Assistance for organisations affected by COVID-19 and natural disasters

Posted on 18 Oct 2021

By Funding Centre

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

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.

Most of the links on this page require you to have a Funding Centre subscription to access. Try the Funding Centre for free for 14 days here.

Funding Centre members can browse grants on our grants database here.

National

JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme

The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years. Eligible employers including not-for-profit organisation operating in Australia can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021. The Scheme is listed on the Funding Centre here.

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.

Boosting cash flow for employers

Eligible not-for-profit (NFP) organisations who employ staff will receive between $20,000 to $100,000 in cash flow boost amounts by lodging their activity statements up to the month or quarter of September 2020. The cash flow boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system. They will generally be equivalent to the amount withheld from wages paid to employees for each monthly or quarterly period from March to June 2020. More information on the ATO website here.

Amended guidelines for ancillary funds

The guidelines for private and public ancillary funds have been amended to encourage increased distributions to deductible gift recipients (DGRs) as a result of COVID-19.

Private and public ancillary funds that exceed their minimum distribution rate for 2019–20 and 2020–21, by a total of five percentage points or more, will have a lower minimum distribution rate in future years.

To find out if you are eligible, see:

More information is available on the ATO website.

Government funding in your state or territory

Visit the relevant state or territory business website for information about assistance on offer which your organisation may be eligible to apply for. Links are below.

Information is being updated regularly - always check the funder’s website for more information before applying.

New South Wales

$200 million support package for not-for-profits

The NSW Government has announced a $200 million support package for the not-for-profit sector to help organisations faced with the financial impacts of the current restrictions.

The package includes a a $50 million Social Sector Support Fund (more on that below). The Fund will also provide a Workforce Surge Payment to support social sector organisations to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks where staff have been furloughed.

Further details will become available in the coming weeks. Read the media release here.

Social Sector Support Fund

The $50 million Social Sector Support Fund is part of the $200 million support package for not-for profits.

The SSSF is for eligible charities and Not-For-Profits (NFPs) in the social, health, disability and animal welfare service sectors in NSW.

There are four grant streams for the Support Fund:

  1. Workforce Contingency for DCJ providers delivering critical face-to-face supports - Please talk to your DCJ contract manager about whether you can access this payment
  2. Select Tender process for DCJ providers to provide immediate supports to clients - by invitation only
  3. Open Applications for eligible organisations to remain viable and continue to meet increased demand for their services - applications open in late October 2021
  4. Sector Support available to DCJ-contracted providers that need advice on implementing COVID-19 management plans and undertaking associated risk assessments.

Your organisation may be eligible for funding under one or more of these grant streams.

DCJ expect all grants to be fully expended by 31 December 2021.

Small business fees and charges rebate

If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500. This rebate helps businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages growth by reducing the cost of running a business. The rebate will be available until 30 June 2022. Visit the Funding Centre for more information.

Micro business grant

If you’re a micro business (small business or sole trader with annual turnover of more than $30,000 and under $75,000) impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for a grant of up to $1500. Applications close 18 October 2021. The program is listed on the Funding Centre here.

COVID-19 JobSaver payment

JobSaver will provide cash flow support to impacted businesses to help maintain their NSW employee headcount on 13 July 2021. Businesses and not-for-profit organisations with employees will receive fortnightly payments backdated to cover costs incurred from week 4 of the Greater Sydney lockdown (from 18 July 2021 onwards).

The payment will be equivalent to 40% of the weekly payroll for work performed in NSW:

  • minimum payment will be $1,500 per week
  • maximum payment will be $100,000 per week.

Applications close 18 October 2021. The program is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Victoria

Business Costs Assistance Program Round 5

The Business Costs Assistance Program Round 5 provides payments to eligible small to medium businesses in sectors affected by the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Four tiers of automatic payments will be available to eligible Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension recipients based on the size of their annual payroll.

