Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund

Frequently Asked Questions

Please let us know if your question isn’t answered in the below FAQ’s by emailing us at

The Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund was established to provide targeted support for the community to deliver help where it is most needed and explore innovative ways to meet that need. The $5 million investment provided the start of a perpetual fund to ensure Hands Across Canberra has the ability to support those most in need in the future.

A voluntary Board of Directors with a wealth of experience in the community, business and government oversee the Hands Across Canberra which manages the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund. Learn more here.

We exist to support, build capacity and empower the 250 local charities and community organisations associated with us to enhance their ability to support Canberra’s most vulnerable people. We are deeply familiar with their need and opportunities because we work with them on a regular basis. We focus on creating sustainable organisations and we build relationships between charities and community organisations, with the community at large as well as with Government.

The CMCF’s objective is to meet the social, economic, cultural, educational, environmental and other charitable needs of the community in the Australian Capital Territory and the surrounding region for the public benefit. In furtherance of the CMCF’s charitable objective, the CMCF in partnership with Hands Across Canberra i) raises the awareness of the charitable needs in our community; ii) promotes and facilitates a culture of giving, whether of time, money or skills; iii) builds partnerships with business and government; and iv) cooperates with other organisations in the furtherance of these charitable objects.

The ACT government is not involved in the selection or distribution of grants. Hands Across Canberra consults with the ACT government in setting priorities.

Details on the membership of the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund can be found here.

The ACT is generally perceived as a relatively well-off community; however there are some concerning hidden realities about those with real need.  Hands Across Canberra, which administers the fund, regularly consults with the community sector to ascertain need in real time and ensure grant rounds respond effectively to that need in our community. To date the CMCF has supported projects with over $800,000 for a whide range of activities supporting vulnerable people including e-learning platforms, mobile outreach services, innovative approaches to transitional housing, food rescue, work skills programmes, retrofits and workshops. For a full list of grants funded by the CMCF to date please click here.

Vulnerable people means socially disadvantaged and/or marginalised persons including at-risk children, youth, young people, women, men and elderly persons; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, migrants, precariously employed people, unemployed people, prisoners, domestic violence victims and perpetrators, homeless people, persons with a disability, persons identifying as LGBTIQ+ amongst others.

Each year Hands Across Canberra runs grant rounds including the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund Grant Round. Please visit the Hands Across Canberra Community Grants page here to see if there is currently or a grant round open or learn more about the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund here. Charitable Organisations and social enterprises can apply for funds for activities that support vulnerable people in the ACT and nearby region.