Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund

Providing small grants to partners of the Australian Volunteers Program to help them respond to and recover from COVID19.

Thanks to all the partner organisations that applied for the latest round of the Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund.

Applications were of an extremely high standard, and winning projects were announced in June 2020.

Explore the successful applications.

Applications for grants of up to AUD$10,000 closed on 31 May 2020.

Previously, the Impact Fund was offered to Australian volunteers to support their assignments and their partner organisation’s important work. In 2020 we want to ensure that partner organisations with an Australian volunteer that returned home because of COVID-19 remain supported during this challenging time. Funds awarded will be to finance items, services or projects that help communities respond to and recover from COVID-19.

Read the FAQs below or email for more information. 

Although volunteers have returned to Australia, we want to support you to work with volunteers either locally, or remotely

Your capacity to work with volunteers is an important part of your application. This could either be remotely, with your Australian volunteer that recently returned to Australia, or with local volunteers from your community.

Focus areas

  • Building capacity
  • Enhancing community resilience during COVID-19
  • Supporting volunteer contributions – remote and local
  • Supporting gender equality, diversity and inclusion (disability inclusion, LGBT+ community, indigenous peoples, remote and rural, other marginalised groups)

Sample initiatives

  • Funding to assist in COVID-19 response (such as equipment or technical advice)
  • Professional development for partner organisation staff and locally engaged volunteers
  • Workshops and training
  • Support of local volunteer programs
  • Research, audits or monitoring and evaluation projects
  • Awareness campaigns (such as public health messaging)
  • Resource production (such as educational material or translation services)
  • Outreach to remote communities
  • Accessibility aids, like screen readers and text-to-speech technology
  • Development of rehabilitation spaces and equipment

Key dates

Friday 15 May 2020

Applications open

Sunday 31 May 2020 11:59pm AEST

Applications close

Monday 8 June 2020

Applicants advised of outcome
Late June 2020

Funds released to successful organisations


  • Grant requests cannot exceed AUD$10,000
  • You must have been hosting an Australian volunteer who was repatriated in March 2020
  • You must demonstrate you have successfully managed funding/grants in the last two years
  • If successful, you will need to complete a due diligence process led by the program within two weeks of notification
  • If successful, receipts must be provided for all purchases
  • Photos of outcomes and a short narrative on the impact of the grant to be provided on completion of the project

Check out the FAQs below or email for more information. 


  • Proselytizing - any religious activities
  • Activities supporting political campaigns or parties
  • Consultancy fees for volunteer’s services
  • Large equipment requiring ongoing maintenance or high running cost
  • The purchase of land and other capital assets; construction; loan funds; contingency funds; sub-grants or alcohol.

Preparing an application

All grant applications must be submitted through SmartyGrants. The application should take no longer than one hour to submit. You will be asked to provide the information below:

  • What is the overall aim and activities of your project?
  • How will this grant support building capacity across your organisation? (30%)
  • How will this grant support your response to COVID-19? (20%)
  • How will the grant support either: your capacity to work with your Australian volunteer remotely OR your capacity to include local volunteers in your work or support agencies that are working with domestic volunteers? (20%)
  • How will your project support gender equality, diversity and inclusion through either your target group, organisation mandate or inclusive practice? (20%)
  • How will your project ensure sustainable outcomes? (10%)
  • Financial Management:
    • What is your organisation’s total annual budget for 2019/2020?
    • List the names and value/budget of your past and current funders for the last two years.
    • Upload your project budget.
  • You will be required to provide your bank account details at the time of application.

Applications closed on 31 May 2020.


How big is the Impact Fund?

The Impact Fund welcomes applications for grants of up to AUD$10,000. The total value of the fund for this financial year is up to AUD$180,000.  


How many grants will be awarded?

The number of grants awarded will be dependent on the quantity and quality of applications.


Our volunteer returned to Australia. Why does volunteering need to be part of the application?

In recent years the Australian Volunteers Program has provided grants for Australian volunteers to deliver projects and programs in partnership with their local partner organisations. Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 Australian volunteers were repatriated to Australia from all of the 26 countries in which we operate.

Supporting volunteering and the immense value it brings individuals and communities is essential to our work. We are excited that volunteers, whether they be Australian volunteers who recently returned to Australia, or local volunteers from your communities, will be an integral part of projects supported by the Impact Fund.

More information on remote volunteering opportunities will be provided to partner organisations soon.


In recent years grants were provided to volunteers, who then delivered projects with their partner organisations. How will grant money be distributed?

As Australian volunteers have returned to Australia due to COVID-19, partner organisations that submit successful applications will be funded directly to deliver their project.


Can my organisation submit multiple applications?

Due to the limited amount of funding available, we will only accept one application per partner organisation.


How do I apply for a grant for my organisation?

All applications for Impact Fund grants are managed through SmartyGrants. You can start your application on the SmartyGrants website.


If my organisation is successful, when do funds need to be spent by?

Funds will need to be spent, acquitted, and reported on to the Australian Volunteers Program by 30 June 2021.


Successful applications need to help communities respond to, or help recover from, COVID-19. How will this work?

Some examples could be using the funds to provide health messaging to vulnerable populations, pivoting your services to assist the community to access health services, or simply changing your programming to address the new challenges.


What information needs to be included in my budget?

Make sure you include one-off costs, and all recurring costs associated with your project. This could include staffing or project oversight, workshop costs (including participant per diems), printing or design for resources.

Please be specific and include contingencies. It is important that your budget matches the description of your project in your application. Given that we provide funding in Australian dollars please account for bank fees and other potential administration costs.


What does the due diligence involve?

Due diligence involves assessing the current programs, approaches, systems and identified needs of our partner organisations. It is a standard process that is conducted on a regular basis with all partner organisations of the Australian Volunteers Program. 

Before providing a grant, we need to verify that partner organisations have the ability to manage funds, keep records and have fraud control practices. Our in-country teams will work with you to complete this process.


Where can I ask some questions?

Please email for more information. Also check back on this webpage, as we will continue to update the FAQs as needed.