Australian Volunteers Program Impact Fund

Grants to support Australian Volunteers Program partner organisations with their critical work.

Applications for the current round of the Impact Fund closed on Tuesday 20 April 2021. 

Small grants can make a big difference. The Australian Volunteers Program is now welcoming applications for grants of up to AUD$10,000 through our Impact Fund.

In recent years the Impact Fund has supported partner organisations to deliver projects and activities in support of their local communities. This year, the Impact Fund is funding projects that address one of these two areas:

  • Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI), or
  • Climate action / food security / disaster resilience.

Applications are open to all partner organisations who hosted volunteers through the Australian Volunteers Program (from 2018 to today).

For more information read our applicant guidelinescheck out the FAQs below or email

Explore the successful applications from the 2020 round of the Impact Fund.

Sample initiatives

The Impact Fund is open to projects which respond to local needs and support outcomes in either Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) or climate action (including food security and disaster resilience).

Example projects could:

  • Strengthen knowledge and leadership within communities
  • Create a network of stakeholders to share knowledge and resources
  • Build awareness and promote and share knowledge
  • Prevent, mitigate or reduce exposure to identified risks
  • Increase resilience
  • Demonstrate opportunities for adaptation and mitigation
  • Support local volunteers

Key dates

Monday 22 March 2021

Applications open

Tuesday 20 April 2021 

Applications close

Friday 7 May 2021

Applicants advised of outcome
Tuesday 25 May 2021

Activities commence


  • Grant requests cannot exceed AUD$10,000
  • Your organisation must have hosted a volunteer through the Australian Volunteers Program (from 2018 to today).
  • 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?
  • Have you established a focus on Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) or climate action / food security / disaster resilience, and set realistic outcomes? (40% weighting on selection criteria)
  • Will you engage with relevant community/ies? (20%)
  • Are the activities related to the identified outcomes set to a realistic timeframe and budget? (20%)
  • Have risks relating to the project and appropriate mitigations been identified, and has the sustainability of the project been addressed? (20%)
  • Financial Management:
    • What is your organisation’s total annual budget for 2020/2021?
    • 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 Tuesday 20 April 2021.


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$300,000.  


How many grants will be awarded?

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


My organisation is not focused on GEDSI or climate action. Can I still apply?

Yes. All partner organisations are encouraged to consider how they can utilise funding to enhance inclusion in their day-to-day work, or how they can create more environmentally sustainable work practices.


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 are supporting remotely 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 and all activities complete by 30 April 2022. The funds will need to be acquitted, and the project reported on to the Australian Volunteers Program by 30 May 2022.


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 activities 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.


What is the funding agreement?

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Australian Volunteers Program. It is recommended that applicants review the terms and conditions before applying to ensure all obligations can be met as the terms and conditions will not be negotiable.


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.