Department of Family and Community Services
Investing in Women Funding Program

Investing in Women Funding Program Guidelines

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Women NSW aims to improve the lives of women in NSW by achieving justice and equality for women through policy, innovation and collaboration. Women NSW works in partnership with the community and other government agencies to ensure equity of opportunity and outcomes for women.

Investing in Women aims to enhance women’s economic opportunities and leadership in NSW.

Through the Investing in Women Funding Program, Women NSW is providing funding for NSW organisations to develop and implement projects that support the economic empowerment and leadership of women in NSW across the three strategic directions of:

  • work and financial security
  • education and learning and
  • leadership.

These guidelines contain information about the funding offered by Women NSW through the program. The program will open for submissions once per financial year.

Program Objectives

Fund projects that support one of the following:

  • women’s financial security and independence
  • equitable workplaces for women and men
  • women in small business
  • women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers
  • women in male-dominated trades
  • women in leadership roles
  • leadership pathways for young women

Program Funding

Who can apply?

  • Organisations representing women’s stakeholder groups
  • Not-for-profit organisations, including community organisations
  • Local councils and shires, including regional organisations of councils and consortia of councils
  • Industry bodies and the private sector working in partnership with the community or government on initiatives directly supporting women and girls
  • NSW public sector agencies.

Closing date

Wednesday 24 May 2017

Complete and submit the Investing in Women Application Form available through the Women & Work page of the Women NSW website:


Up to $25,000 per project


1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Special eligibility

Programs and projects that support high quality activity, engagement and participation with the following priorities are of particular importance:

  • women living and/or working in regional NSW;
  • Aboriginal women;
  • women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds;
  • young women;
  • women with disabilities; and/or
  • older women.


Applications will be assessed by a peer panel against the General Assessment Criteria.

General Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to make an application, an organisation must be a legally constituted Australian based entity.

For-profit organisations may be eligible to apply for funding, provided the activities being applied for are delivered on a not-for-profit basis. If funded, for-profit organisations may be required to provide a separate audit for the project.

Please contact Women NSW for advice if you have questions about whether you are eligible to apply.

Location of applicants/activities

Organisations based outside NSW may be eligible to apply to the Investing in Women Funding Program, however, support for organisations based outside NSW is rare and the application must clearly demonstrate that the activity being applied for will:

  • be delivered in NSW and
  • predominantly engage NSW based girls/women and
  • provide significant direct benefits to NSW girls/women, and to NSW communities.

It is strongly recommended that applicants based outside NSW discuss their application with Women NSW staff before applying.

Ineligible applications

The following applications will not be accepted:

  • applications requesting 100% funding from Women NSW – all applications must include income from other sources (cash or in-kind)
  • applications that do not involve women and/or girls
  • applications received after the closing date or
  • applications for activities already completed, or due to be completed before the funding period commences.

Restrictions on the use of funds

Funds are not available for:

  • conferences
  • business capital or start-up funding
  • wages and salaries
  • fundraising events designed specifically for the purpose of fundraising for charities or for the organisation
  • activities which require participants to pay more than a nominal amount to attend
  • general equipment such as computers, photocopiers, or other items not specific to the project
  • capital works (the purchase of, or costs of repair, extension or renovation to, buildings or any form of capital works)
  • non-essential costs (costs which are not essential or not related to the proposed core activity)
  • retrospective costs (funds will not be provided for events which have already taken place);
  • overseas travel cost or
  • events/projects which are run for solely commercial purposes or benefit.

Application Limits

Applicants may submit one application per round.

How to apply

To apply for funding you need to complete and submit the relevant online application form available through the Women NSW website

If you are unable to apply using the form due to access reasons, please contact Women NSW.

Please allow plenty of time to review your application before submission. Once you have submitted your application you will not be able to make changes.

Investing in Women Funding Program application rounds close at midnight (AEST/AEDT) on the specified closing date.

Assessment criteria

Successful applications are those that best respond to the assessment criteria. It is important that you read the general assessment criteria before preparing your application. Each application is assessed as a whole and rated against the criteria, which are given equal weighting.

