2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants Questions and Answers for Applicants

The following questions and answers are specific to this grant round.

1. What is the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants program?

The 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 (GST exclusive) are available to help volunteer involving organisations to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers and to encourage and increase participation in volunteering. 

The supplementary volunteer grants are designed to support volunteer involving organisations with a high proportion (over 40%) of volunteers to:

· Help support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers;

· Help support the inclusion of vulnerable people through volunteering;

· Encourage, support and increase participation in volunteering;

· Post COVID-19 re-engagement activities for volunteers; and

· Adapting practices to support volunteers’ safety in relation to COVID-19

The Australian Government has provided the State and Territory volunteering peak bodies with funding, proportionate to the population of each State, to administer a Supplementary Grants program to volunteer involving organisations.

2. How can I apply for the 2020 Volunteer Grants?

You can apply online via your local State/Territory website:

Applicants must submit their applications by 11:59pm (AEST) on 20 September 2020.

3. How long do I have to submit my application?

You will have four weeks to submit your application, starting 25 August 2020 and ending 11:59pm (AEST) 20 September 2020.

4. Is a paper based Application Form available as I am unable to access the Application Form electronically?

The online form is the only method for submitting an application. If you do not have access to a computer and internet you could try your local library, or contact someone you know who has access to a computer that could assist you in submitting an application.

5. If I am not able to submit my application by the due time and date, can I be granted an extension?

No late applications will be accepted.

6. How much funding can my organisation apply for?

An eligible organisation can apply for between $1,000 and $5,000 to assist its volunteers.

7. Can I apply for more than $5,000?

No. The maximum funding an eligible organisation can apply for is $5,000.

8. Can I apply for less than $1,000?

No. The minimum funding an eligible organisation can apply for is $1,000.

9. Is the funding on-going?

No. If successful, the funding provided is one-off.

10. Why am I required to provide my date of birth on the application form?

Your State/Territory peak body, as a requirement of administering the Grants Program on behalf of the Australian Government, is required to have robust processes in place to protect Commonwealth funds and prevent incidents of fraud. Your date of birth is required to validate your identity. This validation also helps to protect your organisation from persons who may use your organisation’s name, ABN and the like to submit a fraudulent application for personal gain.

11.Is my organisation eligible to apply?

An eligible organisation will be an Australian not-for-profit organisation whose volunteers' work supports families and/or communities in Australia and is a legal entity (for further information see “About the grant program: Eligibility Criteria, 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grant Guidelines for Applicants”).

12.An eligible organisation must have a “high proportion of volunteers”. What does this require?

An organisation’s workforce must consist of over 40% volunteers to be eligible to apply for the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants.

13.The number of volunteers within our workforce has declined due to services being on pause or ceased from COVID-19, am I still eligible to apply?

We understand the number of volunteers may have declined due to COVID-19. If your organisation has currently paused or ceased services due to restrictions as a result of COVID-19 which has resulted in you retiring volunteers, you can calculate the average number of volunteers engaged within the organisation over the 12 month period from January – December 2019. If that number is over 40% of your workforce then you are eligible to apply.

14.What is a volunteer?

Volunteering is defined as time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain (Volunteering Australia 2015). 

15.My organisation was successful under Volunteer Grants 2019-2020. Can I apply under the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants program?

No. An organisation that has received a grant under the 2019-20 Volunteer Grant round is not eligible to apply for the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants (click here to see the list of 2019-2020 Volunteer Grants recipients).

16. Do I need to be a member of my local volunteering peak body to apply?

No. Membership is not relevant to a grant application. You must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the 2020 Volunteering Supplementary Grant Guidelines for Applicants to apply.

17.Can my organisation apply more than once for funding?

Yes; however, multiple funding applications that are received from the same organisation (i.e. autonomous branches/sub-groups sharing the same ABN, within each State or Territory) will be assessed based on the remaining funding available and the selection criteria. Where multiple applications are received from the same organisation, the application that rates highest will be considered first for the merit list for funding. Additional applications from that same organisation will only be considered if all funding has not been expended to individual organisations in that State or Territory. 

18.If I am an individual representing more than one volunteer-based community group can I apply for funding for each group?

Yes, provided you are an authorised signatory of each volunteer based community group and your group meets the eligibility criteria.

19.Can Local governments apply for funding?

No. Local governments are not eligible to apply for funding.

20.Can Commonwealth and State/Territory Government departments apply for funding?

No. Commonwealth and State/Territory Government departments are not eligible to apply for funding.

21.Can organisations with autonomous branches/sub-branches submit multiple applications - one application for each branch/sub-branch?

Multiple funding applications that are received from the same organisation (i.e. autonomous branches/ sub-groups sharing the same ABN, within each State or Territory) will be assessed based on the remaining funding available and the selection criteria. Where multiple applications are received from the same organisation, the application that rates highest will be considered first for the merit list for funding. Additional applications from that same organisation will only be considered if all funding has not been expended to individual organisations in that State or Territory. 

