2023 Community Arts and Cultural Development Grants Guidelines


Guidelines and supplementary documentation 2023/24

Applications close: 5pm (AEST) on Monday 13 March 2023

Applications must be submitted on-line.

Download a copy of these guidelines(PDF, 938KB)


The City of Coffs Harbour is committed to the vitality of the cultural life of Coffs Harbour and appreciates its importance to the social health and economic success of the Coffs region.

This grant program supports new and exciting arts and cultural projects and initiatives in our communities.

It also supports the goals of the City’s Cultural Policy, Creative Coffs Cultural Strategic Plan , which are founded on the objectives of the Coffs Harbour 2030 Community Strategic Plan.

Funding assistance for events and projects between $1,000 and $7,000 will be considered.

Priority Areas for funding

The Creative Coffs Cultural Strategic Plan has five key goals:

  1. Engage our community and visitors in the cultural life of the area.
  2. Create and maintain vibrant cultural and public spaces.
  3. Understand and celebrate our Aboriginal and diverse cultural heritage.
  4. Value and support our creative industries.
  5. Encourage connections, collaboration and partnerships.

The Arts and Cultural Development Grant Funding supports projects that share one or more of these goals.

Project ideas may relate to identified strategies set-out in the City’s Creative Coffs Cultural Strategic Plan  available on the City’s website (Community - Arts and Culture).


Submitting your on-line application


Your application must be submitted via the on-line portal. This is the only way we will be accepting submissions. Applications are open for 6 weeks and all applications must be submitted by 5pm (AEST) on Monday 13 March 2023

Plan – Prepare – Submit


  • Read these Grant Guidelines
  • Check out the City’s Creative Coffs Strategic Plan online
  • Discuss your project and application with Jane Kreis, Service Leader Cultural Development and Programs
  • Talk to others in the community who might be interested in your idea or project and seek their support. Ask them to write letters if relevant.
  • Attend a grants workshop if you can The City is offering 2 free workshops in February. These give you information, advice and allow you to learn from other projects and grant providers.
  • Work out your budget. How much will it cost? Are there artist fees, hire fees, material costs etc.? Does it involve volunteer hours?
  • Draft an application. Make sure you keep revising it and that it responds to the online application form.
  • Complete your online application and hit submit!


Can you apply in your own right or do you need to require auspicing? If you are an independent artist or unincorporated group, you will need to find an incorporated organisation to auspice your application. Auspicing is where the Artist or Group wanting to carry out the project applies for the grant under the umbrella of an incorporated organisation, which involves that organisation becoming the legal entity who will invoice for and receive the funding on behalf of the Group. They are responsible for administering and acquitting the grant even if much of the work to do this is carried out by the Artist or Group. If you are unsure about which organisations can help in this regard, contact Cultural Development and Programs.

  • Gather your letters of support as electronic documents
  • Gather your insurance certificate of currency – make sure it is up to date
  • Gather your organisation’s financial statement
  • Are there other supporting documents or links such as artist resumes or website links that you can include? Or images of previous work?


Applications must be submitted by 5pm (AEST) on Monday 13 March 2023

Go to the Arts and Cultural Development Grant page

Enter your contact and project details

Upload/submit your:

  • Project application
  • Support material (including letters of support as well as other supporting documents and links)
  • Financial statement
  • Public Liability certificate of currency
  • Bank details


Please contact Jane Kreis, Service Leader Cultural Development and Programs to discuss your application.
Phone: 02 6648 4907
Email: culturaldevelopment@chcc.nsw.gov.au

Eligibility for funding

  • Incorporated Community Groups, art groups and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply.
  • Schools are eligible to apply for projects involving students either directly or through their P&C committees, student bodies or other incorporated entities.
  • Groups and individuals such as artists, musicians, writers, performers etc. that are not incorporated may submit an application through an auspicing organisation that is incorporated. An auspicing body must be willing to support the project and become the applicant on behalf of the unincorporated group or individual.
  • Projects that support partnerships between community based organisations, arts organisations, artists and businesses are encouraged to apply.
  • Artist lead projects are encouraged when they are supported by an incorporated body.
  • Applications must be certified by an executive officer of the incorporated organisation.
  • Projects must be located within the Coffs Harbour Local Government Area.
  • Applications from organisations which have not acquitted previous City grants cannot be considered.
  • Only one (1) application can be considered from each group/organisation (auspicing organisations exempted).

