How do I get involved? Can I submit more than one application for different projects?
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.
Why not book the free Friendly Neighbourhood BBQ Trailer and make an afternoon of it? Find out more about the Friendly Neighbourhood Grant and Trailer.
Once you have an idea, come along to our community workshop for more information, inspiration, to share ideas or for some technical assistance.
We’ve got a great idea but we think it’s too big for Project Robin Hood. What should we do?
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: if a community group (local residents in a street), submit 4 applications, one for a water fountain, one for a community garden, one for a park bench and one for a portable library in the park and the portable library in the park gets the most votes so this will be the project that is funded by Project Robin Hood for this round.
I love the idea but I can’t think of what to apply for. Can you help?
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!
Will all submitted applications appear on the website for public voting?
We sure can. Just visit the Project Robin Hood page on the Melville Talks site and see what other people are thinking and drop a pin on the spot where you think a Robin Hood project should happen. Just visit Melville Talks.
We can also put you in touch with previous grant recipients and you can have a chat to one of them.
How do we submit an application?
All submissions are considered at a roundtable meeting before the public voting stage and 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: Is it 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 vote?
You will need to submit an Application Form which will be available when submissions open. Don’t worry nothing fancy and it’s 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. We’ll have lots of tips and tools about how to write your pitch on the submissions page and City of Melville staff are more than happy to help.
What happens if our project is successful?
Voting is open to residents, school communities, not for profit agencies, community groups and business owners in the City of Melville.
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 unsuccessful?
- You will be contacted by the City of Melville in writing advising of your success. This letter will also include a simple ‘contract’.
- 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).
We’ve run into a problem. Can someone at the City help us fix it?
The voting results will be published on Melvile Talks. If your group is still keen to pursue the project, contact us and we can provide information about other funding sources.
What happens if our Project Robin Hood garden dies or our community gazebo is vandalised?
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. 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.
We’re halfway through and we’ve run out of money/supplies. Can the City give us more? It’s for a good cause.
What would happen if the garden or gazebo were in your backyard? You’d make a decision about whether to replant the garden or repair the gazebo. You’d find your own funds and you’d press on. If you decided not to go ahead you’d simply pull out the dead plants or pull down the gazebo so it was safe. You wouldn’t call the City!
But maybe the setback is just the challenge you need? One of the most inspiring moments of 2013 was watching a group bounce back from the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of crucial supplies. These folks asked themselves questions like: “How can we turn this around? How can we use this incident?” and almost all of the stolen goods were replaced in no time. They can be just as proud of their resilience as they are of their finished project.
What happens if we don’t spend all the funds at the end of the project?
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 finish our project within 24 months?
Easy, just give back what’s left and we will put it in the pool for the next round of Project Robin Hood.
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.