22.Can a Lead/Umbrella Organisation apply in their own right

Yes. Lead/Umbrella organisations which meet the requirements set down in “Eligibility Criteria: Who is Eligible to Apply For a Grant?” section of the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grant Guidelines for Applicants can apply in their own right as a legal entity.

23.Can an organisation that is a legal entity apply on behalf of a sub branch/agencies/group?

No. Each organisation should apply in their own right.

24.Who in my organisation can complete an application for funding?

The application should be completed by a representative of the organisation who is an authorised signatory. The representative is normally the president, chairperson, secretary or treasurer.

25.What can my organisation use the grant money for?

Your organisation can use the grant money for:

Further information about what the grant money can be used for is outlined under “What Can the Grant Money be Used For?: Eligible Items” in the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants Applicant Guidelines.

26.What training can my organisation provide to volunteers using this grant?

Your organisation can use the grant money to help your volunteers learn new skills or gain qualifications needed for their volunteering work. Training courses may include mental health, first aid, leadership, communication skills, governance, work health and safety training and/or working with vulnerable people. Recognised training courses that lead to a Statement of Attainment, Certificate or Diploma are preferred.

27.Can a volunteer apply directly for a grant for their fuel or transport costs?

No. Individual volunteers cannot directly apply under the Supplementary Volunteer Grants 2020 for fuel or transport costs; organisations must apply for the grant on behalf of the organisation or community group for their volunteers.

28.Can fuel costs apply to the organisation's equipment and machinery?

No. Grant money can only be used to reimburse volunteers who are using their own cars for the fuel they use while undertaking their volunteering activities. Volunteers can be reimbursed for the cost of the petrol or provided with pre-paid petrol cards. Fuel costs that are eligible include all motor vehicle fuels including petrol, diesel and gas.

29.Does eligible fuel use apply to boats used in a volunteering activity?

Fuel cost reimbursement does not extend to boat fuel reimbursement. Eligible fuel costs are costs associated with volunteers using their own cars for volunteering work. This includes such things as delivering food and helping people in need. For more information on eligible fuel costs refer to “What can the grant money be used for? Eligible items” in the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grant Guidelines for Applicants.

30. What do I do if I would like to change the item that my organisation has applied for during the Activity period?

You may change the item that your organisation has applied for during the Activity Period provided it is on the list of eligible items. You do not need to advise the grantor of this change.

31. Does my organisation need to keep receipts as proof of purchase?

Yes. All organisations are required to keep receipts and records of how the grant money is spent. All organisations must keep a complete set of records and keep the original receipts for five years. 

32.Does my organisation need to submit receipts to provide proof of purchase?

You do not have to report on how you spend the money for Supplementary Volunteer Grants funding unless you are asked to. In the instance you are asked to provide a financial declaration to verify how you spent the grant in accordance with your grant agreement, receipts will be required to be attached to this declaration.

The original receipts showing what you have purchased are required as proof and must be kept for five years.

33.I have an idea for a project for the Supplementary Volunteer Grants Funding Round. Can the Volunteering peak body provide me with advice about my planned activities and whether they meet the grants objectives?

During the application process, State/Territory peak bodies cannot provide advice to potential applicants about specific project ideas. This includes making any comments about the merit of a project or any of the planned activities and whether they meet the grants objectives. This is to ensure that the process remains fair and impartial, not advantaging one applicant above another.

34.When and how will my organisation know the outcome of our application?

Successful applicants will be notified by 4 December 2020 via email with a Letter of Agreement.

Unsuccessful grant applicants will be notified by 4 December 2020 in writing, via email of the outcome of their grant application.

The announcement of successful organisations for 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants will be published after funding has been distributed to successful organisations and all applicants have been advised of the outcome of their application.

For probity reasons, to treat all applicants fairly and equally, it is not possible to give you advice on the outcome of your application before the announcement of all successful applicants is made.

35.What happens if we are successful, and when can we expect the grant money?

Successful organisations will be emailed a Letter of Agreement and asked to accept the Terms and Conditions between the organisation and the relevant State/Territory Volunteering peak body. Funded organisations must meet the Terms and Conditions of the Letter of Agreement. The grant money will be made available once the Letter of Agreement is executed. The grant money can only be paid into the nominated bank account provided in the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants Application Form.

36.Can an organisation charge an administration or service fee?

No. Organisations are not permitted to charge a fee for administering the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants.

37.Can an organisation use the grant money to cover the cost of items/fuel already purchased?

No. Items already purchased or funded from another source are not eligible.

38.Our organisation’s volunteers travel to various locations to undertake volunteering activities. How should we answer the question ‘What is the primary location of the organisation’s volunteering activity?’

Where volunteers travel to various locations for their activities, applicants should provide the actual physical address where the volunteers are most active and do most of their volunteer work (at the service delivery level). This address may be different from the organisation’s business address.

If activities are undertaken in an environmental location, such as a street, community hall, church, showground, park or reserve, the address of that location must be provided.

If volunteers travel to different locations to provide volunteer work, please use the address that the volunteers are coordinated from.

39.I am an individual applying on behalf of a community group and have my own ABN. Why can’t I use this ABN when completing the application form?

