Grant strategies to build nonprofit capacity

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      COVID-19 Funder News Page

     We will keep you updated on the latest news from Funders

Stay positive grant-seekers!


It is encouraging that many funders are publicising they will accommodate any reasonable changes to support beneficiaries, during this challenging and unprecedented time. Consistent with the recommended social distancing practices, grantors are also changing the nature and timing of any planned face-to-face engagements with donors, grant partners and stakeholders. Meetings are now taking place by telephone or video conferencing. Many are carrying on with business as usual, remotely. However, like everyone, there may be delays in response time given the sudden changes. To date, we have seen very few grant rounds cancelled or postponed.

The Strategic Grants Team will continue to keep this funder news alert page updated with significant announcements, and to keep all NFPs focussed on continuing as much as possible with best practice grant-seeking, reporting and stewardship processes.

For customised Grants Calendars, and up to the minute alerts specific to your funding needs, please get in touch for information on our GEMS.

Keep positive!  We will get through this!


In Good Grants News ...

Listed by most recent updates at top.


The Australia Government Support for Businesses (including nonprofits)

The $1,500 a fortnight JobKeeper payment is available to all employers, including nonprofits, who meet the eligibility requirements. Register your interest in how to access here.  

Also available to eligible businesses (including nonprofits) is the cash flow assistance for business.

Note from us: Please ensure your organisation’s leadership is across the government support it can access.

Ecstra Response and Recovery Grants to assist community organisations during COVID-19

Applications are now open for a grant pool of $3,000,000 (grants up to $100,000) to be submitted by 30 April 2020

To qualify, applicants must: 

  • have DGR 1 status 
  • be registered, and up to date with their ACNC reporting 
  • be an established consumer organisation with demonstrable expertise in consumer financial assistance, capability, hardship, advocacy or financial education, including working with vulnerable Australians. 

The Ecstra Response and Recovery Grants focus on practical support to ensure frontline consumer organisations can: 

  • continue to respond to the immediate crisis, to deliver vital services and support to Australian communities facing financial issues 
  • support staff working remotely or in different environments 
  • adapt services to meet the needs of vulnerable consumers in the absence of face-to-face or direct service delivery, and 
  • build infrastructure and organisational capacity to address the long term social and economic recovery period that will follow the COVID-19 crisis.  

Note from us: Please be sure to only apply if you meet all the criteria.

Department of Health has released COVID19 - Aged Care Support Program with a close date of 31st May 2020. The program will reimburse eligible aged care providers for eligible expenditure incurred on managing direct impacts of COVID-19.

Hands Across Canberra - Covid-19 Rapid Response Grant Round A consortium of Canberra community foundations: Hands Across Canberra which administers the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund, the Snow Foundation and the John James Foundation have joined forces to deliver a collaborative, community response to deploy resources to local non-profit organisations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a response to the current social pressures, the Consortium is pooling funds and introducing a Rapid Response Grant Round with the aim of supporting organisations to continue to deliver important and much-needed services to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. First closing date is 10 April 2020. There will then be further announcements made.  

Australia Council for the Arts has a dedicated response page that contains lots of positive news. If you work in the Arts Sector, please check it out.

The Broadtree Foundation released additional one-off funding for initiatives which support organisations and groups impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications of up to $15,000 will be considered until 31 May 2020 with a total value of $75,000 available. Broadly, we aim to support the improvement of the quality of life for people identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex (eg people who do not identify as heterosexual) and their families.

The SA Government has released COVID-19 Arts Grants Support for Arts Organisation Collaboration. Closing 14 April 2020.

The SA Government Primary Industries and Regions Regional Growth Fund has brought forward it’s funding round. It is now OPEN and closes on 11th May.

Arts Tasmania also has a number of grant rounds open. Please check their website and sign up to their newsletter to keep abreast of changes. 

