants will be released later in the year.

In addition to this responsive grant round, the Foundation also makes Proactive Grants. These are initiated by the Foundation to respond to specific issues of particular interest or concern to the Foundation.

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Standard conditions and reporting

Grant Agreement

Successful applicants are required to sign a Grant Agreement which outlines the Foundation’s requirements.

Reports and Acquittals

Reports and financial acquittals are a standard requirement for all grants.


  • Progress and Final Report forms are emailed to grant recipients one month prior to the submission date
  • Satisfactory progress reports are required for all multi-year grants before subsequent instalments can be paid
  • A final report on your project outcomes and expenditure is due within one month of its completion

    We appreciate photographs of your project (via email, USB or CD) for possible inclusion on our website or annual report (please note that photographs that feature faces require permission from all individuals or their guardians).

If you have any queries, please contact us.

Grant Amendments

You are required to contact the Foundation with any changes to your project, including key personnel, project scope, timeline, expected outcomes and outputs.

Communicating Outcomes

A key part of the Foundation’s work is the dissemination of the outcomes of its grants. This may be as a case study on our website or in one of our newsletters. If your application is chosen as a case study, you are welcome to use it as a promotional tool. Grant partners are encouraged to use the Foundation’s logo on public documents relating to the project however they must not use the Foundation’s name or logo without the written permission of the Foundation’s Marketing and Development Team.

Acknowledging the Foundation

Grantees are welcome to acknowledge our support. A .png or .eps format of our logo is available on request. Please contact the Marketing and Development Team for a copy of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Style Guide and Brand Pack for further detail.

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Grant application flowchart

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Foote trust donor advised program


The Eldon & Anne Foote Donor Advised Program was established in 2000 by Mr Eldon Foote and his wife Anne within the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

Mr Foote was a successful lawyer, entrepreneur and businessman. Mr Foote’s philanthropy through the Foundation later grew through a generous bequest.

Today, grants are made by the Foundation in the many areas of interest specified in the Foote Trust Deed of Gift. This includes grants from the Donor Advised Program. Under the Deed of Gift, the Board of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation as trustee has the overall responsibility for final grantmaking decisions.


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Impact Area alignment

To be eligible to apply for a grant, you must demonstrate that your application aligns with one or more of the outcomes within the Impact Area you are applying under.
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Tax endorsements

Your organisation must be endorsed as a Tax Concession Charity (TCC) and, depending on the grant program, a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) as covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. 

Evidence of these endorsements must be attached to your application:

  • A copy of the organisation’s most recent Notice of Endorsement as a Deductible Gift Recipient as issued by the ATO; and

  • A copy of the organisation’s Notice of Endorsement for Charity Tax Concessions (as issued by the ATO on or after 1 July 2005).

Please note: a copy of the organisation’s entry on the ABR Register is not be considered sufficient evidence of tax endorsement status.

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Grants from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund are provided for projects delivered in Victoria, especially but not limited to Greater Melbourne.  Grants made from the Eldon & Anne Foote Trust (part of the Eldon Foote Bequest) may be made for projects delivered nationally.
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Grants are not provided for:
  • Clinical research projects;
  • Endowment funds;
  • Retrospective funding;
  • Auspicing - the organisation applying must be the organisation undertaking the project or program.
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Eligibility summary table

Please refer to the grant page for detailed information, this table is for quick reference only.
Grant TypeImpact AreasTax StatusLocation
Innovation Grants
  • Education & Employment
  • Environment & Sustainability
TCCAustralian charities, especially those operating in Victoria, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.
  • Healthy &
  • Homelessness & Affordable Housing
TCC and DGR1Australian charities registered or operating in Victoria, especially but not limited to Greater Melbourne. 
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Universities and Research Institutes

Universities and research institutes are encouraged to apply for funding to appropriate Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Grant Types.

The Foundation does not fund clinical research trials and has a preference for funding projects within universities and research institutes that have the capacity to bring transformational change to a particular sector or area of practice.

In addition to the Foundation’s general exclusions, universities and research institutes should note the following requirements:

  • All applications from universities and research institutes must be submitted in conjunction with the appropriate central office (e.g. Research, Grants or Advancement Office). Applications received directly from individual researchers or academics will not be accepted.

  • The university or research institute registration on the Foundation’s Grants Portal must be for a contact person within the central office, as above. If your institution has multiple campuses or is national, you must identify and liaise with your appropriate central office.

  • Universities and research institutes can submit a maximum of one application per Foundation Impact Area per Grant Type. Any applications received over this limit will not be considered, and the university’s key contact will be asked to prioritise the applications for consideration.

  • Notifications of outcomes will be sent to the central office contact, as listed on the Foundation’s Grants Portal.

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