    • $1000 per week for non-employing businesses
    • $2800 per week for businesses with an annual payroll below $650,000
    • $5600 per week for businesses with an annual payroll between $650,000 and less than $3 million.
    • $8400 per week for businesses with an annual payroll between $3 and $10 million.

Applications are ongoing. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

28 July Victorian Business Support Package announced

A new jointly funded package from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will give Victorian small and medium businesses the extra support and confidence they need to recover from the recent lockdown.

The new Victorian Business Support Package will deliver an additional $400 million in support to thousands of businesses, with funding to be split 50/50 between the Commonwealth and Victorian Government.

The package includes:

  • $156 million Business Continuity Fund to deliver $5,000 grants to up to around 30,000 businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits placed on businesses by necessary public health restrictions. You do not need to apply. It is an automatic payment to all eligible recipients.
  • $80 million for the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (ongoing, on the Funding Centre here) and the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund 3 (applications close 15 January 2022 or when funds are expended, listed on the Funding Centre here).

View the PM's press release here.

Impacted Public Events Support Fund

The Impacted Public Event Support Program provides grants to organisers and suppliers of Tier 1 and Tier 2 public events under the Public Events Framework (PEF) that are approved or registered to taken place between 11.59pm on 24 June 2021 and 11.59pm on 23 September 2021.

There are two steams of funding available, for Organisers and Suppliers. They both close on 26 October, 2021. Click the links below to view them on the Funding Centre.

Queensland

2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants

$5,000 grants will be made available to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by the COVID-19 lockdown that commenced on Saturday 31 July 2021 and lockdowns in other states. Applications close 16 November, 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

COVID-19 Cleaning rebate

The Queensland COVID-19 cleaning rebate supports small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have been listed as an exposure site by Queensland Health.

It will help cover professional cleaning expenses by providing a rebate of up to 80% of cleaning costs, capped at $10,000 (excluding GST) per incident, where a business is identified as a COVID-19 exposure site by Queensland Health. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

South Australia

COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant

  • The COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant has been introduced for industry sectors that are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 density and other trading restrictions applicable from 28 July 2021. Grants of $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses will be available for businesses in eligible industry sectors (those that have been significantly impacted by the restrictions) that have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more as a result of the COVID-19 health trading restrictions introduced from 28 July 2021. Applications close 17 October 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Australian Capital Territory

COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme

Eligible small businesses will soon be able to apply to the ACT Government to receive credits for payroll tax, utility charges, rates and other selected fees and charges up to a maximum of $10,000 per operator. To be eligible for credits the applicant must be able to demonstrate 30 per cent loss in revenue. This scheme is for small businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $10 million per annum.

The Scheme will open in October 2021. Detailed guidelines will be made available in the coming weeks. Find it on the Funding Centre here.

New South Wales

COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response Program

The COVID-19 Aboriginal Community Response Program will provide $10,000 quick response grants to support Aboriginal communities across NSW to reduce their risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and enable them to manage the impacts of the pandemic. Grants are available for: social and emotional wellbeing support; keeping communities connected; responding to immediate needs; and advocacy and information. Applications close 19 November, 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Victoria

Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC)

The SACWIC grant opportunity is the second grant opportunity to be established under the COVID-19 Aged Care Support program. It is designed to minimise the risk of an infection occurring in the aged care sector. Applications close 31 December, 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

CHSP Emergency support for COVID-19

CHSP aims to ensure CHSP service providers are able to continue to provide quality aged care services in an unexpected situation or one that poses a risk to the safety and care of aged care services recipients and/or staff. Applications close 30 June 2022 or until the funding allocation is exhausted. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

National

International Engagement Fund

The Australia Council for the Arts is funding this pilot fund which aims to support the Australian arts, cultural and creative sectors to explore opportunities to engage internationally, in the wake of unprecedented global change and disruption.

