The Circular Economy Communities Fund supports local community groups, social enterprises and other not-for-profit businesses working to reduce waste and improve recycling.
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Applicants must contribute at least $1 for every $5 requested.
The fund is distributed through 2 funding streams:
Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm, 31 March 2022. Late applications will only be accepted under exceptional circumstances.
This grant is funded through the government’s circular economy plan, Recycling Victoria: a new economy.
The following are the guidelines for applying for this fund.
Round 2 of this grant closed on 4 April 2022. View the fund recipients.
Find out more in the Information bulletin.
The Fund objective is to assist Victorian Communities to transition to a circular economy by providing funds to solicit creative solutions for issues and gaps in the current waste management system.
The project needs to deliver one or more of the following objectives:
For Stream 1, each project can receive a grant of between $25,000 and $59,000.
For Stream 2, each project can receive a grant of between $60,000 and $250,000. Read more about Stream 2.
Applicants must contribute at least $1 for every $5 requested. This contribution can be either financial (cash) or in-kind.
In-kind contributions can comprise up to 100% of the contribution.
For example, if your grant request is $50,000, you must co-contribute at least $10,000.
Applicants are encouraged to establish collaborative partnerships with other organisations to support project delivery and maximise the project’s impact. This might include relationships with authorities or land managers (for example, relevant local governments, catchment management authorities, coastal committees), research institutes, commercial businesses, Aboriginal corporations or other charities, community groups or social enterprises.
In the application form, Applicants will need to clarify the nature of these relationships and the partner’s commitment to the project. Letters of support are encouraged.
This Guidelines and Application Form refer to these relationships as Project Partners.
Applicants are encouraged to contact their respective Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group (WRRG) to discuss their intended application to the RV Communities Fund. WRRGs can support organisations with their application but cannot recommend projects for funding or provide financial or in-kind contribution towards a project.
The WRRG contact details are available on the Our partners page.
Eligible organisations must be one of the following organisation types:
Applicants who do not agree with the Grant Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions will be asked to provide full details of proposed amendments that would render the contractual provision acceptable to the Applicant in the SmartyGrants application form. Applicants should note that significant or substantive variations will not be viewed favourably unless the Applicant is able to demonstrate the necessity for such variations. Should applicants be successful, no further amendments to SV’s standard terms and conditions will be considered beyond the variations included in the application form.
Sustainability Victoria encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and groups from diverse communities
Sustainability Victoria manages several grants. Although you can apply for more than one grant for a project, you can only receive one grant. If you’ve already applied for a Sustainability Victoria grant and now find this grant is more relevant or suitable, you can withdraw your application by emailing us.
Applicants cannot be local government, a for-profit company, educational institutions, an individual or unincorporated association.
Costs directly related to the implementation of the project include:
You can submit multiple applications. Each application must be for a different project. An application must not be for multiple projects.
Projects will not be funded if they:
The following costs are ineligible for funding:
The assessment panel will assess the application based on merit according to the criteria below.
Applicants and Project Partners must demonstrate their ability to deliver the project by showing they have:
Describe and demonstrate why the project is needed, or the problem the project is intending to address.
Is the project new or expanding an existing project?.
Anticipated project outcomes or benefits.
The number of FTE equivalents created by the project or volunteer hours that will be contributed.
If relevant, social or sustainable procurement benefits delivered because of the project.
Demonstrate how the project will be delivered, including identifying:
Sustainability Victoria may overlay rankings to achieve an overall mix of projects that represent:
A risk-based approach will be used to assess the Applicant’s social, economic and environmental risks in relation to the project. This assessment will include the Applicant’s Related Entities and may include Project Partners (see Section 9: Program definitions).
Applicants (and their Related Entities and, if applicable, their Project Partners) must:
Assessment of satisfactory level of risk will include but not be limited to Sustainability Victoria’s consideration of:
Sustainability Victoria may conduct due diligence checks on the Project Partners involved in the delivery of the project. The Applicant must ensure that any Project Partner agrees to cooperate with this requirement and will provide information at Sustainability Victoria’s request.
Sustainability Victoria reserves the right not to award funding to Applicants where the due diligence risk (including Project Partners) is unsatisfactory or not able to be managed.
Successful applicants approved for funding must do the following:
Dates may change. We will provide applicants with updates as much as possible and when necessary.
Applications open: 17 February 2022
Information session: 24 February 2022
Applications close: 31 March 2022
Announcement of outcomes: July 2022
Funding agreements established: August 2022 or in mutual agreement with the successful applicant
Projects commenced by: September 2022, or in mutual agreement with the successful applicant
Project completed by: 12 months from contract signing, or in mutual agreement with successful applicant
Before applying, we recommend you attend an information session.
The grant program involves a competitive, merit-based application process.
Sessions are online. A recording will be available after the session.
