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About Project Robin Hood

What is Project Robin Hood?

Project Robin Hood is a participatory budgeting program that offers a total of $100,000 in smaller grants of $20,000 for community ideas, projects or events that bring people together and build better neighbourhoods. 

If you have ever had a great idea to make your community more vibrant, safe and connected Project Robin Hood can help make it happen by providing funding, support and connecting you with like-minded individuals.

How does it work?

Spread the word and get together a team of people who can help you bring your project to life. You can do that by speaking to friends, family and people in the community.

Once you’ve developed your idea, you will need to pitch it to the people by submitting an online application. It involves providing a brief description or sales pitch of the project and a simple budget. The community will then vote online to decide which projects they would like to see happen.

If you are successful, that's when the fun begins!  You'll get to work together to make your idea into reality with the City supporting you every step of the way. Your project team will have two years to finish the project.

Project Robin Hood rounds happen every two years.


How do I get involved?

Get together with your neighbours, community group or other businesses in your area and brainstorm ideas for local projects, such as a community verge garden, seating and event or activity or even a wall mural.

Once you have an idea, come along to our community workshop for more information, inspiration, to share ideas or for some technical assistance.

Can I submit more than one application for different projects?

Yes! You can submit as many applications as you, your business or your community group like, BUT only the most popular project (most votes) per group, individual or business will be funded. 

For example: A community group (local residents in a street), submits four separate applications:

  1. A water fountain
  2. A community garden
  3. A park bench
  4. A portable library in the park

If the portable library in the park gets the most votes it will be the project that is funded by Project Robin Hood for this round.

We’ve got a great idea but we think it’s too big for Project Robin Hood. What should we do?

Easy, just start small! Break the project into steps and set your targets for half or a quarter of whatever your ideal might be. Then apply for funds accordingly.

You’ll be amazed at what can happen once you get started. People show up out of nowhere to help.  Someone will have exactly what you need lying unused in their garage and they’ll be delighted to give it to you.

One Project Robin Hood group generated so much momentum in the planning of their idea that they didn’t even need community funding at all!

I love the idea but I can’t think of what to apply for. Can you help?

We sure can. Just visit Project Robin Hood to see what kind of projects have been funded in the past.  We can also put you in touch with previous grant recipients and you can have a chat to one of them.  You can also contact us anytime to discuss any ideas you might have.

Will all submitted applications appear on the website for public voting?

All submissions are considered at a roundtable meeting before the public voting stage The roundtable is made up of relevant City of Melville staff.  If your project is in keeping with the ethos of Project Robin Hood and ticks these boxes: safe, legal and in the spirit of the project, then YES your project will be put up for public voting.  If we need to contact you for more information or clarity, we will do this prior to the project going up for the community vote.

How do we submit an application?

You will need to complete a Submissions Template which will be available when submissions open in February 2021. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated and is very easy.  Basically we just ask for brief description of the project and a simple budget.  The description is your sales pitch and is what the people will see when they vote so it’s important to get it right.    

How do we vote?

Voting is open to residents, school communities, not for profit agencies, community groups and business owners in the City of Melville from May 10, 2021 until May 30, 2021.

Follow Project Robin Hood V and you’ll be notified when voting opens on Monday May 10, 2021. We will require your email address, but we promise we won’t spam you and you can unsubscribe when the project is over if you like.

It will be one vote per email address.  We encourage young people to vote too! So get the whole family involved. 

Due to the ‘Budget Allocator’ being an online tool, we do not have any ‘paper voting slips’ but one of our friendly Libraries would be more than happy to help you access the site so you can still vote.

What happens if our project is successful?
  1. You will be contacted by the City of Melville in writing advising of your success. This letter will also include a simple contract.   
  2. You have 12 months to start the project. You will also be assigned an ‘Ombeardsman’ (a City of Melville staff member, who is your contact for your project if you require any technical advice or have a question).
What happens if our project is unsuccessful?

The voting results will be published on Project Robin Hood V.  If your group is still keen to pursue the project, contact us and we can provide information about other funding sources.

We’ve run into a problem. Can someone at the City help us fix it?

We can sometimes offer limited technical advice but it’s far better if you think of ways to use (or expand) your own networks to solve the problem.

Let’s say you’re having trouble with your community garden. Maybe there’s someone else nearby who’s worked in a community project like yours before? Could you approach the local Men’s Shed or a nearby carpenter for offcuts to use as stakes? Is there an internet forum you could join?  Maybe you could ask someone at the local nursery about how to get rid of cabbage moths?  Questions like that will win the day for your garden and they’ll build the long lasting, deep rooted connections that make a community strong.

We also strongly suggest you factor in a 5 year maintenance budget in your application if your project is not going to be built on City of Melville land. Say your picnic bench needs re-varnishing every 6 months, or your nature play needs re-mulching and re-planting, allow for this over a 5 year period.

What happens if our Project Robin Hood garden dies or our community gazebo is vandalised?

If you’ve built your Robin Hood project, it’s important to make sure it’s maintained so the community can enjoy if for many years to come. It’s a community project, so it’s up to the community to take care of it. When you do your project planning and especially your project budget, it’s a good idea to factor some ongoing maintenance costs in there so you can do things like replace dead plants, oil timber, or give things a fresh coat of paint if they’re looking tired. 

We also have a Project Robin Hood maintenance grant to help you out. You can find out more about that here.

We’re halfway through and we’ve run out of money/supplies. Can the City give us more? It’s for a good cause.

The real goal of Project Robin Hood is stronger communities.  In the same way that lifting weights for your friend in the gym would not make your friend stronger, the City undermines community spirit if it puts money into every idea that needs help. 

It’s good to think about it this way - “What can we do to make the idea work? Are there some local businesses that can help? What about we hold our own small fundraising event? Are there ways we can obtain our supplies cheaper?” You’ll be amazed at how effective these simple questions are.

What happens if we don’t spend all the funds at the end of the project?

Easy, just give back what’s left and we will put it in the pool for the next round of Project Robin Hood so more people in the community can benefit.

What happens if we don’t finish our project within 24 months?

Groups have 2 years (24 months) to finish their projects. We know you are all volunteers and have busy lives so if you’re finding it challenging to make sure your project is finished in time just call your Ombeardsmen (technical advisor who will be allocated to your project) to talk about your options. We can always work it out.

Register your interest in future Project Robin Hood rounds

Applications for Project Robin Hood Round VI will open in February 2023. Register your interest below to stay updated.

Register your interest

Maintenance Funding for Robin Hood Projects

Apply for up to $1500 of maintenance funding for an existing project. Project creators and users can apply.

Apply for maintenance funding

Connect with us and others

If you see an idea here that you really like and want more information or you’d like to try and start a group and you want to connect with others, Robin can help you.

Swipe to see more

NameRobin from the Hood


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