Grant funds cannot be used for:

  • Existing and ongoing activities or projects already in progress, unless the funding is for a new and highly innovative element.
  • Completed projects.
  • Inflated administrative costs.
  • Salary of existing personnel or fees which are disproportionate to skills, experience and professional standing.
  • Excessive expenditure on equipment. Materials and equipment may be considered but must be integral to a broader project.
  • Any project of a substantially commercial nature.
  • Insurance costs or catering.
  • Money for prizes or gifts.
  • Activities which are intended to raise funds for a donation to a third party such as a charity.
  • Activities which are already receiving substantial financial support from the City.

The Arts and Cultural Development Grants Program supports appropriate payments to artists and creatives employed in a professional capacity. Appropriate rates of pay can be found on professional association websites such as NAVA (National Association for Visual Arts), MEAA (Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance).

If your organisation is not incorporated

An incorporated organisation can apply for a grant on behalf of an unincorporated group. In this situation, the incorporated organisation becomes the “auspice” for the grant and it will receive all correspondence and monies and will be responsible for acquitting the grant. Written acknowledgment/agreement from the auspice must be submitted with the application.  Details and copies of the auspicing organisation’s insurances must also accompany the application.

Please note: Auspice fees can vary. Any fees charged by the auspice must be no more than 10% of the requested grant amount. Auspice fees can be applied for as part of the budget.

If you are proposing to use an auspice, please discuss with a Community and Cultural Services team member before submitting your application.


An income and expenditure budget for the project must be provided. In-kind assistance should be shown as income. A copy of a recent, audited financial year statement for the applicant organisation or auspicing body must be attached.

Developing your application

Free workshops to help you develop your application and project ideas will be provided by the City in February 2023 and other resources can be provided upon request.  

To discuss your application contact Jane Kreis, Service Leader Cultural Development and Programs
Phone: 02 6648 4907
Email: culturaldevelopment@chcc.nsw.gov.au

Payment of grants

Successful applicants will be asked to submit a tax invoice. NOTE: The tax invoice must be submitted to the City of Coffs Harbour within 30 days of a successful notification or the offer will lapse.

All grant funds must be held in an approved financial institution such as a bank or building society.

A condition of the grant is that funds must be expended and acquitted within four (4) weeks of the project's completion or by the close of that financial year, whichever is the closest to the project end date. Any major change to the project in terms of its purpose, cost or timing will need to be received in writing for approval. If a change to grant conditions is not approved, funds will need to be reimbursed promptly.

Reporting and acquittal

Successful applicants must provide an Acquittal Report to the City about completed projects, outlining achievements, benefits to the community, and where possible photos and media coverage as well as a signed financial statement. Where applicable, this should include an endorsement from the auspicing body.

The acquittal form will be will be available online for the successful applicant to complete. Acquittals will need to be completed and forwarded to the City within four (4) weeks of the project's completion or by the close of that financial year, whichever is the closest to the project end date. Failure to complete this part of the process may jeopardise future applications.

Acknowledgment of City of Coffs Harbour support

  1. All publicity and advertising material must acknowledge the City by displaying City of Coffs Harbour's logo and/or naming the City as the financial supporter/sponsor. Logo and Acknowledgement Guidelines as well as electronic logo files will be provided to all successful applicants and can be requested by emailing culturaldevelopment@chcc.nsw.gov.au
  2. Invitations to the project's public activities should be extended to the Mayor, Councillors and relevant City staff as appropriate. Information on how to do this will be provided to successful applicants and can be requested by emailing  culturaldevelopment@chcc.nsw.gov.au


Application form explanation notes:

Section 1

1A Organisation and applicant details

Eligible organisations include:

  • Incorporated Body
  • Educational Institution

Note: individual artists/arts workers and unincorporated groups may apply if they have an incorporated auspicing body to support their application.

Organisation contacts

Please provide two people who accept responsibility for the delivery of this project (where applicable).

1B Project Contact Person

This is the key contact person responsible for developing and/or delivering the project. 

Section 2

Project title

Provide a short title (not more than 10 words) to adequately describe what the project is about.

Project description

Provide sufficient information to ensure that the assessment panel can understand what the project will achieve. Be concise, specific and avoid unnecessary language that doesn’t add value to the project.

Include information on where the event or activity is proposed to take place.

Funds requested

Specify the amount of grant funds requested. Note: this is not the entire cost of the project, but excludes any in-kind or donated contributions from any sources outside of the grant funds. That information is to be provided in the budget section of the application.

