Aurora Grants Program

Pic: Rainbow Story Time at the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival,
Supported by Aurora. Image: Prudence Upton.  

Aurora Grants Program

Aurora exists to raise funds to support the LGBTIQ community in a spirit of generosity, sharing and celebration.

Our Small Grants program is one of the key ways in which we achieve this goal – through funds raised by our generous supporters at our Annual Ball and other events throughout the year.

Since Aurora’s beginnings in 1999, we have proudly supported organisations across NSW to run powerful projects for and by the LGBTIQ community – giving grants worth over $1 million throughout our 20+ year history. We support a wide range of project from youth outreach to legal support, education to counselling and creative projects.

Today Aurora’s annual Small Grants Program sits alongside our funding for our major partner Twenty10 incorporating the Gay & Lesbian Counselling Service NSW (GLCSNSW) – to allow Aurora to fund projects that benefit a broad cross-section of the LGBTIQ community.

Aurora prides itself on the support we provide to a wide range of issues in LGBTIQ communities in NSW, particularly those that struggle to gain the support of government or other community fundraising. We currently have a focus on:

  • Youth (under 35s)
    ● People from culturally & linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD)
    ● People from rural, regional and/or remote communities; and
    ● Older LGBTIQ people, including those living in aged care.

Learn about the powerful projects we are supporting in 2020 here.

Below you will find information on how to apply to Aurora for a grant and the timeline we follow.

Opens Every November

Our small Grants Round opens every November. We develop annual Grants Guidelines to assist applicants in ensuring their grant has the best chance possible.

Applications will be considered between November and December annually. It is advisable that funded projects not be due to begin until after 1st February.

Selection Criteria

Your application will be measured against the following selection criteria:
● Do you qualify: whether your project qualifies for Aurora funding (do you have DGR status, is the project for something that Aurora does not fund);
● Benefit: how your project or activity will benefit the LGBTIQ community;
● Alignment: how your project aligns with Aurora’s vision and focus areas;
● Objectives and strategies: the aims & objectives of your project and the demonstrated effectiveness of the strategies you propose to achieve those aims;
● Feasibility of budget & timeframe: the feasibility of your project budget and timeframe (including detailed breakdown of income and expenditure); and
● Capacity to deliver: your experience and/or demonstrated capacity to deliver the project.

DGR Status

As a charitable foundation that offers tax deductions for donations, we are only able to give grants to organisations that hold Deductible Gift Recipient Status (Item 1) with the Australian Taxation Office.

To find out how to obtain endorsement as a Deductible Gift Recipient, visit the Australian Taxation Office website.

For the benefit of LGBTIQ communities in NSW

Your organisation does not need to be a LGBTIQ community organisation, but the project you are seeking funding for must be focused on providing support to LGBTIQ communities in NSW. For example, Aurora is pleased to have funded both LGBTIQ organisations over many years such as the Gender Centre, as well as organisations undertaking LGBTIQ-specific projects and outreach, such as the Cancer Council.

Are there things Aurora does not fund?

Please note Aurora does not provide funding for the following:

  • In acknowledgement that there are more options to fund projects addressing HIV/AIDS compared with other issues affecting LGBTIQ communities, Aurora does not fund solely HIV/AIDS related projects.

We also do not fund:

  • Entertainment events such as dance parties and picnics
    ● Existing and on-going wages/positions within an organisation
    ● Projects that receive on-going funding from other sources (eg: Government funded projects)
    ● Airfares, accommodation and personal expenses
    ● Advertising
    ● Capital works or office equipment
    ● Projects that don’t align with Aurora’s vision and values


Successful applicants are required to provide an acquittal of the project by end October each year.

If the project is not finished by this date another progress report is still required before that organisation can apply for funds again. An acquittal form will be provided to you if you are successful in receiving a grant.
For more information, email

Have questions?

For more information, please contact