About the Giving Circle Small Grant Program

The WELA Giving Circle Small Grants Program has closed for 2023

Thank you to all the amazing projects and campaigns that applied. Our Shortlisting Committee is busy evaluating all the applications and we will be announcing the shortlist on the 18th September. Giving Circle members will then vote and recipients will be announced on the 26th September. Following this we will announce our next grant round which we anticipate to be early 2024.

What we fund

Our grants support women and/or gender diverse-led environment and climate action. 

What do we mean by women and gender-diverse led?

Leadership happens in many ways but for WELA this means your project or organisation will have women and/or gender-diverse people leading within some of these areas: your organisational structure, strategy development, storytelling, and organising. 

For example, we welcome applications from projects that are led by women and gender-diverse people in their development and decision-making. This might look like women and gender-diverse people as CEOs, co-CEOs, and Campaign Managers, on boards and at the centre of their strategy development and project implementation. We also want to see this representation in your communications, online profiles, and actions.   

What do we mean by environment and climate action? 

We’ll be on the lookout for impactful, cutting edge and inspiring advocacy, campaigns and projects in the issue areas of environment and climate. In our initial round, this granting process will focus on project funding not unrestricted/core funding.

We will support the full spectrum of changemaking tools, for example (but not limited to) events, grassroots organising, creating networks, training and building skills, lobbying, media and communication campaigns. Or surprise us with something we’ve never seen before!


We will accept applications from organisations that are: 

– an Australian registered charity with the ACNC https://www.acnc.gov.au 
– an incorporated organisation or individual with an ABN https://www.abn.business.gov.au/ 
– with or without Deductible Gift Recipient status. 
– have an annual income of less than $3 million. For exceptional projects, we are flexible on this. 
– projects and organisations based in Australia 

Our Framework

Conversations with our WELA community have shown that funding is particularly impactful in the following five areas. These areas will be prioritised in our funding considerations but not all five are required in your application.

    Our grants will build a new kind of leadership that is inclusive, collaborative, and relational. We fund organisations and projects that have women and/or gender-diverse leadership within their projects. 

  2. CREATING IMPACT (this is required)
    We understand that there are many ways to create change that include differing theories of change, timeframes, and approaches. At the core, we want to collaborate with organisations and projects that create powerful outcomes, impactful movements, address systems change, and have a clear focus on environmental and climate outcomes.
    We value and honour the leadership of First Nations women for Country, community, and culture over millennia. We welcome applications from projects and organisations that centre First Nations People and their knowledge systems, First Nations science, systems of governance for Caring for Country, and the experience of First Nations women in efforts to protect nature and secure our future. 

    WELA acknowledges the lack of intersectional and racial diversity in the mainstream environment and climate movement as a structural and systemic problem. Through our grants, we will aim to diversify the voices in our movements and put justice, equity, diversity, and inclusivity (JEDI) at the heart of our strategy, storytelling, and solutions. We welcome applications that include the voices of underrepresented communities. 
    Collaboration is one of the foundations of feminist leadership. We will support projects and organisations that prioritise building relationships and networks that enable learning and knowledge sharing across generations, sectors, communities, and geographic constraints.


  • Retrospective activities
  • Non-charitable activities
  • Projects or activities that are politically partisan in nature
  • Commercial activities
  • On-ground environmental actions such as tree-planting, or installation of solar on buildings, for example
  • Grant funds cannot be used for electoral expenditure or the creation or communication of electoral matters (as defined in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918), or to incur electoral or political expenditure or communicate political or electoral matters under any similar applicable state or territory legislation.
  • Green building projects including energy efficiency upgrades
  • Political campaigns that support specific parties or candidates
  • Straight research, unless it is in direct support of a developed plan for specific action to alleviate an environmental problem
  • Land acquisition

Frequently Asked Questions

Please get in touch with Kate Walsh if you are unsure if your project meets the granting guidelines at info@wela.org.au.