Hands Across Canberra launches the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund grant round

Published on 03 April 2019

ACT charities and community organisations are being encouraged to apply for up to $20,000 in grants following the launch today of the first Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund (CMCF) grant round, managed by Hands Across Canberra.

Approximately $400,000 is available in this round for groups working with vulnerable people and others in need in Canberra and the region.

Diane Kargas AM, Chair of Hands Across Canberra said: “The Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund will be a catalyst for positive impact in the community, now and for future generations, by promoting a culture of giving, building partnerships, cooperating and collaborating, raising awareness of needs and supporting diverse charitable organisations.”

“Today we launch the first ever CMCF grant Round – which helps to demonstrate how we work to raise and distribute time, talent and treasure to support and enable the wonderful work of our charitable sector,” said Ms. Kargas.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said, “Canberra is Australia’s most inclusive city—a place where we strive to ensure everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.”

“There are many local charities and community organisations that are doing great work in our community. Through the Government’s investment, we are kick starting a long-term commitment to supporting Canberra’s most vulnerable people as our city continues to grow,” Mr. Barr said.

Hands Across Canberra is an independent philanthropic community foundation, working with more than 250 local community organisations.

The CMCF was established by the ACT Government in 2018 with $5 million invested as seed funding to kick-start a long-term commitment to local charities and the community sector.

The 2019 priorities for the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund include:

  • improving wellbeing, mental health and employment outcomes for a range of beneficiaries including children and youth
  • supporting people and families impacted by incarceration
  • addressing homelessness
  • activating services in outer suburban areas.

Priorities are based on identified areas of greatest community need through research and consultation with the community sector and ACT government agencies.

Alignment to the priorities is an important consideration for selection, however it will not preclude organisations submitting applications for other important initiatives where need is evidenced.

How to apply for grants

Interested organisations can apply through the Hands Across Canberra online application process at Applications close at midnight (end of day) on 6 May 2019.

Charities considering applying for grants are encouraged to attend a Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund Grant Program workshop.  The free workshop will explain the application process and provide an opportunity to ask questions.

Workshops will be held on:

  • Thursday, 11 April at ACTCOSS in Weston (1:30-3:30pm) or
  • Friday, 12 April at Uniting Care Kippax in Holt (9:30-11:30am)

To RSVP please email

For further information contact Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon on 0417 064 767, email visit