You cannot use your own ABN when completing the Application Form because the funding is for the organisation you are applying on behalf of, and not for yourself.

If the community group does not have an ABN, you will be required to attach a completed Statement by a Supplier not quoting an ABN form.

40.What is a Statement by a Supplier?

A “Statement by a Supplier” form is required to accompany a grant application when a community group does not have an ABN. The form explains to the Government why your organisation is exempt from having an ABN. In order for the Government to pay grant monies we require an ABN or a completed “Statement by a Supplier” form.

You can get a “Statement by a Supplier” form from the following link – Australian Tax Office website.

41.Do GST exempt organisations claim the purchase price minus the GST component? For example, if the purchase item is $1,000 do they request $900 for that item because they will claim the $100 back?

No. When applying for a Volunteer Grant all applicants (including those who are GST exempt) must claim the total retail cost of items within each category, including GST.

42.I have received an email from a business that has offered to assist in the development and submission of my grant application. Is this from the State/Territory Volunteering peak body, Department of Social Services, or from an external firm associated with the Department?

Due to probity requirements, State/Territory peak bodies are not in a position to provide individualised support for the development of applications, except in relation to technical issues in relation to submitting applications. You can refer to the 2020 Supplementary Volunteer Grants Applicant Guidelines for more information on how to apply.

No external firms have been solicited by the State/Territory peak bodies or DSS to assist individuals with their applications. Applicants must be aware that if they pursue the services of external firms to develop their application, they do so at their own risk.

Please note that grant correspondence will only come from your State/Territory peak body.

43. When does my organisation need to spend our Supplementary Volunteer grant round funding by?

You must spend your grant funding by 28 February 2021. Any unspent funds will need to be returned.

44.What if my organisation has left over grant funds at the end of the grant activity period?

If your organisation does not spend its whole grant amount by the end of the activity period, your organisation is required to return the left over funds. Please email your State/Territory Volunteering peak body with the details and you will be invoiced for the remaining amount.

45.Can I appeal the decision in relation to the outcome of a selection process?

No. There is no appeal mechanism for decisions to approve or not approve a Supplementary Volunteer Grant.

46.What feedback will be available for this grant round?

A generic feedback summary will be published on the website of each State/Territory Volunteering Peak body following the finalisation of the funding round.

Feedback on individual applications will not be provided.

47.Where should I go for further information?

If you cannot find the relevant information on your State/Territory website please direct your enquiries to your local State/Territory peak body:

· Volunteering ACT: email grants@volunteeringact.org.au or call 02 6251 4060

· Volunteering NSW -The Centre for Volunteering: grants@volunteering.com.au or call 02 8295 7022

· Volunteering QLD: email supplementarygrants@volunteeringqld.org.au or call 07 3002 7600

· Volunteering SA-NT: email grants@volunteeringsa-nt.org.au or call 08 8221 7177

· Volunteering TAS: email grants@volunteeringtas.org.au or call 1800 677 895

· Volunteering VIC: email grants@volunteeringvictoria.org.au or call 03 8327 8500

· Volunteering WA: email grants@volunteeringwa.org.au or call 08 9482 4323


Questions and Answers updated on 27 August 2020

What happens if my organisation operates across two states/territories?

The initial stages of the application process use automation, meaning that the grant application will default to the state/territory based on the state selected. If your organisation operates across a border, and volunteers move frequently between sites, please use the address that the volunteers are coordinated from. If volunteers are based across a border line from the organisation’s business address, applicants should provide the physical address where the volunteers are most active (at the service delivery level)

My organisation supports volunteers across a state/territory border, can we submit an application in both states/territories?

Applications will automatically be directed to the appropriate state/territory peak body based on the state selected in the application form. If your service operates across a state/territory border, you must not attempt to apply for funding for the same application across multiple state/territory peak bodies.

We have paid staff that also volunteer with the organisation. Can those individual be counted to calculate the percentage of the organisations workforce that are volunteers?

Yes, when completing the application form, please put the total number of volunteers in the appropriate field on the application form and the number of full time equivalent paid employees in the appropriate field.


Questions and Answers updated on 1 September 2020

My organisation is auspice by another organisation, are we eligible to apply for funding?

No, organisations that are auspiced are not eligible to apply as they do not have an ABN or account with a financial institution.


Questions and Answers updated on 2 September 2020

Branches of our organisation were successful in the 19/20 grants round, can other branches in our organisation still apply for a 2020 Supplementary Grant?

Yes, as long as the branch did not receive funding in the 2019/20 grant round they are welcome to apply but an organisation that submits multiple grants (i.e. autonomous branches/ sub-groups sharing the same ABN, within each State/ Territory) will be assessed based on the remaining funding available and the selection criteria as per the Guidelines.


Questions and Answers updated on 7 September 2020

Due to internal reasons, our bank account name does not fully align with our organisation name, am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, as long as the bank account name clearly relates to the organisation name on the application form and there are legitimate reasons on why the bank account name does not align with your organisation name you are still eligible. In these circumstances you must notify your State or Territory peak body in the State or Territory you are applying to provide information on why the names do not align. The relevant State or Territory peak may request further information as part of their due diligence check.