The State Government has made available $3 million to provide special grants of up to $5,000 to community groups for projects that meet specific community needs.
Community Development Minister Eric Ripper today encouraged groups to apply for the one-off grants, which are part of the Government's Social Advantage strategy.
Mr Ripper said the Social Advantage Grants brought together and expanded all those previously funded by the Offices of the Family, Women's Interests, Seniors' Interests and Multicultural Interests. Objectives of the grants program were broad, to ensure a wide range of projects were eligible for funding.
"The aim of the program is to help community groups by funding innovative projects that support and enhance community life and are responsive to local needs," the Minister said.
"It is flexible and comprehensive. Non-profit, community-based organisations, special interest groups or local government can all apply.
"Applicants have to show that the project will benefit the community, that its purpose matches the objectives of the grants program and that it will be completed within nine months of getting the grant.
"They must also show that they have the capacity to administer the funds and provide financial and other reports relating to the grant.
"I am confident Social Advantage Grants will help increase the sense of community many Western Australians feel is important."
Private businesses, political parties, individuals, service clubs, Government departments and groups and projects outside WA were unlikely to receive funding.
In general, grants would not be made to sporting organisations, though grants of up to $500 could be considered to encourage the participation of young people in sport. Submissions for camps would generally be limited to $1,000.
A committee of representatives from a range of Government departments and agencies would assess grant applications and make recommendations to the Minister.
Mr Ripper said applications could be made at any time throughout the year. It would take about eight weeks to process a grant.
"The Social Advantage grants will give groups who otherwise would find it difficult to secure funding an opportunity to develop a specific project," Mr Ripper said.
"This partnership between the Government and community groups is an effective way to achieve results and cuts through the red tape that might stop projects getting off the ground."