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.

Cardinia - COVID-19 support grants To help support the community through the COVID-19 pandemic, there are two new grant programs on offer: Community Relief Provider Support Grants up to $5000 – for local agencies and groups providing relief services; Community Connection Grants up to $2000 – to help community groups strengthen community connections.  Grant applications are assessed upon submission.

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield - COVID-19 Response Grants  The City of PAE is seeking applications for projects which align with the following objectives:

  • Deliver resources, programs or services that address the changing needs of the community resulting from the COVID-19 environment.
  • Strengthen community connection and social inclusion in an environment where physical distancing and isolation measures are in place.
  • Increase the diversity of cultural, creative, recreational or social opportunities available to residents in a COVID-19 environment.
Applications open from May 2020 until funds are fully distributed. Grants are up to $2000.


Banyule Business - COVID-19 Support and Continuity Grants will provide $60,000 in grants to support business continuity for local businesses impacted by the adverse economic implications of COVID-19. Grants include:

up to $5,000 to support small business initiatives
up to $1,000 for business continuity planning

Applications are now open and will close when the funding pool is expended or the 20th of June, whichever comes first

City of Onkaparinga Council - COVID-19 Community Wellbeing and Resilience Grant provide grants of between $500 and $2000 for community groups to connect people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to important services and programs.
Round 1 closes 5pm Thursday 28 May 2020.
Round 2 closes 5pm Monday 22 June 2020.

Hume City Council - COVID-19 Community Connections and Partnership grants 
Grants are for projects that clearly and immediately respond to the COVID-19 restrictions and embrace the principles of social justice, healthy living, lifelong learning, environmental sustainability, community safety and inclusion.  Grants up to $20,000.  Closing date: 28 August 2020. 

Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) - COVID-19 Youth Response Fund to assist both new and existing youth-led (age 15-29) initiatives that are responding to the impact of COVID-19 on young people. Grant amounts between $5K - $20K. Applications close on 12 June 2020. 

Creative Victoria - Sustaining Creative Workers quick-response funding seeks to support the continued work of Victoria’s independent creative practitioners who have been negatively impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). Applicants can apply at any time up to 1 June 2020 or until the funding pool is exhausted. 

City of Melbourne - Coronavirus response community grants is offering grants of up to $5000 to help organisations and community groups support local communities affected by COVID-19.  There is currently no closing date.

Torres Strait Regional Authority - COVID-19 Community Response Initiatives

Due to the Queensland Government’s declaration of a State level Disaster Situation in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the first TSRA Common Funding Round for 2020 has been refocused. The TSRA is offering a COVID-19 Community Response Initiatives fund for organisations in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area wishing to apply for funding to sustain operations that are essential to the community or to provide additional community support initiatives during and after the pandemic. Applications close Monday 1 June 2020.

Central Coast Council (NSW) Working Together Staying Strong - COVID 19 response grant The Working Together, Staying Strong Funding Support Program aims to assist community groups and organisations to deliver critical support services to vulnerable and at-risk groups in response to the COVID -19 pandemic.  You can apply for funding between $1,000 to $10,000 in combined funding and in-kind Council services.  Applications are open from 1 May to 30 September 2020.

Pro bono business support to social enterprises  Social Impact Hub, Westpac Foundation and Social Traders are collaborating with leading corporates to offer pro bono business support to social enterprises to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.

Create NSW - COVID Support for the small-medium arts and screen sector Create NSW has announced new funding initiatives and the repurposing of existing funding totalling $6.34 million to support independent artists and small to medium arts, screen and cultural organisations impacted by COVID-19. 

COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund Australian Progress, together with Australian Communities Foundation and Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS), have launched the COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund, a donor pool that can rapidly inject funds into strategic advocacy campaigns demanding ambitious policies in response to the pandemic in Australia. 

Be Kind Sydney is raising $1 Million to support projects responding to the needs of vulnerable people and diverse communities across Greater Sydney. Be Kind Sydney Covid-19 Appeal is a special Relief Fund using the combined knowledge of Sydney Community Foundation and Sydney Women’s Fund of local Sydney and NSW grassroots charities to grow philanthropy so we can ensure the wellbeing, mental health, and basic needs of our vulnerable are met. 

Grants SA COVID-19 Support Grants of up to $10,000 are open from 20th April 2020 until 20th October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the normal Grants SA program is ceasing operations until further notice. The ‘COVID-19 Support Grant’ is a modified Grants SA initiative that has been released to support not-for-profit organisations continue to provide services to vulnerable and disadvantaged people in South Australia in the current circumstances of the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Funding is prioritised for organisations that can demonstrate that the requested items are required due to the direct impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on their services either by needing to adapt services to meet increased demand or continuing to provide services within the restricted public health requirements. Projects should also achieve the objectives of providing benefits to people and/or communities who are vulnerable or experiencing disadvantage.