Grants are between $5,000 - $15,000 for research, experimentation, development and prototyping or $15,001 - $30,000 for action and new models. Applications close November 9, 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Sounds Australia Export Stimulus Package (SAES)

The Sounds Australia Export Stimulus Program targeted support will assist Australian artists, crew and music professionals to realise significant career milestone opportunities, earn much needed income after 18 months of cancelled work, and support Australia’s quest to become a net exporting music nation. Grants will fund visas, flights, freight and carnets, pre-tour rehearsals, hotel quarantine, insurance and more.

Grants of up to a maximum of AUD$15,000 for each application are available. Applications for the next round open 10 January, 2022 and close 4 February. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

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 $75,000 to $2 million are available to support the delivery and presentation of activities across all art forms to audiences across Australia. On 25 March 2021 the Government announced an additional $125 million in funding for the RISE Fund, available until 31 December 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.
  2. $50 million Temporary Interruption Fund (TIF) for Screen Australia to support local film and television producers to restart filming. Applications close 26 November 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.
  3. Up to $5 million is available to arts organisations through the COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund, which provides ‘last resort’ funding assistance to significant Australian Government-funded arts organisations that are assessed to be at imminent risk of insolvency as a direct result of COVID-19. Applications close 31 May, 2022. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Support Act Crisis Relief Grants

With funding support from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Support Act has expanded its services to offer Crisis Relief to music industry professionals impacted by COVID-19.

The funding will offer relief to musicians, crew and music workers who are unable to access Government benefits due to eligibility or other issues, and music workers who have been able to access Government benefits but are still facing financial hardship. Applications are ongoing. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Western Australia

Getting the Show back on the Road grants

Getting the Show back on the Road is a shared risk program that supports a percentage of box office loss in the situation where there has been a negative impact due to COVID-19 for the presentation of performing arts and live music events. Applications will be considered from performing arts organisations, live music event producers and presenters, festival organisers and commercial event companies. Applications are ongoing. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

New South Wales

NSW Performing Arts Covid Support Package

The aim of this package is to provide urgent financial support to performing arts venues, producers and promoters impacted by the cancellation or postponement of performances resulting from the NSW Government COVID-19 Public Health Orders from 26th June 2021.


The funding amount per performance will be calculated using a formula of average ticket price multiplied by the number of tickets available for sale and a specified percentage.

Applications close 31 December 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Create NSW COVID Development Grants

These grants aim to provide targeted support to mitigate the impact of disruption on the development of new works and collaborations, improve working conditions and opportunities, and create greater sustainability for generating revenue and income.

Two streams of funding are available under this program:

  • Individuals and Groups can apply for up to $5,000
  • Organisations can apply for up to $10,000

Applications close 31 January 2022. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Australian Capital Territory

HOMEFRONT Funding

Grants between $2,000 and $10,000 are available for ACT-based artists and small arts groups to support their ongoing arts practice during the pandemic. The next round of funding will open 1 December, 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

South Australia

Major Events Support Grant

The Government of South Australia has established a Major Events Support Grant to support South Australian organisers of major public events scheduled to take place between 12:01am on 20 July 2021 and 11.59pm on 10 August 2021 that were cancelled or postponed as a result of COVID-19 related trading restrictions. To receive a grant of $25,000, the organisers must declare that non-recoverable costs were equal to or greater than $25,000. If the loss was less than $25,000 the grant will be reduced to the declared loss amount. Applications close 17 October 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Victoria

Sustaining Creative Workers Initiative

The Sustaining Creative Workers initiative will provide grants to individual creative practitioners as well as creative collectives and micro-organisations to help them through the challenges of the pandemic and plan for reactivation. Grants available:

  • $5,000 grants for individual creative practitioners
  • $10,000 grants for collectives, micro-organisations and businesses

Application close November 22, 2021. The program is listed on the Funding Centre here.

