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Assistance for organisations affected by COVID-19


This page provides information about financial assistance available to not-for-profit organisations and community groups affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. It is updated daily or as we become aware of changes. For the very latest information in these rapidly changing times, please check with the assistance provider.

Looking for tools and information to help your organisation to adapt? Visit www.communitydirectors.com.au/save-our-sector. Here you’ll find free help sheets, policy templates and more, all created to help your organisation to survive, reinvent and sustain itself through the pandemic and beyond.

Want to know how you can help organisations in need? Visit the GiveNow COVID-19 Response page here.

If you're aware of other grants or assistance that should be listed on this page, please contact service@ourcommunity.com.au. If you’re a funder providing support for organisations impacted by COVID-19, submit your information here.

Funding Centre members can browse COVID-19-related grants on our grants database here.




NFPs that employ workers


National

JobKeeper Payment

Not-for-profit organisations, charities and businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak may be eligible to receive the Federal Government's JobKeeper Payment to retain their employees. The JobKeeper payment is valued at $1500 per employee per fortnight and for up to six months.

Key points:

View the full press release here.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Fact sheet.
Information for employers.
Information for employees.


ATO payment deferrals

For not-for-profits experiencing difficulties, the ATO can defer some payments by up to six months. Payments that may be deferred include income tax, activity statements, pay as you go (PAYG) instalments, FBT and excise payments. Contact the ATO's Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218 for more information on how to access this assistance. View ATO Assistance Commissioner Jennifer Moltisanti’s release here.


Boosting cash flow for employers

From April 28, a payment of up to $100,000 (with a minimum of $20,000) for not-for-profit organisations with turnover of less than $50 million will be paid automatically by the ATO to help them pay bills and retain staff. More information on the ATO website here.


Superannuation guarantee amnesty

The super guarantee (SG) amnesty is a one-off opportunity to correct past unpaid SG amounts without incurring administration charges or penalties of up to 200% of the SG charge. The ATO work with organisations to establish a flexible payment plan. These arrangements include:

Applications for the amnesty close 7 September 2020. For more information, visit the ATO website.


Amended guidelines for ancillary funds

To encourage increased distributions to deductible gift recipients (DGRs) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, private and public ancillary funds will receive a credit if they increase their distributions to DGRs by a total of at least 4 percentage points above the minimum distribution rate in 2019–20 and 2020–21. More information is available on the ATO website.



Aged care sector (national)


$444.6 million to support aged care sector

The Federal Government has allocated $444.6 million to support the aged care sector. This includes funding for a retention bonus to ensure the continuity of the workforce in both residential and home care as well as funding to support the viability of residential aged care facilities. This is in addition to more than $100 million previously announced to support the aged care workforce. More information can be found on the health.gov.au website.


Australian Government’s COVID-19 Health Package

The Department of Health’s COVID19 - Aged Care Support Program will assist Residential Aged Care, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) and Home Care providers that are subject to direct COVID-19 impacts, to deliver continuity of safe quality care for consumers. The program was announced as part of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Health Package and will provide a total of $52.9 million over 2 years. There are different maximum grant levels depending on the service provider. The application form will be made available shortly. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.



Arts sector


National

COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package

The Federal Government's $250 million COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package was announced on 29 June and includes the following initiatives:

  1. $75 million in grants through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. Grants from $57,000 to $2 million will be available. The website states that the guidelines and more information will be released in the coming weeks.
  2. $90 million concessional show starter loans as part of the Government's existing Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme. The loans will be delivered through banks and supported by terms and conditions tailored to the arts and entertainment sector. The website states that the guidelines and more information will be released in the coming weeks.
  3. $50 million Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) for Screen Australia to support local film and television producers to restart filming. Contact Screen Australia for more information.
  4. $35 million to provide direct financial assistance to Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations. The funding will be delivered in partnership with the Australia Council. Contact Australia Council for more information.

Download the fact sheet here.


