Recycling Victoria Communities Fund: Information bulletin

Last updated: 23 March 2021

We note the funding agreement hyperlinks on the website and guidelines were incorrect and this was amended on 8 February 2021. There is a Short Form Funding Agreement for Stream 1 grants, and a General Funding Agreement for Stream 2 grants. Please ensure you have reviewed and accepted the relevant terms and conditions for your project before submitting your application.

Information sessions

We held information sessions to present an overview of the fund and application criteria.

Recording

Questions and answers

Thank you for your questions at the information session on 9 February 2021. Due to the high volume of questions received, some have been re-worded to benefit as many potential applicants as possible.

Please note that this being a competitive process, we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project. We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addresses the merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and Application Form.

This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.

In this section:

Eligibility

Can an education institution e.g. an early learning centre, kindergarten, school or university be a Lead applicant?

No, the RV Communities Fund is designed for communities, not for educational institutions. The Program seeks to create circular economy practices and benefits in the community, and grants will be awarded to projects that demonstrate potential for wide reach and impact, and broad community benefits.

For the purpose of this Program, SV will not accept grant applications from educational institutions. This includes early learning centres, kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and universities. While these institutions are ineligible to act as a Lead Applicant in a grant application, they are able to participate as a Project Partner in an application where the grant application is submitted by an eligible Lead Applicant.

For more details on partnerships, please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines.

How do we demonstrate that we’re eligible to apply for this grant?

You will need to attach evidence with your application to show that your organisation is either a charity, a not-for-profit organisation, a community group or a social enterprise. This may include:

For more information on eligibility criteria, please see Section 3.1 Who can apply? and Section 4.2 Eligibility criteria of the program guidelines.

For more information on social enterprises, visit Business Victoria’s social enterprise page.

Do we need a current Australian Business Number (ABN) to be eligible for funding?

Yes, Lead Applicants must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN). Please see Section 4.2 Eligibility criteria of the program guidelines.

Can a Lead applicant partner with a council?

Yes, Lead applicants can form partnerships with councils to deliver the project. For more information on partnerships, please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines.

Do you provide a definition of a social enterprise, charity and not-for-profit organisation?

Yes, we do. Please refer to Section 9. Definitions of the program guidelines.

Do I need an auspice? Who can act as an auspice if we need one?

If you have a great project idea but you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to partner with an eligible organisation to apply for the grant. To be eligible to apply for funding, applicants need to be a charity, not-for-profit organisation, community group or social enterprise.

The eligible organisation will need to be the Lead Applicant for the project and if funded, would enter into the funding agreement.

We are a peak body for eligible community organisations, can we apply to deliver a project on behalf of some of our members?

Yes, provided that your organisation is a community group, not-for-profit organisation, charity or social enterprise.

Funding

My project will benefit multiple communities within one local government area. Should I be applying for Stream 1 or Stream 2 funding?

A project that benefits multiple communities within one local government area would be eligible for Stream 1 funding. To be eligible for Stream 2 funding, projects must benefit communities over a wide geographic area, such as multiple local government areas, regions or across Victoria.

For more information on Stream 1 and Stream 2 grants, please see Section 1. Funding overview of the program guidelines.

Can I receive a grant smaller than $25,000?

No, $25,000 is our minimum grant. Please see Section 1. Funding overview of the program guidelines. For more information on partnerships, please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines.

What is the Fund’s total budget and how much will be allocated in the first round?

The Program’s total approved grant budget is $5 million. The expected allocation for this round is likely to be around $1.4 million, however the allocation for this round will be dependent on the number and quality of applications received. We will be in a position to know what remaining funding will be available for future rounds after all applications for this round have been assessed.

Will there be an opportunity for Stream 2 in the future?

Yes, both Stream 1 and Stream 2 grants will be offered in future rounds of the RV Communities Fund.

Are project-related travel expenses eligible for funding?

Yes. Please see Section 3.4. What will be funded? of the program guidelines.

Will this program fund digital infrastructure?

Yes, digital infrastructure that is integral to the project will be considered for funding.

Can the training of staff be funded?

If training of staff is integral to the delivery of your project, it could be considered for funding.

Will SV fund salaries for existing staff?

No, but these may be considered part of your in-kind contribution to the project. Please see Section 3.4 What will be funded? and Section 3.5 What will not be funded? as well as Section 9. Definitions for a definition of in-kind in the program guidelines.

Can funds be used for project management or contractor costs?

Project management and contractor costs are eligible expenditure items for grant funding if they are project-specific roles or directly related to implementation of the project. Please see Section 3.4 What will be funded? and Section 3.5 What will not be funded? of the program guidelines.

Which waste materials should we focus on for the grant?

