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Smart Giving
About the program

Through our Smart Giving program, we help connect schools across Australia with individuals, businesses and foundations who are passionate about education. 

We invite schools to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to seek additional funds for their school, for projects that explore innovative, creative and progressive approaches in education. 

We draw on advice from independent experts to select a range of projects, then promote them to potential donors who want to know where they can have the greatest impact. 

Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with our opportunities.


Frequently Asked Questions

How would our school benefit from the program?

Funding support: Your school will receive funding for a significant project to improve student outcomes.

Strategic support: Schools receiving Smart Giving funding will be connected to our team of education expert coaches who will provide an element of strategic support for you to help with design, evaluation and implementation of your project. We will tailor this support to match your requirements. 

The round is now closed.

Is our school eligible?
  • Schools submitting and EOI must have a value below 1000 on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA). Schools with no (zero) ICSEA value must contact Schools Plus to determine eligibility, except for special needs schools which are eligible. For current ICSEA values, see your school’s profile on My School.   
  • Only one project per school or school cluster will be considered under this round.   
  • If your school has received funding through Schools Plus’ Smart Giving (including Smart Giving Invitation), Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards or Fair Education programs within the last 12 months please email Schools Plus at to discuss your eligibility.
  • Funding for projects designed to meet your immediate bushfire or COVID-19 crisis recovery plan must start Term 4, 2020.
  • Funding for projects designed to meet your long term strategic school will begin in Term 1, 2021.

The round is now closed.

What level of funding is available?

Schools Plus is seeking submissions for strategic projects ranging in value from:  

  • $20,000 to $30,000 for an individual school project  
  • up to $60,000 for projects by a cluster of schools (4 – 10 schools)  

The round is now closed.

What type of projects will be supported?

In response to the current situation facing schools and the need for a quick response to some crisis-related challenges, we have introduced a two-step approach to selecting projects this year.

This Smart Giving round we are seeking two types of projects:

Project Type 1 – Projects that will start in Term 4, 2020:

  • Schools to apply as soon as possible so we can prioritise their assessment (all applications close September 11)
  • Projects address an immediate need directly related to the impact of bushfires or COVID-19 on the school and community
  • School to begin using funding in Term 4, 2020

Project Type 2 – Projects that will start in Term 1, 2021, to meet your long-term strategic school plan (can be crisis-related or meet pre-existing needs):

  • Applications close September 11
  • We are keen to support innovative projects that trial new designs or strategies that have a sound research base and the potential for significant transformational change.
  • The project can extend an existing school initiative that is having a proven impact or it could replicate projects where existing strategies are being tried in a new location or with a new group.
  • Projects should align closely with the school’s strategic plan

All projects must lead to improved learning outcomes for students in schools facing disadvantage.

In designing your projects, schools should be able to clearly identify why change is needed, how the project will enable the change to be achieved and the difference the change will make to the school community.

Projects must be supported by the school leadership team and have an ongoing and sustainable benefit to the school community.

Your project submission will be able to identify what evidence or research is available to support the purpose and design of the project, how you will measure the change it creates and how you will share that information with us.

The round is now closed.

How do we apply?

The round is now closed. Please subscribe to our newsletter for further opportunities. 

2021 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards

Now more than ever, teachers deserve recognition.

Schools Plus is now inviting applications and nominations for the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards. If you know an inspirational educator who goes above and beyond for their students, recognise them with a nomination for the Teaching Awards. 

Find out more

Which schools are eligible

To be eligible for support through Schools Plus, schools must have a value below 1000 on the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) or be a special school, as defined by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Check ICSEA values at More than 4,600 schools in Australia, across the government, independent and Catholic sectors, are eligible for our support.

Find out more

Free fundraising workshop

Want to learn how to raise more funds for your school?

We are hosting a free workshop on Thursday 19 November 2020 which will cover:

*Easy step-by-step approach to fundraising for a project

*How to pitch your project to potential donors – and where to find them

*Practical tips to make your fundraising drive a success

Find out more