FRRR Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal recognises that it’s important to keep funds in communities and to ensure that not-for-profit groups can still operate. If changing circumstances - whether COVID-19 or bushfires, for example - have affected a grant you have already been awarded, please get in touch. They are keen to ensure the funds can be used in the best way to support your community. There is also an automatic six-month extension to the due date for all acquittal reports due between March and July 2020.  All the open funding rounds are detailed on the FRRR webpage.

NHMRC NEW Medical Research open NOW, closing 6th April 2020: Applications to this Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Coronavirus Research Response: 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 grant opportunity must propose a clinical trial that accelerates the implementation of treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID-19 in order to support the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia. Applicants should note that the research funded by this grant opportunity is not intended to be used for development of vaccines or anti-viral therapies for COVID-19.  The objective of the 2020 Respiratory Medicine Clinical Trials Research on COVID-19 Grant Opportunity is to use clinical trials to accelerate the implementation of treatments for severe acute respiratory distress in patients infected with COVID 19. To be competitive for funding, applicants must propose a clinical trial that delivers against the above objective.

HOMEFRONT – Funding for Canberra Artists The ACT Government recognises the immediate support needed for Canberra artists who have lost their income and ability to maintain their arts practice as a result of COVID-19.  As part of a whole of Government response to the impacts of COVID-19, funding of up to $10,000 per artist will be available for Canberra artists to support arts development and the sustainability of their arts practices over the next 6-9 months. This is across all artforms including screen artists. This includes research and development, making of new works or sharing of works via online platforms, and artists fees and living expenses to undertake arts activities. Artists may also apply for the creation and development of works to be exhibited or performed in public venues in the future, when it becomes safe to undertake these activities.

A total of $500,000 will be available. Applicants will need to provide: A statement outlining how the funding will support their arts development and practice; a brief bio; and a current CV.

Applications will open on 30 March 2020 and will close on 17 April 2020 at 5pm.
Announcements on successful recipients will be made approximately 1 May 2020.

The Australian Communities Foundation is encouraging eligible organisations to submit a funding proposal and outline what you need at this time to continue your important work. Proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.

We are open to discussing the needs of any organisation that currently holds project-based funding from ACF and wishes to divert funding to more critical areas of their operations ( Get in touch if you would like to discuss. 

We are conscious of not placing any undue strain on the community sector at this time and have therefore automatically applied six-month extensions to reporting requirements for all grants. These requirements will remain flexible and we are open to extending these timelines as we learn more.

Ergon-Energy Community Fund:

With so many community groups focused on their response to COVID-19, deadline for applications has been extended the deadline for applications to the 2020 Ergon-Energy Community Fund to 5:00pm Monday 6 April 2020.

In these challenging times is there anything we can do to get your community group back on their feet? We welcome applications from any grassroots groups with big ideas to help their communities thrive or support their communities during tough times.

Individual grants of up to $5,000 are available, from more than $100,000 in funding available for not-for-profit community groups and like organisations across the state.

And, our People's Choice bonus is up for grabs again this year.  This will see an additional $5,000 going to the winner, as voted by real people from across our communities.

‌Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (Melbourne)

Extensions granted to any projects due to finish between now and the end of June (or multi-year projects with progress reports due), will receive an automatic extension to the end of October without requiring individual renegotiation of deliverables at this stage. If your project timeline is not affected, please submit your final report according to the original project end date.

The Ian Potter Foundation

Round 1, 2020

The April board meeting will proceed as scheduled and our Board will consider grant applications for Round 1, 2020 as per normal practice. 

Round 2, 2020 (updated 24/3/20)

We are currently reviewing which program areas will be supported in this funding round.

The unfolding COVID 19 pandemic, Australia's recent devastating bushfires, and the looming deep financial recession mean that many community charitable institutions are likely to need financial support to ensure they are well placed to support vulnerable communities that they serve.

We will provide a further update on or around 20 April 2020.

See other temporary COVID-19 protocols for The Ian Potter Foundation.

