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Grant Making Guidelines

StreetSmart Grant Recipient | Murwillumbah Community Centre


Who We Are

StreetSmart Australia is a Public Benevolent Institution that exists to improve the lives of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We work to end homelessness - we believe everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home.

Who We Help

StreetSmart plays a unique role in the homelessness sector providing funding and support for smaller community-based and grassroots homelessness and community services. These front-line services are under-resourced, have limited fundraising capacity and find making formal applications for funding challenging. We support these organisations to plug funding gaps, support core programs and enable them to innovate and test new ideas.

Our approach to solving homelessness recognises that homelessness sits at the intersection of many personal vulnerabilities. Our community grants fund various responses to the homelessness and housing crisis, including but not limited to:

  • emergency accommodation
  • emergency aid and response
  • family and domestic violence services
  • food relief
  • legal services
  • material aid
  • migrant and refugee services
  • outreach and support for rough sleepers
  • post-release programs
  • social inclusion and connection
  • tenancy establishment and support
  • transitional housing and boarding house programs
  • youth and young parent support

Since our establishment in 2003, we have made over 5000 community grants to over 1000 organisations across Australia. Our grants are often ‘place based’, with grants returning funds to the communities in which they were raised.

StreetSmart Grant Recipient | Women’s Safety Services SA


StreetSmart Grant Recipient | Common Ground

Our Philosophy

StreetSmart Australia aims to be a supportive ally for those on the front-line of service delivery to the most vulnerable in our community. We aim to do this by:

  • striving to run simple grant application and acquittal processes;
  • working collaboratively with potential grant recipients to identify their priority areas and outline funding gaps;
  • mentoring potential grant recipients through the application process;
  • targeting areas of highest need, including funding areas that other funders may avoid (such as un-tied brokerage);
  • listening to our grant recipients and taking an active role in funding innovation and new ideas.

We believe that front-line staff are the experts, and we are here to support your work. We also believe that, where possible, people with lived experience of homelessness and disadvantage should contribute to program design and decision making.


Eligibility For Our Grants

Organisational size

We support smaller, grassroots organisations with an annual turnover of less than AUD $5 million. 

Organisations with an annual turnover above this threshold may be eligible after discussing grant opportunities with us directly. 

Prohibited use of funds 

Funds must not be used for: 

  • non-charitable purposes or activities; 
  • retrospective funding – i.e., support for programs that have already concluded. However, we do fund ongoing programs that have already commenced;
  • programs that engage in any worship, prayer, proselytising, or religious instruction; 
  • programs that are politically partisan in nature – e.g., activities promoting or opposing a political party or candidate for political office, or programs associated with a party’s or candidate’s campaigns or publications; 
  • programs engaging in or promoting unlawful activities or activities contrary to public policy (as defined under Australian charities law); and 
  • programs or events where alcohol or opportunities to gamble are available. 

Impact Areas

Recipients must be focused on working with people experiencing homelessness or intersectional hardship and vulnerabilities that put them at risk of homelessness. Prevention is an important part of our response.

We define homelessness broadly as inadequate access to safe and secure housing, including but not limited to sleeping rough, insecure housing, temporary accomodation and couch-surfing, and programs working to prevent homelessness occurring in areas of poverty and disadvantage. We also fund advocacy, education and information campaigns that do not directly provide services. 

Registration/charitable status

  • Recipients do not need to hold DGR status. 
  • Recipients will preferably be an Australian charity registered with the ACNC. However, we are also able to support smaller/start-up programs  that are not registered or are awaiting registration.


Recipients must operate and deliver services within Australia. 

Permitted use of funds

Each grant round has different impact goals and priorities, which will be clearly communicated to applicants at the time of application. For example: 

  • our SmartMeals program funds social enterprise hospitality businesses to make community meals and provide training and employment to vulnerable workers; and 
  • our Making-A-Home program funds organisations to support people to establish a tenancy, with flexible brokerage. 

Grant recipients must: 

  • use the entire grant exclusively for the initiative as described and approved in the application; 
  • use all funds granted within 6 months of receipt, unless otherwise agreed to by us; 
  • expend the entirety of the grant within Australia, on services or support provided exclusively within Australia; and 
  • show receipt of the grant in their financial accounts.

Application Process

Grants are currently by invitation only. Grant applications are submitted through an online form process once invitations have been sent out. 

Potential recipients are encouraged to express their interest through our Contact Form.

StreetSmart Grant Recipient | Outer East Foodshare

Acquittal Process

On transfer of funds into your nominated bank account, grant recipients must send a receipt to StreetSmart Australia, via email, for the amount received, following the instructions that will be provided on notification that the grant application has been successful. 

Grant recipients must: 

  • notify us of any material change that may affect the recipient’s ability to undertake or complete the project within 6 months from receipt of the grant – e.g., key staff taking leave or another surge in COVID-19 cases;
  • notify us before making any significant change to the nature or timing of the project that the grant was awarded for;
  • submit a grant acquittal report at the end of the funding period for grants over AUD $5,000; and
  • where appropriate, acknowledge StreetSmart Australia in all project-related publications, social media and website content, and events.

In accepting a grant from us, grant recipients give StreetSmart Australia permission to publish information and images of the project being funded on our website, social media and reports. Grant recipients must themselves hold permission from any persons featured in images and stories.

Grant Timetable

There are several grant rounds throughout the year, each supporting different impact areas. 


Contact Us

If you are unsure as to the eligibility of your project/organisation or have any questions about our application process, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us through the Contact Form.