General assessment criteria

Projects should find practical solutions which benefit girls and/or women. To be eligible for funding project proposals should address:

  • how the project will effectively deliver one or more of the program objectives
  • how the project identifies and meets a need
  • how girls and/or women will significantly benefit from the project, including identifiable outcomes which can be measured and evaluated
  • partners engaged in the project including their contributions to the project (either financial or in-kind)
  • clear project milestones and deliverables
  • the organisational capacity and experience to deliver the project, including project partners and ongoing sustainability and
  • cost effectiveness.

Projects must be completed within 12 months of the date of accepting the funding.

Assessment Process

You will receive an automated response when Women NSW receives your application. Your application is then checked by staff for eligibility. Applicants will be advised in writing should their application be deemed ineligible.

Applications are assessed against the assessment criteria based on the information provided in your application. An application that fails to meet one or more of the assessment criteria will not be eligible for funding.

Due to the competitive nature of the Investing in Women Funding Program, not all applications that meet the assessment criteria are able to be funded.

Who assesses applications?

The assessment panel is independently chaired and comprised of qualified and experienced representatives. The panel may include Women NSW staff, representatives of Government agencies, representatives from the private sector and representatives from community organisations.

Representatives are people who are professionally involved with the women’s sector and have the relevant knowledge and/or experience to make a fair and informed assessment of a funding application.

Assessment panel members are required to comply with the Conduct Guidelines for Members of NSW Government Boards and Committee.

How are applications assessed?

All Investing in Women Funding Program applications are assessed through a two stage process as outlined below.

In both stages, consideration is given to the program priorities, geographic distribution, the mix of projects and the level of available funding.

Stage One

Women NSW conducts an initial review of all applications to confirm eligibility and to prepare advice for the assessment panel.

The panel assesses and ranks all applications against the published assessment criteria.

If required, the assessment panel may request further information from applicants during the assessment process. Applicants will be contacted by Women NSW staff if this is necessary. The assessment panel may also seek specialist advice on applications.

Stage Two

The panel Chair/s and senior Women NSW staff consider and moderate recommendations with regard to the available budget, program priorities, demography and the distribution, range and scale of recommended applicants. This consideration is made to assist in determining the best outcomes of the NSW Government’s investment.

Final recommendations are submitted for the consideration of the Minister for Women (or authorised delegate).

What if I need to withdraw an application?

You are able to withdraw your application at any time. To withdraw an application, please contact Women NSW with the details of your application.

Notification of funding recommendations

Applicants are notified in writing of the outcome of their applications. Unsuccessful applicants can contact Women NSW for feedback.


Successful applicants are required to acknowledge the contribution and support of Women NSW on the following:

  • all media, literature and promotional activities associated with the project
  • in speeches during the course of any event and
  • all media releases and coverage concerning the event/project.

The acknowledgement should state “The NSW Government through Women NSW supports the <insert name> project”. Please note that since Women NSW is not involved in all aspects of your activity, it supports rather than endorses your event.

Successful applicants will receive the Women NSW logo for use in marketing materials. They will also receive the image release form.

Privacy And Disclosure Information

Women NSW will collect and store the information you provide to enable processing of this program. The information will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected. Applicants must ensure that people whose personal details are supplied with applications are aware that Women NSW is being supplied with this information and how it will be used.

Funded projects will be required to agree to information about the project being used for evaluation, promotional and media purposes. Should your application be successful, Women NSW may need to provide certain information to the media and Members of Parliament for promotional activities.


Funding recipients are required to submit an acquittal at the conclusion of the funded activity.
An acquittal is the process of evaluating and reporting on the outcomes and expenditure of funds provided by Women NSW. For an organisation, acquittals are also a useful way to assess a program’s operations, efficacy, and strengths and weaknesses.

Acquitting your funding

Your original application forms part of your contract. You are required to acquit against your original application and any approved variations. The due date for the acquittal is documented in your contract. Acquittal forms will be emailed to successful recipients.

Contact Women NSW

Women NSW staff administer Investing in Women and can be contacted with any funding enquires from 9am to 5pm (AEST/AEDT) Monday to Friday.

Phone: (02) 9248 0800