Regional Arts Fund (RAF) Recovery Boost

The Regional Arts Fund (RAF) Recovery Boost is supporting the recovery and renewal process in communities across regional, rural and remote Australia through funding arts and culture activities. The funding will be implemented in three stages moving from Relief to Recovery and Renewal. For information about how to apply, please check your relevant Regional Program Administrator’s website (links are available here) for further information towards the end of June. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) Program

Indigenous Art Centres and Indigenous Art Fairs that currently receive funding through the the Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS) Program will receive direct payments to maintain operations and employment levels, ensuring that they continue to support artists and their communities. This is part of a $7 million contribution to the (IVAIS) Program to help Indigenous Art Centres and Indigenous Art Fairs during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. The Funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Download the fact sheet for more information, or visit the Department of Communications and the Arts website.


Additional $10 million for the Regional Arts Fund

An additional $10 million for the Regional Arts Fund will provide crisis relief and targeted support to organisations, artists and arts workers that are critical to delivering the arts to communities in regional and remote areas. Funding will be delivered through the Government's Regional Arts Fund in the 2019–20 financial year. Download the fact sheet for more information, or email regional@arts.gov.au


Emergency financial relief for individual artists

1000x1000: Crisis Cash for Artists is a campaign led by Theatre Network Australia and facilitated by Creative Partnerships Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund to provide emergency financial relief to artists in need. Individual artists who have lost income due to COVID-19 may be eligible to apply. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, and the Theatre Network Australia will strive to notify applicants within the week. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.



ACT


Six months' rent freeze for community groups occupying ACT Government owned properties

The ACT Government will not charge any rent, for a six-month period from 1 April 2020, to community groups occupying ACT Government owned properties. This includes ACT Government owned arts facilities.



Northern Territory

Creative Industries Sector Immediate Response and Resilience Program

The Northern Territory Government will deliver a $2 million reprioritised funding program to support the Arts, Creative and Screen Industry sector. The Creative Industries Sector Immediate Response and Resilience Program covers the following streams:

The Northern Territory Government recognises that 2019/20 NT Arts Grant Program recipients may have difficulty meeting deliverables in their funding agreements and is committed to being as flexible as possible. You must contact Arts NT prior to submitted a variation. More info here.


New South Wales

Create NSW COVID-19 measures

Create NSW are supporting the NSW small-medium arts and screen sector through a range of programs. Key elements of the COVID-19 measures announced include the Creative Koori Digital Initiative, the Digitise Initiative Grant, the Health and Wellbeing Initiative Grant, the Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship and the Regenerate Regional Event Initiative. See all of Create NSW’s funding programs on the Funding Centre here.


Queensland

Arts Queensland Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) funding increased by $2 million

The Arts Queensland Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) funding pool has been increased by $2 million, funding caps per stream have been increased and the funding criteria has been expanded. QASP funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Playing Queensland Fund (PQF) temporarily suspended

Arts Queensland have temporarily suspended applications to the Playing Queensland Fund (PQF) due to COVID-19 restrictions. All approved PQF grants will remain available. Recipients have the opportunity to postpone or reframe activity to accommodate changed circumstances. The PQF is listed on the Funding Centre here. For more information on changes to QASP and PQF visit www.arts.qld.gov.au.



Child sector (national)


Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

Weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs through the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. Early childhood education and childcare services do not need to apply for the payments, they will be paid automatically. The payments will commence on 6 April 2020. For more information, see Information for early childhood education and care providers and services.



Community groups


National

Community Support Package: an additional $100 million worth of support to more than 300 charities

The Federal Government has promised an additional $100 million worth of support to more than 300 charities. The $100 million is to be allocated over six months as part of a total $200 million community support package. The new relief package includes more than $37 million, to be shared across 200 existing federally funded emergency relief organisations. The funds would support service delivery, including phone support and outreach through home visits to enable organisations to safely drop off items such as vouchers and food parcels.

Funds under the first round of the Community Support Package will be transferred to providers from the week commencing Saturday, 11 April. The Government will work with the sector and allocate the further $100 million over the next six months where it is most needed.


Incentives will encourage philanthropy to distribute more cash to charities and not-for-profits

The Federal Government is creating an incentive for philanthropic funds to give more support to charities impacted by COVID-19, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been declared a disaster for the purpose of establishing Australian disaster relief funds as DGRs, allowing these funds to receive tax deductible donations. See the media release for more information.

Organisations seeking to establish a DGR are encouraged to phone the ATO’s Not-for-Profit advice line on 1300 130 248, or emailing atoendorsements@ato.gov.au.


COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund

Australian Progress, Australian Communities Foundation and Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) have launched the COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund, a donor pool that can inject funds into advocacy campaigns demanding action in response to the pandemic in Australia to support grassroots community groups. They encourage groups to pitch their projects as soon as possible. All grants will be approximately $3,000-$10,000. More information is on the Funding Centre.


Charity TV Global Grants

Charity TV Global is an international TV production company based in Australia that combines entertainment with philanthropy. Net proceeds from all filming projects are gifted to philanthropic partners. Charity TV Global's mission is to use entertainment as a vehicle to steer global audiences into 'giving back'. Grants are now available for organisations impacted by Coronavirus. Applicants can register on their website. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Find help on the ACNC website

The ACNC website has some information for not-for-profit organisations and charities about how to deal with staff working remotely and your organisation’s ability to fundraise. So far, there is no information about how affected organisations can continue operations.


Victoria


Community Safety Infrastructure Grants

Grants between $25,000 and $500,000 for Victorian councils and not-for-profit community organisations that own or manage community facilities through the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Projects that have an economic stimulus benefit and that increase community and public safety and security are eligible. They can include infrastructure projects that increase the safety and use of community spaces including security upgrades to places of worship, and measures to counter violent extremism. Applications close 17 July. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Inner North Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund

The Inner North Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund grant program will provide funding of up to up to $1,500 to organisations in Darebin, Moreland and Yarra councils for projects that directly respond to the impacts of Covid-19. Priority will be given to projects which demonstrate building community resilience, developing organisational resilience and capacity and which foster cultural vibrancy. Applications are ongoing. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Australian Capital Territory

COVID-19 Stimulus Rapid Response Grants Program

Community Services ACT has established the COVID-19 Stimulus Rapid Response Grants Program to provide fast and flexible funding to support eligible organisations adopt innovative and essential business model changes that adapt their service in response to COVID-19. Total funding available is $1,000,000 and funding requests are not capped. Applications are ongoing. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Western Australia

$159 million COVID-19 Relief Fund

The State Government, through Lotterywest, is committing $159 million into a COVID-19 Relief Fund to respond to the hardship being experienced by the Western Australian community as a result the COVID-19 pandemic.

This fund will comprise the following programs:

  1. Crisis & Emergency Relief (currently open on an ongoing basis, view it on the Funding Centre here.)
  2. Event Cancellation Relief for Arts, Sports and Community Groups (Not yet open)
  3. Resilient Arts, Sports and Community Groups (Not yet open)

Visit the LotteryWest website for more information.


Small business stimulus/relief package includes some support for not-for-profit groups

The WA Government small business stimulus/relief package includes some support for not-for-profit groups, including waiving rental payments in State Government-owned buildings for six months. Visit www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au for more information.


McGowan Government community services assistance

The McGowan Government is providing community services assistance through the following measures:

View the media release here.

The Government will also waive rental payments for small businesses and not-for-profit groups in Government-owned buildings for six months through a $25 million rent relief plan. View the media release here.


South Australia

COVID-19 Support Grant

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. Eligible community organisations can apply for grants of up to $10,000.

Applications close 20 October. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Tasmania

Tasmanian Community Fund Round 41 Covid-19 focus

The Tasmanian Community Fund will be calling for small, medium and large applications that support Tasmanians and Tasmanian organisations to recover and rebuild from Covid-19 and across three streams: Support; Connection; and Rebuild. Around $3.5 million is available for allocation across the three streams. Applications open 11 July with information including guideline and application forms becoming available on the TCF website by 30 June. The three streams are listed on the Funding Centre here.



Local government


Many local councils are supporting their community groups through a range of measures including rent payment deferrals and rebates, fee waiver of some services, adapting grant funding rounds to suit current needs, paying outstanding invoices in shorter turnaround periods, etc. Contact your local council to find out what support may be available. Below are examples of what some local councils are doing.


Victoria

City of Melbourne Quick Response Arts Grants (support during COVID-19) provide financial assistance of up to $4,000 to sole artists or a small arts organisation affected by COVID-19 by cancellations and lost opportunities. Applications are ongoing. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Queensland

Moreton Bay Regional Council has established COVID-19 Community Organisation Hardship and Assistance Grants of up to $10,000 to provide quick response financial assistance to eligible community organisations that are either experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 related service disruptions; seeking to establish alternate service delivery models for business continuity; or seeking to provide support services to vulnerable residents impacted by COVID-19. Applications are ongoing. The Funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


New South Wales

City of Sydney are releasing an extra $500,000 in quick response grants to help organisations through the Covid-19 pandemic. Quick response grants of up to $5,000 are available to help communities adapt, survive and recover from the pandemic.