Section 3

Assessment Process and Selection Criteria

Applications are rated by the Assessment Panel, based on the eligibility, merit of the project including its response to social, economic and environmental factors, and the ability of the applicant organisation to manage the project.

The Assessment Panel is appointed annually to assess the Arts and Cultural Development Grant applications and is comprised of at least:

  • One CHCC staff with expertise in grants or arts/culture related field, and
  • The Councillor representative on CHCC’s Cultural Reference Group
  • One representative of Arts Mid North Coast
  • One representative of Prosper Coffs Harbour

The panel assesses grant applications against selection criteria and available funds. The panel’s recommendations for funding are then collated into a report for Council approval and administration. Panel members adhere to Council assessment conditions of confidentiality, conflict of interest and impartiality.

Project plan

List all of the major milestones to be delivered as part of this project. Include sufficient information to assist the assessment panel understand what the project stages are and how you plan to deliver these. Include information on estimated cost expenditure for each stage or milestone.

Project rationale and objectives

The project rationale is your opportunity to explain briefly the background to the project. Why it has come about and why it is important to your community or the broader Coffs community.

All projects will be evaluated against their individual success factors. This will assist applicants with the completion of acquittal information, as the City will report on your outcomes. The long-term benefits of the grant program are made public through the City’s reporting documents; allowing ratepayers to see that public money is spent on worthwhile projects that achieve appropriate outcomes.

Be certain to create SMART objectives for all projects:

  • Specific – clearly state what the project is expected to achieve.
  • Measurable – ensure project objectives can be gauged in some way, as either quantitative or qualitative measurements.
  • Achievable – objectives should be possible within the timeframe stated.
  • Realistic – objectives should be reasonable; unrealistic objectives are difficult to both assess and achieve.
  • Timeframe – objectives must be possible to achieve as per indicative project plan schedules.

Project objectives – What is the project trying to achieve? For example, ‘provide community access to new artists’ work.

Project activities – What will you be doing to achieve your project objectives? For example, ‘provide an exhibition of upcoming artists’ work at Park Beach on a monthly basis’.

Project measures – How will you know if your project has been successful? For example, “at least 10 artists will have gained exhibition exposure with audiences of over 50 people at each opening”.

Priority Areas for funding

Clearly identify how your project addresses the priority areas for the cultural grant program:

1. Engage our community and visitors in the cultural life of the area.

2. Create and maintain vibrant cultural and public spaces.

3. Understand and celebrate our Aboriginal and diverse cultural heritage.

4. Value and support our creative industries.

5. Encourage connections, collaboration and partnerships.

Your project needs to address at least one. Further information about these priority areas can be found in the Creative Coffs Cultural Plan on the City’s website.

Community benefit

Please provide the assessment panel with information relating to how the project will benefit the community. This may:

  • include information on how you anticipate the project will improve access to, participation in arts and cultural activity.
  • be described in a variety of ways, both long and short term.
  • be the outcome of the way it stimulates ideas and discussion by providing a new and innovative experience or activity.
  • be the number of people involved.
  • engage a particular community demographic.

Section 4

Applicant’s financial position

The City needs to minimise the risks associated with funding a project. The financial position of a group or organisation demonstrates whether the risk is justifiable and that funds will be managed professionally and appropriately.

Audited financial records add more weight to an applicant’s credibility. The City will provide financial support for projects that have the highest likelihood of success

Project costs

It is essential that your proposed project expenditure matches the proposed project income. Applications will not be assessed if these do not balance.

Notes: Include the amount requested from this grant in the income table. The assessment panel will evaluate the amount to be funded for each project based upon what is requested and whether the project can continue with less funding or funding provided from other sources.

In-kind labour costs are limited to not more than $42 per hour. This is to enable a fair estimate of time and level of effort the applicant is giving to the project.

Section 5 – Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

The City will not fund an organisation (or auspice) that does not comply with the relevant licences and insurances required for projects on public or private land. Please provide copies of any relevant insurance your organisation holds.

The applicant or auspicing body must have a current public liability insurance. Please make sure you attach an electronic copy.

Section 6 – Supporting material

This may include examples of your work (online or in document form) or examples of similar projects you have successfully completed. Letters of support are also recommended. Letters of support are important indicators that you have discussed your project idea with others and have gained their support and involvement. They are one of the strongest ways to validate your project and are valued highly by the assessment panel.

Further information

Jane Kreis Service Leader, Cultural Development and Programs, Cultural Services
Email: culturaldevelopment@chcc.nsw.gov.au

Phone: 02 66484907 

Download a copy of these guidelines(PDF, 938KB)