Congratulations to our 2017 - 2020 recipients

Congratulations to the 220 organisations who received a grant in 2017. Read about the amazing work they are doing in communities to improve the wellbeing of young Australians.

Read about our 2017 Community Grants recipients

Clown doctors

National Grant

Clown Doctors

Clown Doctors

Our people chose one organisation with national reach to receive our National Grant. The grant includes $400,000 a year for three years and our people support a major annual fundraiser for the charity. 

With skill, empathy and a whole lot of fun, these professional entertainers do so much for kids in hospitals around the country. As a founding partner, Commonwealth Bank has been proudly supporting the Clown Doctors since 1999.

Each year, the Clown Doctors help the lives of more than 240,000 sick children and their families by conducting ‘Clown Rounds’ in every major children’s hospital in Australia. And with the help of our people through the CommBank Foundation, the Clown Doctors continue to deliver fun and laughter across the country.

During April, you can help us help the Clown Doctors deliver more emergency fun by donating in any CommBank Branch or online. Each year, we aim to raise $150,000 in additional support for the Clown Doctors, which will create 64,000 magic moments with patients, families and staff.

Donate today

State & Territory Grants

Our people in each state and territory selected, via popular vote, an organisation that they will support with a grant ranging from $50,000 a year to $100,000 a year for a period of three years. 

  • QLD The Pajama Foundation
  • NSW Little Wings
  • ACT The Shepherd Centre
  • VIC Fight Cancer Foundation
  • TAS New Horizons Club
  • SA Kickstart for Kids
  • NT Save the Children
  • WA Dr Yes

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Grassroots Grants

Our Grassroots Grants are selected by our people and are awarded to charities creating a better society for youth in our communities.

From 2017 - 2020, our people will award $6,013,371 in Grassroots Grants to 211 organisations. Read about the amazing work they are doing in our communities to improve the wellbeing of young Australians.

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Frequently asked questions

Who can apply for a grant?

To be eligible to apply for a Community Grant your organisation must:

  • Be endorsed by the Australian Tax Office with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and must be covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth).
  • Run, manage, conduct or implement a three year program that supports children and youth up to the age of 21 years in Australia; and
  • Deliver a program that:
    • Supports Australian youth to access quality education; or
    • Engages youth in learning to develop life skills for their future; or
    • Addresses the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of youth; or
    • Creates stable family environments that support youth to thrive.
  • Identify realistic, measurable and achievable project goals and outcomes.
  • Hold a current bank account in Australia in its name.

What is the assessment process?

State based subcommittees made up of Commonwealth Bank staff assess each application against the judging matrix

  • Each sub-committee has a specific allocation of funds to award in its state.
  • Each sub-committee will look at the aims of your program, the number of children or youth that benefit from the program, and its community benefits.

What is DGR status?

DGR status is granted by the ATO. It allows entities or funds to receive tax deductible gifts and ensures that gifts and contributions are used appropriately to benefit the community. As well as holding DGR status your organisation must also be covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth), from the time of the application until the end of the Term.

How can I find out if my community organisation has DGR status and is covered under Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)?

Whether it’s your organisation or an organisation you want to encourage to apply for a Community Grant, you can check its DGR status by searching on the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

Where possible, it’s best to search by ABN because some community organisations have multiple ABNs. When searching by ABN, enter the number without spaces or dashes. If your organisation has DGR status, its webpage on the ABR website will include a section titled ‘Deductible gift recipient status’ which will state that your entity is either ‘endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) or it ‘operates the following funds, authorities or institutions. Gifts to these funds, authorities or institutions may be deductible.’ Its status must also be covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act, 1997 (Cth) to be eligible to apply.

How can I find out if my community organisation has DGR status and is covered under Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth)?

Whether it’s your organisation or an organisation you want to encourage to apply for a Community Grant, you can check its DGR status by searching on the Australian Business Register (ABR) website.

Where possible, it’s best to search by ABN because some community organisations have multiple ABNs. When searching by ABN, enter the number without spaces or dashes. If your organisation has DGR status, its webpage on the ABR website will include a section titled ‘Deductible gift recipient status’ which will state that your entity is either ‘endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) or it ‘operates the following funds, authorities or institutions. Gifts to these funds, authorities or institutions may be deductible.’ Its status must also be covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act, 1997 (Cth) to be eligible to apply.

If my organisation falls under the DGR of a principal organisation, are we eligible to apply for a grant?

Yes. When you apply, you must fill in the name field using the convention ‘(Your organisation name) under the auspices of (main organisation name).’

If you receive a grant, it needs to be paid into a bank account in the name of the main organisation because they are the entity with DGR status. In addition, a tax deductible receipt would need to be provided to us from the main organisation. The main organisation would transfer the sum of the grant to your organisation for the project you intend to run.

What if my organisation doesn’t have DGR status?

Organisations without DGR status are not eligible to apply for a community grant.

