Up to $5,000 is available to support volunteers and encourage volunteering.
The Strengthening Communities Volunteer Grants are to support the ongoing delivery of services or one-off projects and activities to encourage, support and increase participation in volunteering.
Volunteer Grants recognises the valuable work of Australia’s volunteers. This initiative forms part of the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to organisations whose volunteers assist disadvantaged communities and encourage inclusion of vulnerable people in community life. Funding is for eligible not-for-profit community organisations to assist their volunteers and encourage volunteering.
The purpose of the Volunteer Grants is to:
- provide support and recognition for volunteers
- maximise and promote volunteering participation, including opportunities to increase the diversity of volunteers and the ways in which people volunteer
- maximise opportunities for volunteering to provide pathways to other forms of social and economic participation
- support the development of a volunteering sector that is responsive to emerging trends and issues
- encourage/maximise leadership, mentoring and volunteering activity
- provide on-the-ground support and information for volunteers and volunteer-using organisations in locations where there is identified need
- provide access to the resources and support volunteers and volunteer using organisations need to operate effectively and efficiently, and
- build effective volunteering practices and opportunities within organisations and communities.
Volunteer Grants provides funding between $1,000 and $5,000 to help not-for-profit organisations to:
- Purchase portable, tangible, small equipment items to help their volunteers
- Contribute to the reimbursement of fuel costs for their volunteers who use their own car to transport others to activities, deliver food, assist with medical appointments or help people in need
- Contribute to the reimbursement of transport costs incurred by volunteers with disability who are unable to drive
- Contribute to the costs of training courses and/or undertake background screening checks for their volunteers.
Organisations can apply for small equipment items, contributions towards the reimbursement of fuel costs of their volunteers, transport costs incurred by volunteers with disability who are unable to drive, and the cost of training courses and background screening checks for volunteers.
Eligible small equipment items may include:
- A set or package of small, individually low-cost closely related items, such as a range of gardening equipment
- Equipment item examples: Computers, air conditioners, barbeques, stoves (portable), small demountable garden sheds, and water tanks
- Delivery/freight for eligible items
- Installation costs for eligible items
- Set-up items essential to the initial use of the main equipment item (e.g. if purchasing a barbeque, one gas bottle can be included)
- Partial funding of an eligible small equipment item that may cost up to $10,000.
A contribution towards the reimbursement of fuel/petrol costs is available for an organisation’s volunteers who use their own cars to transport others to activities, deliver food and assist people in need.
Eligible fuel costs include:
- All motor vehicle fuels, including petrol, diesel and gas
- All fuel costs must be for the benefit of the volunteers who use their own cars when carrying out their volunteering work.
A contribution towards the reimbursement of transport costs is available for an organisation’s volunteers with disability who are unable to drive.
Eligible transport costs include:
- All transport costs, including taxis, and public transport (pre-paid travel cards are acceptable)
- Transport costs must be incurred by volunteers with disability who are unable to drive.
A contribution towards the cost of training courses is available to assist volunteers to obtain skills and qualifications needed in their volunteering roles. Training courses may include, but are not limited to, mental health, first aid, leadership, communication, governance and/or working with vulnerable people. Recognised courses leading to a Statement of Attainment, Certificate or Diploma are preferred.
Eligible training costs include, but are not limited to:
- Accredited training courses
- Nationally recognised courses, usually leading to a Statement of Attainment, Certificate or Diploma
- Structured courses delivered by a Registered Training organisation or a qualified trainer involving individuals or groups of volunteers
- Units of competency within a qualification or training package.
Funding is available for background screening checks of volunteers. These checks are often mandatory and/or desirable when engaging volunteers, particularly when the volunteers are working with children and/or vulnerable people.
Eligible background screening costs include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal record checks
- Police checks and Police Certificates
- Working-with-children checks
- Working-with-vulnerable-people checks.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (the Department) can only enter into a funding agreement with an organisation that is a legal entity. If an organisation is not a legal entity, an eligible sponsor organisation may apply for funding on its behalf.
Eligible organisations must be Australian not-for-profit organisations whose volunteers’ work supports families and/or communities in Australia and are legal entities, such as, but not limited to:
- Incorporated Associations – incorporated under State/Territory legislation (commonly have ‘Association’, ‘Incorporated’ or ‘Inc’ in their legal name)
- Incorporated Cooperatives – incorporated under State/Territory legislation (commonly have ‘Cooperative’ in their legal name)
- Indigenous Corporations
- Companies – not-for-profit proprietary companies or public companies, incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001
- Organisations established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or State/Territory legislation (for example, many public benevolent institutions and churches).
Generally, eligible organisations will be Australian not-for-profit organisations whose volunteers’ work supports families and/or communities in Australia and are legal entities, such as Incorporated Associations. Volunteer Grants 2013 is available to community organisations that support the Government’s social inclusion priorities. Preference will be given to organisations that assist disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals, families and communities.
Applications close 20 December 2016.
- Volunteer Grants 2016 Funding Round Summary
- Volunteer Grants 2016 Q&A
- Volunteer Grants 2015 Successful Recipients