Funding is for new projects that enable marginalised young people to lead and participate in community development activities.
- Status: Closed
- Grant amount: From $10,000 to $50,000
- Application opened: 26 June 2023
- Application closed: 7 August 2023, 5:00 pm
The Youth Opportunities program provides one-off, time-limited grants for new projects that enable marginalised young people to lead and participate in their communities.
The purpose of Program is to increase marginalised young people’s participation in activities that strengthen their connection and belonging to their communities.
The Program supports organisations to empower marginalised young people to design and deliver community projects, enabling them to:
- overcome barriers to participating in the community
- build community based partnerships and networks
- feel a greater sense of belonging within their community
- feel empowered, as their ideas and opinions are respected, considered and acted upon
- gain relevant training to support their participation
- feel more confident within themselves and their abilities, having expanded their knowledge and skills
- seek further opportunities to participate and stay engaged in their community.
The Youth Opportunities program requires applicant organisations to have spoken with young people and involved them in developing the project proposal prior to submitting a grant application.
Organisations must also involve young people at every stage of the project – from identifying the need and developing the project proposal through to design, project delivery and final review.
This program is administered by Department of Communities and Justice.
Who can apply
- incorporated not-for-profit community organisations operating in NSW
- NSW Local Councils
Who can't apply
- Commonwealth or State Government agencies
- schools (including Parents and Citizens Associations), a university or TAFE college
- individuals or sole traders
- commercial for-profit organisations
- sub-contractors engaged to manage or deliver the project on behalf of non-eligible organisations
Type of projects funded under this grant
Projects should focus on giving young people the opportunity to develop a range of skills, including
- life skills and healthy behaviours
- leadership, communication and teamwork
- event management and planning
- volunteering opportunities that link young people to further education and training.
What you can't apply for
- school projects that are part of the curriculum or other areas of school responsibility
- interstate or overseas travel, scholarships and/or conference attendance
- case management or counselling for young people
- religious festivals, rituals, events or promotions, except multi-faith events that involve young people from more than one religion
- major capital works (e.g. establishing or refurbishing a youth centre)
- large equipment purchases (e.g. vehicles)
- costs that are not directly associated with the implementation or delivery of the project
- operating expenses such as rent, insurance, electricity, water, rates
- funding towards the running of other programs within the organisation
- existing projects or programs.
- workshops and events
- creative arts programs e.g. visual arts, theatre, songwriting
- life skills, training and professional development programs
- community networking
- work readiness programs
- health and wellbeing events
- financial literacy workshops
- digital literacy training.
Since launching in 2012, there have been 364 projects funded through Youth Opportunities. See all recipients before 2022.
Most recent recipients
What your application needs to include
Prepare your application with this checklist
Before you start your application, read Program Guidelines in full to make sure you understand all the relevant requirements for the Youth Opportunities grants program.
- Check Eligibility Criteria (must be an incorporated not-for-profit community organisation operating in NSW or a NSW Local Council) on page 12 of the Program Guidelines.
- Make sure you have spoken with young people and involved them in developing the project proposal prior to submitting a grant application. Remember a key element of the Youth Opportunities program is that marginalised young people take an active role in identifying, designing and implementing these projects.
- Read over the Project Objectives and Core Components on pages 6-7 of the Program Guidelines to make sure your project adheres to these guidelines.
- Read over the Project Budget and Exclusions lists on page 13 of the Program Guidelines to make sure your project fits within these guidelines.
- Read over the Assessment Criteria on page 18 of the Guidelines to understand what the assessors are looking for.
Address the eligibility criteria
Under this Program, eligible organisations are:
- incorporated not-for-profit community organisations operating in NSW or
- NSW Local Councils.