Thursday 24 February 2022
Time: 3:00 pm
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Tips on preparing and writing a grant application’, ‘Recycling Victoria Communities Fund’, ‘Alice Young-Drew & Karyn McLeod, RV Communities Fund’, ‘February 2022’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’][The visuals during this webinar are of a PowerPoint Presentation being played on screen, with speakers appearing via video at the bottom of the screen]
Hi there, everyone, and welcome to tips on preparing and writing a grant application. This is for the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund. I'm Alice Young-Drew, and this is my colleague Karyn McLeod, who will be on later. Firstly, I'd like to start by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which we are meeting today, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung Peoples, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and the Elders of the Nations upon which you're all watching from today. At SV, we acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the most sustainable culture in the world, and that the unique knowledge systems of the Aboriginal people and their contributions to our understanding of climate change and our environment are being slowly, belatedly recognized.
At SV, we are working towards Indigenous inclusion in our program design and workplace more generally and we welcome your support and guidance on this journey.
In this session, we will cover preparing your application, writing your application, and submitting your application. Preparing your application. First, we recommend that you understand the fund and collect your eligibility documents. We then recommend you engage your project partners. You then complete research and clarify your project. Then we recommend you write and review your application, and lastly, submit your application. We also recommend that you contact your regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group, which you can do at any stage before you submit your application, and we do recommend the earlier, the better.
Firstly, understand the RV Communities Fund. We recommend that you read and understand the program guidelines, the information bulletin including the frequently asked questions, SV's short-form for Stream 1 or general grant funding agreement for Stream 2, SV's terms of participation and grant programs. We also recommend that you have a look at the funded projects and recipients in Round 1 of the RV Communities Fund, and we also recommend that you watch our information session.
Collect eligibility documents. If you have read all of the information for the RV Communities Fund and you know that you are eligible and that this is the right fund for you, we recommend that you collect your evidence to demonstrate your eligibility.
For example, this could be your ACNC certificate or your Social Traders certificate, and also collect your current Australian Business Number, your ABN. At the next stage, we then recommend that you engage your project partners. Now, project partners are not compulsory, but they are highly encouraged. Project partners can be any organization. You can have as many project partners as you like but there can only be one lead applicant. Ensure your project partner's commitment and role in the project is clear, and we do recommend letters of support along with your application.
As I mentioned before, you can contact your regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group at any point before you submit your application, but we do encourage you to contact them earlier in the process rather than later. Now, it's not compulsory that you contact your WRRG, but it is highly encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to contact their WRRG as early as possible, as I mentioned before, to develop their application and receive feedback. WRRGs can support applicants, but they cannot recommend projects for funding or provide financial or in-kind contributions towards a project.
We then recommend that you complete your research and clarify your project. Clarify the why, the what, the who, and the how of your project. Be clear on your role as the lead applicant versus the role that your project partners will be playing. Develop your project plan, your budget, and your milestones. Also, ensure you have the appropriate insurances in place or organized. You can then start your application. So you can visit the RV Communities Fund webpage at sustainability.vic.gov.au. Click apply online and you'll be taken to our SmartyGrants page.
Create a SmartyGrants Account before you start your application. It will ask you to choose which fund you're applying for so just make sure you're, of course, clicking on the RV Victoria, the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund. There are separate application forms for Stream 1 and 2. Now, I'll pass over to Karyn.
Great. Thanks, Alice. Hi, everyone. So just sort of talking through writing your application. So the point is assume (well, it's important, I guess), assume the assessment panel knows nothing about your project and/or your organization. So you're telling them a story about what you intend to do and why, and as Alice has been mentioning, we strongly encourage you to keep the guidelines and the assessment criteria top of mind. In a previous slide, we mentioned the what, the how, the who, and the why of the project.
So within those sections in the guidelines and the assessment criteria, we pose different questions, which are also in the application form. So it's really important that you reference those when you are filling out the form, and use concise and simple language that's easy to understand. I suppose it might be, for example, as if you're talking to your neighbour or a good friend about your project, you know your project and your organization best, and so we really encourage you to use that simple language in your application. Be clear about the outcomes of your project and the difference your project will make. We appreciate that this isn't always black and white.
So what are those intended outcomes? What are you aiming for? What do you see happening in 12 month’s time? Use specific examples and data where necessary. Exactly how many people are involved or how many people do you anticipate being involved based on some calculations that you've been undertaking, and ensure any of these claims are backed up by evidence. Yeah. Thank you. Okay.So what makes a good application? So as mentioned previously, projects that clearly address the guidelines. This is the key foundation to which the assessment panel will be looking at all the applications across so, again, as Alice and I both said, just keep referring back to those guidelines because they're really important to guide you.
We're also looking for projects that will continue to benefit the community long after the funding period is complete. So there are some questions in there about what you anticipate if you are funded, and what you anticipate once the funding ends. We're looking at projects (although it's not compulsory) there are some sort of questions there around projects that deliver social or sustainable procurement benefits and projects that show value for money, what's going to be that sort of value for the broader community from your project. We're also looking for projects that clearly show the changes the project is attempting to drive and the extent of this change.
Also, we want to see that your organization, and to some degree your project partners, have the relevant skills, knowledge, experience, and capacity to deliver the project that you're requesting funds for. Okay. So submitting your application, so Alice has highlighted what you need to do in relation to SmartyGrants. Highly recommend you proofread the application you've done. You'll get... Sorry. You'll get your application proofread. Yeah. You've done all this incredible work, getting everything down, so maybe another colleague at your organization or one of your project partners, just get them to glance their eye over the application and just sort of do a proof and sense checking exercise.