Quick response grants are listed on the Funding Centre here. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.



Sport and recreation


Queensland

COVID SAFE Active Clubs Kickstart

The Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing’s COVID SAFE Active Clubs Kickstart provides funding of $2,000 to sport or active recreation organisations so they can restart and continue delivery of physical activity opportunities to the Queensland community post-COVID-19. Funding of $2,000 is available. Applications for Round 1 are now closed. Applications for Round 2 will open in 2020/21, with dates TBA. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.



Health and disability


Tasmania

Primary Healthcare Grants

The Department of Health and Human Services has established Primary Healthcare Grants to support GPs and pharmacists by providing grant funding of up to $10,000 to eligible general practices and community pharmacists to support continued delivery of primary health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications have been extended to July 10. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.


South Australia


Community Wellbeing & Resilience Grants

The Community Wellbeing & Resilience Grants provide funding of between $10,000 and $100,000 for community-based projects that contribute to positive wellbeing and resilience outcomes to address the impacts of COVID-19 on groups of people within the South Australian community. Non-government organisations, local government and community groups are eligible to apply. Applications close 17 July. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.



Education and training


National

Higher education relief package key points:

More information is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

Tasmania

Skills Tasmania Train Now Fund

The Train Now Fund Program targets training for existing workers, including sole traders, who are still employed and have capacity to train during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three different partner types are supported – employer, industry association and business/small business groups. The budget for this grant round is up to $1.5 million. RTOs can apply for the full 100% subsidy.

Applications close 30 September 2020 (or until funds are fully allocated). The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.



Media organisations/community radio (national)


Support for Freelancers & Casual Contributors fund

The Judith Neilson Institute has created the Support for Freelancers & Casual Contributors fund to support journalists and provide some cost-relief to media organisations. Media organisations are invited to apply for financial support for freelancers and casual contributors to undertake specific projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.



Rural and regional areas


National

Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) grants variations policy

The Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) has a grants variations policy to respond to special circumstances such as the Covid-19 outbreak. If something has changed in your community, they are encouraging grantees to get in touch with them. Visit the FRRR website for more information on how to get in touch.


BHP $50 million Vital Resources Fund

BHP has established a $50 million Vital Resources Fund to help support regional Australian communities in its areas of operation, which are facing the significant challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending will be focused on the regions surrounding BHP’s Australian operations, including the Bowen Basin in Central Queensland, the Hunter Valley in NSW, Roxby Downs and the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, and the Pilbara and Goldfields regions in Western Australia.

More information to come soon. The Fund is listed on the Funding Centre here.



Support from your bank (national)


Small Business Relief Package

If your business or not-for-profit has been adversely impacted by COVID-19 your bank will allow you to defer principal and interest repayments for all loans attached to the business for a period of six months through the Small Business Relief Package.

To be eligible, you must have less than $10 million total debt to all credit providers. You need to be current, and not in arrears as of 1 January 2020.

Find out the support available through your bank by using the Australian Banking Association’s Find your bank tool.

Visit the below links to find out the support available through the big four banks.

For more information, view the ABA's press release here, and FAQs here.


Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme

The Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme will support up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs (including sole traders and not-for-profits) and guarantee 50% of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs. The Scheme will be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

Loans will be made available through participating bank and non-bank lenders. View the list of participating lenders here. The Scheme is listed on the Funding Centre here.


Australia's big four banks agreed to speed up loan applications

Australia's big four banks have agreed to speed up loan applications from businesses and not-for-profit organisations who are waiting for JobKeeper payments to come through. Eligible organisations are encouraged to contact their bank to ask for the bridging support.



We're working as a team through this crisis


This page is one of the ways the Our Community Group is working to support not-for-profits through the COVID-19 crisis, as part of a major #SaveOurSector campaign.

You can learn more and find free resources and tools at www.ourcommunity.com.au/saveoursector


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