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Open Grant Guidelines

Eligible organisations can apply for up to three fixed amount Social Sector Transformation Fund grants through SmartyGrants:

  • $20,000 available for around 500 organisations.
  • $50,000 available for around 300 organisations.
  • $200,000 available to three organisations.

However only one grant in this round will be approved for each organisation.

Organisations can still be approved for grants in either round 1 direct payment or round 3 consultancy and advisory.

Organisations are advised to choose to apply for a grant amount that best matches their needs and ability to spend the grant.

Application and reporting requirements increase in complexity with increasing grant amounts. The $200,000 grants are expected to focus on delivering longer term outcomes and transformation. Due to this, applications for this amount will be requested to provide more detailed information and will have correspondingly more detailed reporting requirements than the lower grant amounts.

Eligible Organisations

Organisations must meet all of the following eligibility criteria before submitting a grant application:

  • Be an incorporated charity or not-for-profit entity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, NSW Fair Trading or equivalent other equivalent regulatory bodies.
  • Be a small to medium sized organisation that has total annual revenue reported in their 2019/20 financial statements of less than $5 million.
  • Be an organisation in that provides health and/or social services in NSW, this excludes arts and sporting organisations in the broader social and community sectors.

Eligible Funding Categories

The open grant can only be used for one or more of the ten grant funding categories:


Organisations are allowed to use up to 50% of the SSTF grant to reimburse expenses incurred in 2019/2020 and/or 2020/2021 financial years.

In order to do so DCJ must be satisfied that the retrospective expenditure to be reimbursed provided a benefit to clients at that time.

All retrospective expenses must be reported to DCJ and must be aligned to one or more of the ten grant funding categories. Any expenses, retrospective or not, not aligned with SSTF will not be permitted.

Organisations who have reported unexpended funds from programs funded by either DCJ or NSW Health will not be permitted to claim a reimbursement.

Reimbursement of retrospective expenses is not available for the $200,000 grant.

Application process

All applications must be submitted using SmartyGrants. Applications submitted via email, in the post, by hand or by fax will not be eligible.



Thursday 1 April at 9.00am AEDT

Monday 3 May 2021 at 5.00pm AEST

Assessment criteria

All applications will have an eligibility assessment and if they are successful they will then be assessed using the following criteria:

  1. Aligned with one or more of the three short term outcomes of the SSTF and one or more of the ten grant funding categories,
  2. Meets a critical business need, improves services for clients and/or there is a community benefit
  3. Be technically feasible and can be delivered on time and on budget (ie projects must be completed on or before 30 June 2022)
  4. The organisation must have the capacity and capability to deliver on the project(s) outlined in the application
  5. Shows value for money

Information to be submitted

Grant Amount

Information to be submitted via SmartyGrants


  • Organisational details
  • Project description
  • Responses to assessment criteria
  • Nominated output measures for reporting
  • Simple budget breakdown


  • Organisational details
  • Project description
  • Responses to assessment criteria with additional questions
  • Nominated output measures for reporting
  • Detailed budget breakdown


  • Organisational details
  • Project description
  • Responses to assessment criteria with additional questions
  • Nominated output measures for reporting
  • Detailed budget breakdown
  • Project plan
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Program logic


Eligible applications will be independently assessed by DCJ and NSW Health. Each application will be scored against the assessment criteria. In addition, the assessment may prioritise applications based on one or more of the following:

  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs)
  • Organisations that deliver a majority of their services to Aboriginal clients and communities
  • Smaller organisations based on their total annual revenue in 2019/2020 and/or reliance on government funding
  • Organisation based in rural and remote areas.

Funding Deed

A funding deed is required to be executed by the successful applicant and DCJ before any grant can be paid. The terms and conditions of the deed are not negotiable. The execution of the funding deed will be done by DocuSign.

Failure to execute the funding deed by 7 June 2021 may result in the grant being withdrawn or risk a nonpayment.

Once funding deeds are executed DCJ will release the grant funding to successful applicant prior to end of June 2021. No grants will be paid in the new financial year.


Successful applicants will be required to submit an Annual Accountability return to DCJ.

The report has one mandatory output measurement and organisations must choose at least one additional output measure for each approved grant funding category.

Mandatory output measure:

  • Amount expended per grant funding category

Additional output measures:

  • Estimated efficiency savings in dollars
  • Estimated efficiency savings in time
  • Number of new personal IT devices purchased
  • Number of new IT infrastructure purchased
  • Number of new software purchased
  • Number of staff that can now work flexibly/remotely or has significant improved ability to do so
  • Numbers of staff received training
  • Numbers of clients received training
  • Proportion of staff reporting a technology capability uplift
  • Proportion of clients reporting a technology capability uplift
  • Proportion of clients reporting increased accessibility
  • Number of new clients receiving a service
  • Qualitative assessment of business transformation.

Organisations will be required to select one or more relevant the output measures when submitting an application.

The outputs will be used to measure SSTF outcomes to evaluate projects, the SSTF program and for reporting to government.

For the $200,000 grants, in addition to the Account Accountability reporting, more in depth reporting will be required. Additional reporting requirements will be negotiated with the successful applicants.

The open grants application guidelines can be downloaded in a single document.

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Last updated: 26 Apr 2021