ABC - Fresh Start Fund for Australian creatives during COVID-19 crisis – a new $5 million fund to provide urgent support for Australian creatives during COVID-19 crisis. The ABC’s Fresh Start Fund provides urgent and critical support to independent Australian producers and safeguards local content and creativity in response to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.  Funding applications open from 4 May to 12 June 2020 

Copyright Agency  has announced a full program of support for writers, visual artists and publishers in the face of the severe challenges they face as a result of COVID-19 and will provide an additional $375,000 in grants to creators, as well as bringing forward to the first quarter of next financial year the forecasted annual $1.8 million of grants under the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund in COVID-19 support. 

The Ian Potter Foundation – IMPORTANT Changes to Grant Application process for the remainder of 2020. In response to COVID-19, grant-making has changed for the remainder of 2020. The usual funding rounds for September and December 2020 will not open. Instead, for the remainder of 2020 the Foundation will invite grant applications across all four of the Foundation’s funding pillars.

The Foundation’s funding focus from 1 July 2020 will be:

  • Unrestricted capacity-building funding that will enable quality not-for-profit organisations to fulfil their mission in areas consistent with the Foundation’s funding guidelines
  • Strategically responsive project grants that will assist not-for-profit organisations in supporting as many people as possible or sustain the nation’s environmental assets.

Not-for-profit organisations can submit a brief summary of their funding needs in line with the funding focus outlined above via this online form. The Foundation will review these submissions and invite those of interest to complete a more detailed proposal.

Please review minimum grant amounts and other eligibility criteria for each funding area on the relevant pages:

Please note: The Foundation will not be considering any new Major grants in 2020.

The South Australian Government is offering a one-off emergency $10,000 cash grant for small businesses and NFPs impacted by COVID-19 and have suffered a significant loss of income or been forced to close as a result of necessary coronavirus-related restrictions. The cash grants will be available to help cover a business’ ongoing or outstanding operating costs, such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw materials costs and other fees. Apply by 1 June 2020.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for NSW Health funded NGOs Please be assured that continuity of NSW Health’s funding to NGOs will not be impacted if you need to temporarily suspend some elements of your NSW Health funded services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fund holders are encouraged to speak with their grant managers.  

WA Govt - Funding to continue support for regional arts community The Regional Arts Sector Investment (RASI) program will be extended for currently funded organisations until the end of the year. The next round of the program will provide more funding opportunities than its previous iteration when it opens later this year.

Perpetual Trustees is encouraging all current fund holders to contact them if you are unable to complete project delivery.  They are trying hard to untie as many funds as possible so that you are able to use them to support your organisation’s most critical, current needs. They are also extending all reporting periods by 12 months.  Regarding the 2020 Impact Round; while grants would normally be distributed closer to June 30, they are endeavouring to make those funds available more quickly and are working with their philanthropic clients to allow flexibility in use of grant funds (rather than necessarily for the project you put forward in your submission in December). Follow the first link for the update from them and this link will take you to their dedicated COVID-19 resource site, with a section specifically for NFPs and their Boards on the various stimulus packages, investment and financial governance support.

City of Sydney has released $7.25 million in additional funding for the 2019-2020 financial year. The Covid-19 relief grants are available to small businesses and nonprofits.

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.  Note that the latest updates see a relaxation on eligibility requirements for charities. 

St George Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funding will provide emergency payments of up to $5000 for approve charities who are experiencing immediate funding  pressures as a result of COVID-19.  To be eligible, you must have been funded by the Foundation in the past five calendar years, have DGR 1 endorsement and be able to demonstrate an adverse impact as a result of COVID-19.

The Queensland Community Foundation 2020 Philanthropy Awards have extended their closing date to Friday 24th July 2020.

BHP has established a $50M Vital Resources Fund. The bulk of funding will be distributed towards regional communities in the areas BHP operates. In the first instance, get in touch with the Community Team in your region.

NT Government Business Recovery Package Immediate Work Grants of up to $100,000 will be given to Northern Territory (NT) not-for-profit and community organisations to engage local businesses to do repairs, renovations and upgrades to their property and facilities. These are for permanent physical improvements to land and / or buildings.

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.

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.

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.

Further news from NHMRC has been announced with some deadlines extended and others cancelled or delayed. Please see their website for further updates.

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. 

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

Carers Week Activity Grants for 2020 – grant round cancelled Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carers Week Activity Grants for 2020 will not proceed this year. 

Helen MacPherson Smith Trust  HMSTrust has cancelled the Round 2 open grants round due to open 5 May. The Trust will be focusing on our response to the bushfires and COVID-19.

2020 Federal Parliamentary Midwinter Ball - Charity Submissions Suspended
In light of the current international crisis surrounding COVID-19, the 2020 Federal Parliamentary Midwinter Ball has been postponed indefinitely.

The Brain Foundation has been impacted enormously by the bushfires and the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, the 2020 research application process for 2020 has been put on hold, which has been an extremely difficult decision, particularly as 2020 is the Foundation’s 50th anniversary of funding research. 

Any current researchers on the database will be notified by email of this update, however, if you do not receive a notification and would like to be added to the researchers’ database, please email requesting to have your details included for future correspondence.  

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the Parramatta Local Committee has cancelled the 2020 Club Grants round. 

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is postponing its next funding round, which was due to open Thursday, 1 April 2020. The next round will be announced later in 2020.

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