Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

Federal Budget 2016-2017: Some key points for nonprofits



Author: Kate Sunners


Ahhh, the budget glossies... telling you all the things the government has done this budget in dot pointy goodness and easily digestible cartoons in primary colours. For those who want their budget news short and sharp, and relevant to nonprofits, we’ve ripped a few things out of the glossies for you.

There are a number of measures in this budget that are likely to affect nonprofits in one way or another. In alphabetical order, here they are:

Domestic Violence

An additional $100million over forward estimates has been added to the $101million announced 2015 to address family violence. More on this at Third Sector.


Counselling for gamblers will be getting a boost under the Commonwealth Financial Counsellors for Problem Gamblers initiative (which is pleasantly surprising given that there were fears that the counsellors would not continue to be funded).


Additional $39.8 million is going to supporting “eligible non-illegal Maritime Arrivals while their immigration status is resolved.” There’s a budgeted $12.1 million over 2016-2018 for supervision and welfare of unaccompanied humanitarian minors. An additional $61.5 million in 2016-17 is allocated to fund regional processing centres and settlement outcomes.


Regional infrastructure gets a good look-in, as well as an additional $7.1 million for Rural Financial Counsellors for farmers in drought, and there’s a small footnote about redesigning the Strengthening Communities grants program (to be renamed the Strong and Resilient Communities grants) and $12 million cut, which will have a huge effect on volunteering. More about that at Third Sector.

Social enterprise & investment

A focus on innovation and problem solving through entrepreneurialism. Social enterprises, watch this space. Additionally, Crowd-sourced funding laws will be reviewed. In addition to this the budget contains tax concessions for venture capital, which may mean good news for social enterprises. More on this at Pro Bono.

Social welfare & disability

There’s a push to see more welfare and disability supported people employed. $96.1million has been invested into a ‘Try Test and Learn Fund’ to look at ways of moving welfare recipients deemed to be long term dependent into employment through analysing data on welfare dependent groups, identifying barriers and developing policies to address them. 

An additional $5.1 million is going towards two trials which attempt to reduce long term (and presumably multi-generational) welfare dependence through early intervention with supports for people transitioning out of out-of-home care into adulthood and for parents with mental health issues, who are incarcerated or face significant disadvantage. Interesting that these same issues are ones which appear relatively often as the target of programs funded by Social Benefit Bonds – perhaps we’ll see these bonds on a National level soon?

Youth Employment

The Youth Jobs PaTH - a funding package of $840 million targeting youth unemployment through skilling, supported internships and wage subsidies paid to businesses employing jobseekers. The demographic targeted are 120,000 unemployed youth under 25 years. There’s likely to be a big role for the third sector in skilling and training here.

More on this over at Pro Bono