For the purposes of this grant program, organisations deemed to be ‘incorporated not-for-profit community organisations’ operating in NSW include:
- incorporated organisations that are registered and approved as not-for-profit bodies by NSW Fair Trading
- not-for-profit companies limited by guarantee, registered in NSW (it is preferred but not essential that the applicant organisation in this case holds a valid ACNC registration and/or DGR status)
- not-for-profit companies limited by shares, registered in NSW (must be non-dividend distributing)
- associations (registered under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 with NSW Fair Trading)
- cooperatives (registered under a relevant Act of Parliament)
- religious organisations (registered as one of the above or established under an Act of Parliament).
Address the program objectives
Projects are required to meet the following objectives and core components:
|Core Project Components
Partner with marginalised young people to deliver a youth-led and youth-driven community project
Supportive adult relationships
Improve marginalised young people’s access to and inclusion in community activities such as sport and recreation, cultural and other activities
|Access to resources and financial support
|Provide marginalised young people with knowledge and skills to strengthen their ability to participate in their local community and support future social and economic participation
Acquiring and expanding knowledge and skills
These could include:
|Recognise the contributions marginalised young people make to their local community
Respect, value and recognition
Funded organisations will be required to report on the progress made against each of these objectives and their associated outcomes.
Marginalised young people 12 – 24 years of age who are transitioning from childhood to adulthood and from dependence to independence.
Young people who face marginalisation may include but are not limited to young people transitioning from Out of Home Care, young people experiencing homelessness, young people from low socio-economic backgrounds, young people with a disability, young carers, or young people in contact with the justice system.
The program seeks to fund a diverse range of projects from across NSW, particularly in rural and regional areas, and encourages applications from Aboriginal and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse organisations.
The following themes highlight key issues identified by young people:
- Community inclusion and participation
- COVID-19 recovery
- Cultural identity and connection
- Cyber safety and awareness
- Domestic and family violence
- Healthy relationships
- Financial literacy (budgeting, rent, phone, contracts, fines)
- Health and wellbeing
- Natural disasters (preparedness, resilience and recovery).
Youth Opportunities projects may seek to address one or more of these issues, or they may address other issues raised by marginalised young people, which are important to them and their local communities.
Applicant organisations are to engage young people and involve them in developing the project proposal prior to submitting a grant application, to ensure the project is responsive to their needs.
Applicant organisations will be asked to demonstrate how the project intends on supporting marginalised young people to build their skills and experience to support their participation in the project and more broadly in the community. This could include hands-on learning to build skills or the completion of short courses related to the project’s implementation.
Address the assessment criteria
Each application will be considered on its merits, based on how well it meets the assessment criteria and how it is ranked against other applications. Assessments are conducted by independent assessment panels.
Each application is assessed against the following criteria:
- The project demonstrates that marginalised young people have had and will have meaningful input at every stage of the project (identifying the need, planning and design, delivery, final review and recognition) - the project is youth-led and youth-driven.
- The project improves marginalised young people's access to and inclusion in community activities such as sport and recreation, cultural and other activities.
- The project provides marginalised young people with knowledge and skills to strengthen their ability to participate in their local community and support future social and economic participation.
- The project recognises the contributions marginalised young people make to their local community.
- The project clearly demonstrates substantial benefits to young people compared with the total cost of the project - the project represents good value for money.
Start the application
After the application is submitted
Successful applications will be decided by: Executive Director, Child and Family, Department of Communities and Justice.
Once the application has been submitted you will receive an automated response from SmartyGrants – a confirmation of submission email. If you have not received this email, log in to SmartyGrants and click ‘My Submissions’ to view submitted and unsubmitted applications. Submitted applications are identified by a green tick.
If you have any questions regarding your application please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance before the closing date.
Please allow up to 16 weeks for advice regarding the outcome of your application. All applicants are notified in writing.
Successful applicants will enter into a Grant Agreement with the Department of Communities and Justice and will be required to report on the progress and completion of the project at various intervals. Specific reporting requirements will be advised, if successful.
Once the project is completed, any unspent grant funds, or grant funds not expended in accordance with the Grant Agreement must be returned to the Department of Communities and Justice.
- Successful applicants announced November/December 2023
- Contract negotiations December 2023 – March 2024
- Projects to commence April 2024