Please contact our office by phone or via email for further clarification.

The Foundation has also contacted all current grantors. Please be sure to contact The Ian Potter Foundation directly, to discuss any required changes to your current grant conditions. 

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF):

Extended the pre-proposal deadline to May 14, 2020, for the following open funding opportunities:

If your MJFF-funded work (or application for funding) is affected or becomes affected, we ask that you inform us by filling out our online form as soon as possible.

artsACT are currently progressing assessments of the 2020 Round 1 Arts Activities funding that has recently closed. If you are a recipient of current artsACT grant funding and would like to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted delivery of that funding, please get in touch.
artsACT remains flexible and ready to respond when we need to - this includes determining how we can continue to support our arts sector. We are looking closely at what the Australian Government do Australia-wide, and will work in partnership with them in the delivery of those measures locally.  If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to send us an email at

South Australian Film Corporation  

  • The SAFC’s Screen Production Investment Fund remains open and operational as usual. In order to account for COVID-19 related delays to applications, we have extended the deadline for the current Screen Production Investment round to Friday 27 March - please speak to the Production and Development team if you require more time.
  • We are exploring options for providing Business Resilience Training for SA screen businesses and sole traders to assist with business planning at this crucial time. If you would be interested in joining a workshop, please submit an Expression of Interest via the SAFC’s Smartygrants portal.
  • We are pleased to announce the launch of the SAFC’s Lottie Lyell Award for 2020, with $20,000 on offer for a female/female identifying South Australian writer or writer/director to develop a project that is daring, ambitious and original. The Lottie Lyell Award is now open for applications until Friday 8 May, 2020 – for more information and to apply online visit the Development section of our website.
  • The Games Innovation Fundwill proceed as planned, and will be open for applications from Monday 30 March.



Cancellation / Postponement of funding rounds

Gold Coast Airport Community Benefit Fund has suspended all granting until further notice.  

NAIDOC Week 2020 Grants. Given that NAIDOC Week 2020 (5 July – 12 July) has been postponed. 

Greater Charitable Foundation: Has postponed their 2020 Funding Round but will continue to work with current partners.

The office of the John T Reid Charitable Trusts is now closed for funding enquiries. We will be open again in June/July in the lead up to our November meeting. Dates will be advised closer to the time.

ClubsGRANTS NSW Applicants should be aware that ClubsGRANTS funding is likely to reduce in the short term as a response to economic uncertainty and the fact that clubs are not trading.  ClubsNSW will encourage clubs and ClubGRANTS committees to communicate these changes to applicants directly.

Australia Council have suspended many of their investment programs to allow them to concentrate efforts on responding to the crisis situation faced by artists and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19. Suspended programs include:

  • Career Development Grants for Individuals and Groups, closing date 2 June
  • Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups, closing date 2 June
  • Australia Council Fellowships, closing date 2 June
  • Arts Projects – Organisations, closing date 2 June
  • Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring Fund – closing date 2 June
  • Contemporary Music Touring Program (CMTP) – closing date 2 June
  • International Arts Strategy Outcomes Fund, closing date 19 May
  • National Arts and Disability Awards 2019-21, closing date 7 April
  • Arts and Disability Mentoring Initiative 2019-21, closing date 7 April
  • Rights Fund for Literature, closing date 28 April
  • Translation Fund for Literature, closing date 28 April
  • Travel Fund for Literature, no closing date


General good news stories

Australian Communities Foundation and Philanthropy Australia have launched the COVID-19 National Funding Platform, which enables nonprofits to register their organisation and funding needs so that Australian philanthropic funders can connect with and support the important work underway to tackle the pandemic and protect our communities.

Australian Charities and Non-for-profits Commission: Blanket extension to Annual Information Statement submissions.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation allocates first phase funding of $9 million to support the fight against COVID-19







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Need assistance? If we can be of help, do get in touch.

Check out our free resources here

See what webinars we have coming up in our Webinars Schedule