Small Grants

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

What are Small Grants?

Up to $5,000

Small Grants are open 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. Applications can be submitted anytime.

Small Grants help community legal organisations and not-for-profit community groups deliver projects that support community needs and improve understanding of the justice system.

These grants are likely to fund:

  • one-off projects addressing legal issues for a specific community or an area of law
  • pilot projects offering new approaches to delivering legal information

We recommend that you contact the Grants Manager prior to submitting your application to ensure it meets the grants criteria and to check there are sufficient funds available.

Who can apply?

Small Grant applications are open to community legal organisations and not-for-profit community organisations. Non-legal organisations are encouraged to partner with a legal service to ensure accurate legal information is provided to the audience group. We only fund organisations – individuals are not able to apply.

Victorian Law Week

We have made some changes to our grants program for Victorian Law Week 2022. Grants will be available exclusively to members of Neighbourhood Houses Victoria. 

Not a member but still want to get involved in Victorian Law Week? Find out about the support available to event organisers and how you can participate

How to prepare your application

Submit an application

We encourage you to contact the Grants Manager before submitting your application. The Grants Manager can provide feedback on your project proposal, and ensure it meets the grants criteria, and check there are sufficient funds available.

Small Grant funds have been allocated. Please contact the Grants Manager to discuss your project idea.

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).

Find out more about the conditions of our grants


Why should I contact the Grants Manager?

We recommend that you contact the Grants Manager before submitting an application to get feedback on your proposal and find out if it meets our selection criteria. This may save you time in applying for something that is not eligible or unlikely to be funded. Getting early feedback on your proposal may help strengthen your application giving you the best chance of success.

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

Yes, you can apply for funding through the Small Grant program. The application form will be available later in the year. We expect to offer smaller amounts – up to $2000 (excl. GST) for Victorian 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. Find out more.

Where do I complete my reporting?

We want to know how your project went, so require recipients to submit a final report on completion. This report can be found in your SmartyGrants portal.