The Ian Potter Foundation makes grants across a broad range of sectors and endeavours. Our grants are managed through nine program areas: Arts, Community Wellbeing, Education, Environment & Conservation, Health & Disability, International Learning and Development, Medical Research, Science, Travel, and Conference.
The majority of our grants are made in response to applications and/or an expression-of-interest (EoI), although occasionally grants may be made in response to a need or opportunity pro-actively identified by the Foundation. The latter are usually major funding initiatives.
The Ian Potter Foundation rarely awards the full amount of any project. Please ensure that you have alternative providers of funding, and that your application clearly considers any possible grant from the Foundation in this context.
This section guides grant-seekers step-by-step through the process of applying for a grant, starting with confirming eligibility to receive a grant under the Australian taxation laws and checking the suitability of the project before setting up an online account and submitting an application. Please note that most of our program areas consider applications via a two-step process that may take from four to six months to complete.
If you can’t find the information you need or have any doubts, do call us. We are happy to answer questions and provide additional guidance.
• A commitment to excellence
We support organisations, programs and individuals who are outstanding in their field.
• A focus on prevention
To maximise the value of our grants, we try to identify and support projects that address the causes of any problems rather than treat the symptoms. Supporting research is fundamental to this approach.
• Encourage innovation
We seek to fund programs and projects that take a new approach to solving problems, especially those that can be evaluated and have potential for expansion and further development.
• Potential for leverage
Our grants have greater impact when combined with support from other sources. These might include other trusts and foundations, government, business or volunteers. We are happy to be one of a number of supporters of a program.
• Long-term thinking
We try to fund projects that will continue to have an impact well beyond the period of our grant. The long term sustainability of the project is an important consideration.
We encourage collaborations and partnerships that facilitate combining knowledge and resources to achieve a shared goal.
Under the terms of the deed of The Ian Potter Foundation and Australian taxation laws, The Ian Potter Foundation can only make grants to organisations with BOTH Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status.
There are two distinct types of DGR. This is identified on an organisation's notice of endorsement from the Australian Taxation Office as either a deductible gift recipient item 1, or item 2.
• The Ian Potter Foundation is limited to funding DGR's where the 'provision for gift deductibility' is "item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997". That is, we can only make grants to organisations endorsed as DGR Item 1.
• The Ian Potter Foundation is a public ancillary fund and cannot make grants to other public ancillary funds (PuAFs) or to private ancillary funds (PAFs). If your notice of endorsement as a DGR states the provision for gift deductibility is item 2 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, your organisation will be an ancillary fund and therefore not entitled to receive grants from us.
An organisation's name or ABN can be used to search the Australian Government's online Australian Business Register to check details of its DGR and TCC endorsements.
Please also note the following regarding DGR status:
• Organisations must be EITHER endorsed by the ATO as a DGR item 1, or they must be specifically named in Subdivision 30-B in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 as being a DGR.
• If an organisation uses more than one name (for example, a legal name and a trading name), then any grant application must be made in the name which holds the correct DGR status.
• Some organisations also hold DGR status only for a fund which they operate, or one aspect of their activities. Applications from such organisations must relate to the fund or activities for which DGR status has been endorsed or approved.
More information about DGR and TCC status can be obtained from the ATO Non-Profit Organisations website.
Eligibility of your project
Please make sure you read the funding objectives and specific exclusions for each of our program areas. These specific requirements can be found under each Program Area in What We Support.
Projects that fall into any of the following categories will not be considered for funding.
• Retrospective funding – projects which are already underway or which will commence prior to the date indicated in our online application information are not eligible for consideration.
• Recurrent expenditure for which there is no future provision.
• Capital or endowment funds established to fund a chair or to provide a corpus for institutions.
• Research for undergraduate, masters or doctoral students.
• Auspicing is not permitted – the organisation applying must be the one that will run the program or project.
• Applications for public charitable purposes outside the Commonwealth of Australia.
• Applications for projects that have previously been declined by the Foundation cannot be resubmitted.
• Applications will not be accepted from organisations that have not successfully acquitted previous grants from the Foundation
• We do not directly support schools.
Please note that in the indigenous sector the Foundation is currently only funding major, strategic programs.
Program area specific exclusions
Program areas may also have specific exclusions. Please check the relevant program area under What We Support.
Auspicing refers to the practice of an ineligible organisation (one that does not have DGR and TCC status) applying to the Foundation via an eligible organisation. Auspicing arrangements are excluded under the Foundation's guidelines.
The organisation applying to the Foundation must be the organisation that will run the project or program for which a grant is being sought.
The Foundation is limited to providing money, property or benefits for public charitable purposes in the Commonwealth of Australia. However, the Foundation is able to provide a grant for activities outside the Commonwealth if the grant is made for a public charitable purpose in the Commonwealth. For example, a grant might be made to an Australian university to enable it to fund an overseas study tour by an Australian researcher engaged by the university.
Below is an overview of the Grant Application Process. This should be read in conjunction with specific information in the relevant Program Area where you can Apply for a Grant.
Step 2: Identify the relevant Program Area. Information on each program area can be found under What We Support.
Step 3: Check if your program area requires you to submit an Expression of Interest. If so, please read the Expressions of Interest section below.
Step 4: Check that your project meets the funding objectives of the program area you are interested in. You may need to speak to a Program Manager before submitting your EoI or Application if your grant request is over a certain amount. This will be indicated on the relevant Program Area page under What We Support.
Step 5: Successfully complete the eligibility quiz under the relevant Program Area to access the online Expression of Interest or Application process. and then complete and submit your EoI or Application by 5.00 pm EST on the closing date.
An Expression of Interest (EOI) process applies for all applications to the following Program Areas:
Requests for more than $100,000
Before submitting your EOI you must telephone the relevant program manager on 03 9650 3188 to discuss your proposal and its fit with the Foundation’s priorities.
The EOI Application Process
Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
EOIs must be submitted online. You can access the relevant online EOI form via the appropriate Program Area. To assist in your preparation, you can preview the EOI questions.
You will need to successfully complete a short eligibility quiz to access the form. After accessing the EOI form you will need to either login into your My Account (if you have previously applied to the Foundation) or click New Applicant on the login page and create a new account. You can then complete and submit your EOI.
Opening and closing dates apply for EOIs, the current or next round dates can be found under the relevant Program Area.
EOI submissions will be assessed and applicants notified by email within 10 business days as to whether their project will or won't progress to full application.
Where possible, proposals should be submitted earlier than the EOI closing date to receive a quicker response. This will give you additional time to complete your full application if you are invited to Stage 2.
Stage 2: Application (by invitation)
If you are invited to submit a full application the Program Manager will advise you via email. You will have approximately three weeks to complete and submit the application both online and in hard copy to the Foundation office. There are strict closing dates for full applications which can be found under the relevant Program Area.
Meetings and site visits may then be required to assist the Foundation to better understand your organisation and the proposed program or project.
Your application for a grant will be considered by the Foundation’s Board of Governors. The Board meets three times a year and you will be notified of the decision within two weeks of the meeting.
Please note that an invitation to submit an application does not mean that your application will be funded.