Small Grants

Up to $5000 to support small projects that improve community understanding of the justice system.

What are Small Grants?

Up to $5,000

Applications open until 30 June 2021

Improving community understanding of the justice system, including Law Week events

Small Grants help community legal organisations and not-for-profit community groups undertake projects that support local community needs and improve understanding of the justice system. These grants are likely to fund:

  • one-off projects addressing legal issues relating to a specific community
  • pilot projects offering new approaches to delivering legal information
  • Law Week projects and events.

Who can apply?

Small Grant applications are open to community legal centres and not-for-profit community organisations. We only fund organisations – individuals are not able to apply.

How to prepare your application

Submit an application

Contact the Grants Manager prior to lodging your application to ensure it meets the grants criteria and to check there are sufficient funds available.

Complete the application form online through SmartyGrants.

Small Grants application

Grant guidelines

Guiding principles

Priority will be given to applications that can demonstrate:


Evidence of legal need and a good case that this response is likely to make a difference.


Projects that have potential to reach significant audiences – this could be a broad audience or a project that responds to a current issue or need for a specific group of Victorians.

Assessment process

The Executive Director of the Foundation makes funding decisions. In most cases, applicants will be advised on the outcome of their application within 2-4 weeks of the application being received.

Grant applications are assessed against the Foundation's statutory functions, grant aims and guiding principles. The following criteria are also considered as part of the assessment process:

  • grants can only be made to organisations
  • the project must primarily benefit Victorians
  • legal need – what is the legal need of the target audience? What is the evidence?
  • project methodology – what will you do to address the need?
  • format – how does the format meet the needs of the target audience?
  • duplication – does the information already exist?
  • capacity – does the organisation have the skills and resources to undertake the project?
  • impact – what difference will this work make?
  • dissemination and promotion – has a strategy been developed to ensure the information gets to the target group?
  • replication – is there potential for the project to benefit a broader audience?
  • budget – is the budget realistic? Does it offer value for money?
Grant exclusions

Generally, we do not fund:

  • professional development activities
  • conferences – sponsorship or attendance
  • government organisations with the exception of independent statutory bodies
  • recurrent or core operational costs
  • purchase of major items of equipment
  • international travel costs
  • commercial or profit-making activities
  • litigation of any kind
  • projects that primarily support political activity and lobbying
  • costs incurred prior to grant approval
  • grant applications previously deemed unsuccessful by the Foundation unless invited to reapply.
Conditions of grant

Victoria Law Foundation places conditions on the grants it makes. Some of the grant requirements include:

  • successful applicants enter into an agreement with the Foundation
  • a final report is to be submitted on completion of the project
  • acknowledging the support of the Foundation
  • having materials checked by a person with appropriate legal knowledge
  • developing resources using plain language principles (where applicable).


Can I still apply for funding to deliver a Law Week event?

Yes, you can apply for funding through the Small Grant program. The application form is the same. We expect to offer smaller amounts – up to $2500 (excl. GST) for Law Week events.

How many grants are available?

The Foundation’s grant pool is $300,000 divided between our three grant programs. Unfortunately we are unable to fund many great projects due to limited funding. We aim to fund around 4-5 projects within each grant program.

Contact the Grants Manager to find out if your project proposal meets our selection criteria and if sufficient funds are available, giving your application the best chance of success.

What are my obligations if I am offered a grant?

All successful applicants enter into a funding agreement with the Foundation. Some other general requirements include submitting a final report on completion of the project and acknowledging the support of the Foundation.