Really important that you check you've completed the correct form, and as we've highlighted, we've got two different forms, one for Stream 1 and one for Stream 2. Ensure all necessary sections of the form are complete. Most of the questions in the form are mandatory anyway, but it pays to just double check that you've completed everything, and of course, really important, ensure all required documentation has been uploaded. Because we run a competitive merit-based assessment process, we can't come back to you and ask for extra information or ask you to resubmit some documentation. So really make sure you've submitted everything by the closing date, which is almost midnight on 31 March 2022.
Okay, and so for any questions, we've got an information bulletin page, and please read our frequently asked questions. Those questions have been developed from a number of conversations we've had with previous applicants. So hopefully, we've addressed a lot of the questions that can arise for organisations, but if we haven't outlined it in those key areas, then by all means, please email our grants team. There's the email on the slide there. So thank you very much for your time, and Alice and I look forward to learning about your project.
Thanks all for watching.
We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
Phone: +61 3 8656 6757 Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
In the subject line, use the fund name [Recycling Victoria Communities Fund Round 2 – Stream 1]
This fund is released as part of the Victorian Government’s circular economy plan, Recycling Victoria: a new economy, and represents the Government’s action plan to reform our waste and recycling system over the next decade.
Key Commitment 2 of the Recycling Victoria plan is to use products to create more value and the target is a 15% reduction in total waste generation per capita between 2020 and 2030.
The Recycling Victoria Communities Fund is a key deliverable in support of this goal and will support local community groups, social enterprises and other not-for-profit businesses working to reduce waste and improve recycling.
To transition to a circular economy, Victorians must become world-class recyclers, repairers, resellers and re-users. In a circular economy, businesses offer products in different ways. Renting and sharing become more common choices and products are used for longer or by more people—saving consumers money and reducing waste.
Communities are well placed to support this transition at a local level, and the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund supports projects that are soliciting creative solutions for issues and gaps in the current waste management system and are delivering activities which enable a reduction in costs of living pressures and waste, build local skills, encourage social connections and create new business opportunities.
The applicant who applies for the funding and is responsible for all details in the submission of an application and the contractual obligations under the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria if successful for grant funding.
The Applicant’s required cash or in-kind contribution to the total project income.
A relationship established between a Lead Applicant and Project Partner/s for the purposes of meeting common project objectives and outcomes. Collaborative Partnerships need to be demonstrated by a formal agreement between the partners that outlines the governance, financial and intellectual property arrangements and roles and responsibilities of each party. A formal agreement must either be in place or be finalised before commencement of the project.
Actual new full-time positions created by your business. This can include training or upskilling of employees who would otherwise be made redundant through the implementation of your project.
Early learning centres, kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and universities.
Environmental, Safety or Workplace Breach
An environmental or safety breach is any past or current prosecution, reportable incident, investigation, notice, penalty, warning, regulatory intervention or enforcement action from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Victorian WorkCover Authority (WorkSafe) or Fair Work or failure to comply with any environmental, safety and workplace laws.
Environmental and Safety Laws
Environmental and safety laws are the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Environment Protection Act 2017 or any other legislation, regulation, order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the protection and safety of persons or property or which regulate the environment including laws relating to land use planning, pollution of air or water, soil or groundwater contamination, chemicals, waste, the use, handling, storage or transport of dangerous goods or substances, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon trading, or any other aspect of protection of the environment.
Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE)
The hours worked by one employee on a full-time basis.
The calculation is used to convert the hours worked by several part-time employees into the hours worked by full-time employees. For example, you have three employees working the following - 40, 40 and 20 hours per week, giving you 100 hours per week in total.
Assuming full-time hours are 40 hours per week, your full-time equivalent calculation is 100 hours divided by 40 hours which equals 2.5 FTE.
An in-kind contribution is a contribution of a good or a service other than cash.
In-kind contributions should include the cost for activities that are directly related to delivering your project. Examples include:
The following activities cannot be considered as in-kind contributions:
Applicants must fairly justify how they determined the dollar value for in-kind contributions.
An organisation that provides services to the community and does not operate to make a profit for its members (or shareholders, if applicable).
An organisation/s in a Collaborative Partnership with a Lead Applicant that have a critical role in the project and a formal commitment to delivering the support required to ensure the project’s success.
Entities which are related to the Applicant, including:
A social enterprise is a business that trades to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training, or help the environment.
Related Person means a director, officer, employee, agent, board member or contractor of the Applicant or a Related Entity.
Workplace laws are the Fair Work Act 2009, or any other legislation, regulation order, statute, by-law, ordinance or any other legislative or regulatory measure, code, standard or requirement relating to the provision of fair, relevant and enforceable minimum terms and conditions for all persons and to prevent discrimination against employees.
In the subject line, use the grant name [Recycling Victoria Communities Fund Round 2 – Stream 1: Local Community projects].