National (excluding NT and WA)

Bushfire Restoration Grants: Tree planting

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife invites applications to support tree planting projects as part of bushfire restoration projects in and around regions impacted by the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Applications are currently open on an ongoing basis. The opportunity is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Australian Capital Territory

Support and relief after bushfires

Communities@Work are offering bushfire relief to help support those affected by the bushfire crisis. If you are currently in the ACT, have been affected by bushfires (ACT, NSW or VIC), and are experiencing hardship, get in contact with Communities@Work. The support is available on an ongoing basis. The support is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Victoria

Bushfire Recovery Grants for Community Facilities

Bushfire Recovery Grants for Community Facilities have been established to support local organisations to repair and improve damaged or destroyed community facilities in fire affected communities. Community groups and not-for-profit organisations will be able to apply for grants up to $50,000. Applications close 30 June, 2022. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Bushfire Recovery Grants for Local Government Authorities and Community Service Organisations

$500,000 Bushfire Recovery Grants for LGAs and CSOs will help councils, charities and community organisations support recovery, redevelopment and resilience after the 2019/20 Victorian Bushfires, and to build capacity and preparedness for the future. Applications close 31 December, 2021. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

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.

New South Wales

COVID-19 free preschool funding program

Funding is being provided as a top-up payment to replace a proportion of fee income that is being lost as a result of decreasing enrolments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support families with cost of living pressures and to support the ongoing provision of 600 hours of early childhood education in the year before school. There is currently no closing date to opt in. The department encourages providers to respond as soon as possible. The timing of payments may be impacted based on the timing of information received from Providers. The funding is listed on the Funding Centre here.

National

Post COVID-19 Innovation Collaboration Grants

A collaboration of philanthropic funders including the Sidney Myer Fund, Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, The Ian Potter Foundation and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation has established the $1.5 million Post COVID-19 Innovation Collaboration Grants for organisations in the arts and social sectors registered with the ACNC, with DGR1 status, and eligible for charity tax concessions.

Up to five proposals will be shortlisted for a $15,000 grant each to develop the collaboration, for implementation over three months, including development of a full proposal.

Two to three proposals may be selected for funding of up to $500,000 each (for initiatives of two-to-three years) or up to $750,000 each (for initiatives of up to five years).

EOIs close 31 October. 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.

Victoria

Reduced reporting requirements for charities in Victoria

Charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) are no longer required to apply for fundraiser registration; renew their fundraiser registration; or lodge an annual statement with Consumer Affairs Victoria. To benefit from the reduced reporting requirements, your organisation will need to notify Consumer Affairs Victoria of your charity registration with the ACNC via myCAV. Fundraisers that are registered charities still have ongoing responsibilities to Consumer Affairs Victoria and the public. For more information, see Charities information.

DHHS, Red Cross emergency relief support

The Red Cross has been commissioned by the DHHS to deliver an Extreme Hardship Support Program to provide financial assistance, information and referrals to people living in Victoria who are experiencing significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and are unable to access other forms of Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government income support. The Brotherhood of St Laurence will support community organisations to identify and support eligible people to apply. More information is available on the Funding Centre.

Western Australia

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.

Note: 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.

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.

CommBank Emergency Assistance support

CommBank's Emergency Assistance is for personal and business customers affected by unforeseen and disruptive risk events relating to natural disasters and pandemics. The support may include loan restructuring and waiving of selected fees and charges. CommBank encourage affected customers to call 1800 314 695 or visit any branch to discuss their individual circumstances. If you're a business customer, please call 1800 314 695 or your dedicated CommBank relationship manager. The support is listed on the Funding Centre here.

Australian banks offer COVID-19 customer relief

The Australian Banking Association has announced further support for customers affected by continuing COVID-19 lockdowns or those recovering from recent lockdowns.

The COVID-19 related relief package is available to all small businesses and home loan customers impacted by current lockdowns or recovering from recent lockdowns. It will allow the ABA and participating banks to defer loan repayments and waive certain banking fees for small businesses.

Small businesses are encouraged to contact their bank to discuss the COVID-19 related relief package.

More information is available on the business.gov.au website.


This page was originally posted 20 March, 2020

Become a member