Priority materials in the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria policy are glass, paper/cardboard, organics, textiles, e-waste, plastics and tyres. However, the Recycling Victoria Communities Fund is designed to provide tailored solutions to a community’s unique circumstances, so other non-priority materials may be considered for funding.

Will SV fund the cost of a lease to land or premises for the purposes of my project?

No. Please see Section 3.4 What will be funded? and Section 3.5 What will not be funded? of the program guidelines.

Application

Can applicants speak to someone from Sustainability Victoria with specific questions about a possible proposal?

This being a competitive process, we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project. We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addresses the merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and Application Form.

We recommend applicants speak to their respective Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group (WRRG) to discuss their proposal. WRRGs can support organisations with their application but cannot recommend projects for funding. Please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines where you will find a link to the WRRG’s contact details.

Can a Project partner fill in the application form on behalf of the Lead applicant?

The Lead applicant should fill in the application form. As the funding agreement will be signed by the Lead applicant, it is crucial that they are across all details of the program, their project and they understand and agree to comply with Sustainability Victoria’s Short Form Funding Agreement for Stream 1 grants, General Funding Agreement for Stream 2 grants, and Terms of Participation in Grant Programs for both streams.

What would be an example of in-kind contributions?

Please see Section 9. Definitions of the program guidelines.

How should I show proof of my project partner’s commitment to the project?

Applicants will be required to provide evidence of their project partner’s commitment to the project in the application form. For example, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and/or Letter of Agreement.

We have more than one project we’d like funding for. Can we submit more than one grant application?

Yes, provided that your organisation and projects meet the eligibility requirements. You will need to ensure that you can meet your co-contribution requirements for each project.

We have two project ideas. Can we apply for both Stream 1 and Stream 2?

Yes, provided that your organisation and projects meet the eligibility requirements. You will need to ensure that you can meet your co-contribution requirements for each project and submit separate applications for both Stream 1 and Stream 2.

If an application is unsuccessful for funding in year 1, can we re-submit our application in future rounds?

Yes, provided that your organisation and projects meet the eligibility requirements. There will be opportunity to obtain feedback if your application is unsuccessful and this can be used to improve your application for future rounds.

Can we apply for other funding from the Victorian Government for our project?

If your project fits the criteria and meets the objectives for more than one Sustainability Victoria funding program then you can apply from multiple programs, but you will not be awarded funding from more than one program for the same project.

You are encouraged to seek other sources of funding to contribute to this project, such as from your own organisation, your project partners or project supporters, other government or private sector grants.

Is the application form available in PDF?

Yes. Please visit our SmartyGrants page.

You will find a link under the title page ‘Download preview form.’ You can access the application form, without creating a SmartyGrants account. All applications must be submitted via SmartyGrants.

How do I calculate the value of my staff time for the purposes of quantifying my co-contribution?

Please see Section 9. Definition of the program guidelines for a definition of Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTE) or the example budget table for further explanation.

Will late submissions be considered?

In order to be fair to all applicants, late applications will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Requests for approval for a late application can only be considered if you make an application in writing prior to the grant closing date as stated under late applications in our Terms of Participation in Grant Programs. Examples of exceptional circumstances are outlined in the document.

Please note, it can take some time to upload the relevant documentation to support applications in SmartyGrants.  For this reason, we recommend that you submit your application well ahead of the 3:00 pm deadline.

Assessment

Can Sustainability Victoria provide feedback on my proposed project before I submit my application?

No, this being a competitive grant process and we are unable to review a draft or provide feedback on the potential merit of a project.

We encourage applicants to consider and address how the project meets the eligibility criteria, and to describe how the project addressed the merit criteria outlined in the program guidelines and application form.

When will we know if our grant application has been successful?

We will provide applicants with updates about the progress of applications as much as possible but cannot provide a definite approval/announcement date.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If my project cannot go ahead due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, will we still receive the funding?

Grant payments will be performance-based and evidence of milestone completion will be required in order to receive funds. You are required to adequately assess risks to your project as part of your grant application, and show that you have measures in place to manage the impact of planned and unplanned risks.

If your project includes activities that could be impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions you will need to identify this in your application and outline measures you will take to manage this risk.

Other

What is the role of the Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Groups (WRRG’s) and where can I find their contact details?

Applicants are encouraged to contact their respective Regional Waste and Resource Recovery Group (WRRG) to discuss their proposal. WRRGs can support organisations with their application but cannot recommend projects for funding. Please see Section 3.2 Partnerships and collaborations of the program guidelines where you will find a link to the WRRG’s contact details.

Where can I find other circular economy funding opportunities?

You can sign up to Sustainability Victoria’s grants and funding mailing list at the bottom of our Grants and funding page. For other funding opportunities, visit the Grants and programs page on the Victorian Government website.