What is the maximum amount of funding that can be applied for?

Organisations can apply for a Grassroots Grant of up to $10,000 each year over 3 years, totaling a maximum of $30,000. This may be supplemented with additional funding from other sources if required. 

Can I get my 3 years of grant funding awarded in advance?

No unfortunately we cannot provide grant funding in advance. Grant funding will be awarded on an annual basis in equal payments no later than 1 October each year of the three year term. See Grant Guidelines section 2 a) for more information.

Will there be a grant round in 2018?

No our grants rounds will now be conducted on a three year cycle. Our next round of Community Grants will open in 2020.

How long do successful organisations have to spend the grant?

Successful grant recipients must spend all funds within 12 months of receiving the annual grant funding. A feedback survey will be sent on the 1 June annually to confirm how the grant was used. The survey forms must be submitted before subsequent payments can be released. For organisations that submit the survey form by the 30 June annually, their subsequent payment will be released soon after the 1 July. For all other organisations, the second payment will be released once the survey form is received. All survey forms must be returned to us by the 1 October, 5pm annually to be eligible to receive subsequent payments.

Who funds the grants?

The Community Grants are funded through donations from current and retired Commonwealth Bank staff that are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Can I apply on behalf of an organisation?

Only an authorised representative of an eligible organisation can apply for a grant.

Do I have to bank with the Commonwealth Bank?

No. In the application, we ask if the organisation is a customer for administration purposes only.

The location for our project hasn’t been finalised. Can we still apply for a grant?

The question in the application ‘Where will the project occur?’ relates to the suburb or region where the project will take place, not a specific venue. If you don’t know the suburb or region, you could state the location where the majority of people the program will benefit live. If neither option is suitable, use your organisation’s address. Importantly, if the program will take place in a different state to where your organisation is based, you should list the state in which the program will take place, not the state you are based. This is because applications are assessed on a state-by-state basis. For example, applications for programs run in Queensland are assessed by a group of employees in Queensland alongside other Queensland applications.

If my organisation applied for or received a grant in past grant rounds, can I still apply?

Yes, as long as your organisation still meets all of the eligibility criteria.

Can my organisation apply for multiple grants for different programs?

An organisation can apply for multiple applications for programs if they’re run in separate locations or if they’re managed out of a distinct state or territory. Please see Grassroots Grant Guidelines Section 3 (b).

How are applications submitted?

Applications are currently closed. To help prepare your application, you can preview the grant application questions. Only applications that are submitted using our online application form will be accepted.

When preparing your application for a Community Grant, we encourage you to:

  • Confirm that your ABN has DGR status and is covered by Item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth).
  • Review our Grant Guidelines and consider if applying for a Community Grant is right for your organisation.
  • Consider actual costs associated with the delivery of your program and apply for the required funding rather than applying for the maximum amount. This will assist us in providing more grants to more organisations.
  • Adhere to all specified word limits and write in point form where possible.
  • Refer to the judging matrix to assist with your submission.

When applying for a grant, follow these steps:

  • Select 'Apply now' on this page.
  • Complete the application checklist and select 'Next'.
  • Fill in your registration details.

Once your organisation's ABN has been checked against the ATO to confirm DGR status, a username and password will be given to you. You’ll also receive an email with your username and password for your reference. If you don't complete the application at one time, you can use your username and password to log back on – remember to select ‘Save’ before exiting your application.

I’m experiencing problems with your application - what do I do?

You may be able to retrieve your application information by visiting this webpage and selecting ‘Apply now’. This will bring up the first page of the application form, where you will be asked to resume your application if you’ve already filled out your details and been given a username and password. When entering your username and password, please type rather than copying and pasting them. If this does not bring up your application information, you will need to re-start your application.

Can I submit my Community Grant application by email?

Only applications submitted online via our website can be accepted.

I’m preparing an application for a grant. Where can I find a copy of the application questions?

Select ‘Preview the application’ under ‘Preparing your application’ section on this page. You can print this page if you need to.

The word count for some sections is too short. Can I submit a longer answer or supporting documentation?

Unfortunately, given the volume of applications we receive across Australia each year, we require applicants to fit within the character count, which includes spaces, for each question. Where possible, we encourage you to write your answers in point form to help reduce the number of characters in each answer. We are unable to accept or review supporting documents as part of any application.

I missed the time or date applications closed. Will you still accept my application?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to accept any late applications. Refer to the Section 5(b) of our Grassroots Grants Guidelines for more information. If you miss the application deadline, we encourage you to apply for a grant in 2020.

I have submitted my application. What are the next steps? When are recipients announced? When would we receive the grant?

Committees of employees from around Australia assess the applications from each state using the judging matrix. Successful applications are announced via email. Successful applicants will receive their grant funding in the form of a bank cheque by 1 October annually.1

Things you should know

1Selected organisations may be invited to participate in Community Grant presentation prior to this date.