Grants

 

Volunteer Grants Program

Applications Close 21 February 2020


 

Do you belong to a volunteer-based organisation that could use a $1,000 - $5,000 grant?

Grants are available to:

  • purchase eligible small equipment items for use by volunteers;
  • contribute to volunteers’ fuel costs;
  • contribute to transport costs for volunteers with disability unable to drive;
  • assist with training costs for volunteers; or
  • undertake background screening checks.

The first step for your organisation to be considered for a volunteer grant is to register your interest with Emma McBride MP.

You must do this by Friday, 21 February, 2020. Email Emma.McBride.MP@aph.gov.au with "Volunteer Grants" in the subject line.

Please include the following information

  • Name of organisation.
  • Operating address of the organisation.
  • Details of two contacts from the organisation.
    • Name
    • Position within the organisation
    • Phone number
    • Email address
  • What the grant will be used for.
  • Amount requested.

After 21 February, applications will be shortlisted and sent to the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.

The Department of Social Services will then email organisations that have been deemed eligible with details of how to formally apply.

Please read the guidelines before applying to ensure your organisation is eligible.

About the Volunteer Grants Program

The Volunteer Grants Activity is an element of the Families and Communities Program.

The Families and Communities Program aims to strengthen relationships, support families, improve well‑being of children and young people, reduce the cost of family breakdown and strengthen family and community functioning.

Volunteer Grants aim to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers. The grants provide small amounts of money that organisations and community groups can use to help their volunteers. The grants form part of the Government’s work to support volunteers, as well as to encourage and increase participation in volunteering.

The objectives of Volunteer Grants are to:

  • help community organisations to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers
  • help community organisations to support the inclusion of vulnerable people through volunteering
  • encourage, support and increase participation in volunteering.

The intended outcome of the program is to strengthen community functioning by increasing participation in volunteering.

The Department of Social Services and Community Grants Hub administers the program according to the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 (CGRGs).

 

Grants available

For this grant opportunity up to $10 million (GST exclusive) is available in 2019-20. Funding of up to $66,000 (GST exclusive) is available in each of the 151 Federal electorates.

Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 are available to eligible not-for-profit community organisations. This funding is to be used to:

  • purchase eligible small equipment items for use by volunteers
  • contribute to volunteers’ fuel costs
  • contribute to transport costs for volunteers with disability who are unable to drive
  • assist with the costs of training courses for volunteers
  • undertake background screening checks for volunteers.

 The Activity will be undertaken in accordance with the terms and conditions of the grant.

Grant period

You must spend the grant funding within the Volunteer Grant activity period, which commences on execution of the agreement and concludes on 30 June 2021.

 

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

To be eligible to apply you must:

 

  • be invited to apply by your Federal Member of Parliament
  • use a large proportion of volunteers in your organisation. At least 40 per cent of the organisation’s staff must be volunteers
  • be a not for profit organisation
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or be willing to provide a Statement by Supplier Form (reason for not quoting an ABN). Please refer to the Australian Tax Office website for further information.
  • have an account with an Australian financial institution

NOTE: If you are applying as a Trustee on behalf of a Trust, the Trustee must be an eligible entity as listed below. You may be required to provide evidence of your entity type.

You must be one of the following entities:

  • Indigenous Corporation
  • Company
  • Corporate Commonwealth Entity
  • Corporate State or Territory Entity
  • Non-corporate State or Territory Statutory Authority
  • Cooperative
  • Incorporated Association
  • Statutory Entity
  • Partnership
  • Person aged 18 or over representing a volunteer based community group as an authorised signatory (eg president, chairperson, secretary, treasurer)
  • Be willing and legally able to enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth and;
  • Comply with the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework.

An authorised signatory must be provided with every application. In the event that the department is unable to validate legal entity status, the department will consider the application as though the authorised signatory has submitted the application on behalf of a community group that is not a legal entity.

 

Additional eligibility requirements

In order to receive funding you must also use the grant to meet the objectives of the Volunteer Grants Activity. The objectives are to:

  • help community organisations to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers
  • help community organisations to support the inclusion of vulnerable people through volunteering
  • encourage, support and increase participation in volunteering.

 

Community groups that are not legal entities

Community groups that are not legal entities are eligible to apply for funding, however the application must be from an authorised signatory (president, chairperson, secretary or treasurer) within the community group. This means that:

  • the individual, as a legal entity, is applying for the funding on behalf of their community group
  • the individual will enter into a Grant Agreement with DSS
  • the grant will be paid into the bank account of the community group represented by the individual
  • the individual (aged 18 years or over) will be held legally responsible for making sure the grant is spent in accordance with the Grant Agreement.
  • The community group must operate independently with a formal governing structure that meets regularly and supports local community volunteers within its group.

 

In applying for a 2019-20 Volunteer Grant, the individual representing a community group must:

  • be an authorised signatory (president, chairperson, secretary or treasurer) within the community group
  • have obtained the full knowledge and agreement of the community group they are applying on behalf of
  • provide the funding to the community group for expenditure on the requested items to benefit the volunteers of the community group
  • keep evidence/receipts that document appropriate spending of the funding for five years.

 

Who is not eligible to apply for a grant?

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • not nominated by your Member of Parliament
  • a Sole Trader
  • a for-profit organisation
  • a Non-corporate Commonwealth Entity
  • a Non-corporate State or Territory Entity
  • a Commonwealth Company
  • a non-corporate Commonwealth Statutory Authority
  • a Local Government Entity
  • an International Entity

What the grant money can be used for

Eligible expenditure

  • Small equipment items can make a volunteer’s work easier, safer and more enjoyable.
  • They can also help volunteers keep up with changing technology by supporting volunteers to access digital and electronic equipment.
  • Grant recipients are required to be accountable for the expenditure of a grant for the approved purpose.
  • Grant money can only be used for eligible items. Grant applicants should ensure that the grant is used to pay for items that are cost effective and reasonably priced.
  • The grant money can be used as a contribution towards buying eligible small equipment used by volunteers. It can be used for transport for volunteers with disability who cannot drive, or for fuel costs incurred by volunteers. It can also be used to pay for training courses or background screening checks for volunteers.

Eligible small equipment

To be an eligible item, small equipment items must be portable, tangible and bought for the benefit of volunteers. They may be low-cost and include delivery/freight and set‑up costs.

 

Transport costs of volunteers with disability

Volunteers with disability who cannot drive can be reimbursed for the cost of transport or provided with pre-paid travel cards for use while undertaking their volunteering work. This transport includes taxis and public transport (pre-paid travel cards are acceptable).

 

Fuel costs incurred by volunteers

Eligible fuel costs are costs associated with volunteers using their own cars for volunteering work. Volunteers can be reimbursed for the cost of the petrol or provided with pre-paid petrol cards. This includes delivering food and helping people in need. Fuel costs that are eligible include all motor vehicle fuels including petrol, diesel and gas.

 

Training for volunteers

Grants can be used to support the costs of training to help volunteers learn new skills, or gain qualifications for their volunteering work. Training courses may include mental health, first aid, leadership, communication, governance and/or working with vulnerable people. Courses which are recognised and lead to a Statement of Attainment, Certificate or Diploma are preferred.

 

Remember, the first step for your organisation to be considered for a volunteer grant is to register your interest with Emma McBride MP by emailing Emma.McBride.MP@aph.gov.au.