Eligibility and funding guidelines

If you are applying for a Smart Grant, take our quick eligibility check online and you will find out whether you are eligible within a minute.

There is an eligibility check for both Biodiversity Conservation and Educational Equity.

The Trust does not have grant rounds but rather holds a meeting every two months. When a Smart Grant application is received it will be allocated to the next available meeting, usually eight to 12 weeks after submission.

The Ross Trust has three types of grant.  Only Smart Grants are available online. You can apply for $40,000 per year for three years. Challenge and Change, Advocacy and Responsive Grants are by invitation only. Read more.

Only one application can be considered per applicant in each funding round. You should familiarise yourself with the Ross Trust Biodiversity Conservation and Educational Equity theories of change and granting guidelines, to make the best judgment about your own priorities and which project aligns best with our levers for change. 

We advise university applicants to submit an application via their advancement/development office or equivalent. 

Yes, we do accept applications from government-funded schools.

Yes, however your project must be based in Victoria with the work carried out in Victoria. 

Yes, but not for the same project unless significant changes have been made. Please contact the Trust to discuss the application before re-applying.

The Ross Trust undertakes research and analysis to understand the field and relevant issues for our funding priorities. We partner with organisations whose mission and activities align with these priorities. If you believe your organisation’s work aligns with our granting philosophy, you are welcome to let us know about your work and how it fits with our funding priorities. Use the contact us email to let us know and we will respond once we’ve reviewed your information.

Yes, as long as they form an integral part of the project/request.

The grant we pay your organisation will not include GST as it is a gift, not a financial supply.

The Trust recognises that projects can change. Please contact the Ross Trust by email as soon as possible to discuss how to proceed.

Completing an application

No, it isn’t necessary to meet with the Ross Trust before applying for a grant. 

Yes, if you've already started, you can access your saved application through My account.

Include at least two letters or emails of support from referees external to your organisation and any further letters of support from other project partners. Please ensure that support letters provide specific commentary about what you are requesting funding for, your organisation, staff/personnel and what support is being provided by each organisation, if applicable.

Referees must have sound knowledge of your organisation and/or your project, however they cannot benefit financially from your project i.e. be a contractor vying for work on the project.

If your organisation does not have an annual report you can provide minutes from the annual general meeting, annual information statement, Department of Education and Training Annual Report to the School Community, or similar. This information helps the Trust get a picture of the people within the organisation and the activities being undertaken.

The Trust understands that some organisations are not required to have audited accounts.  The Trust will accept the latest financial management statements in lieu of audited accounts. 

Examples of a governing document include a statement of purpose, constitution or charter. They are the formal documents that set out: the charity's charitable purpose or purposes, that the charity operates as a not-for-profit, and the way the governing body (such as its board or committee of management) makes decisions and consults members. 

Generally, the process of evaluation, assessment and approval takes approximately three months from receipt of your application. After the Trustee meeting you will be notified in writing whether or not your application has been successful.

As the Trust is run by a small number of staff, unfortunately it is not possible for us to provide formal feedback about unsuccessful applications

Funding priorities

The Ross Trust’s educational equity funding priority is focussed on supporting the improvement of educational outcomes for vulnerable students so that they can complete secondary school.  Please read the Ross Trust Educational Equity Granting Guidelines for more details.

The Ross Trust’s biodiversity conservation funding priority is focussed on protecting, conserving and restoring the variety of living, native flora and fauna within Victoria’s natural environments across land, rivers, wetlands, coasts and oceans. Please read the Ross Trust Biodiversity Conservation Granting Guidelines for more details.

No, the Ross Trust is working towards a desired change in biodiversity conservation and educational equity. This desired change will guide the Trust’s work and those seeking funding, to target and focus our work towards common outcomes.

The Ross Trust doesn’t fund research but may fund the translation of research outcomes into practical applications in the community and/or the environment.

Grantee obligations

If you familiarise yourself with our terms of engagement, they will give you a good understanding of what you need to do to meet your grant obligations.

Funds will be transferred within approximately two weeks after you are notified your grant application has been successful.

The terms of engagement for our grants specify the reporting requirements. Generally, there will be a requirement for progress and final reports. 

Acquittal reports are submitted online. TBC

Generally, the Trust requires a current grant to be satisfactorily completed and acquitted before awarding a subsequent grant. 

Please see our Grantee guide to acknowledging the Ross Trust, which provides details of how request a logo and acknowledge the Trust. 

If you can’t find the answer here or in the other sections of the website, please contact us by email or call (03) 9690 6255.