Social Sector Transformation Fund
Grants for small and medium-sized charities and not-for-profits working in health and social service to help them modernise their operations, so they can remain efficient, effective and viable.
Eligible and ineligible organisations
- What is the eligibility criteria?
- Our organisation does not meet any of the registration requirements listed in the SSTF application form. Is there any way we can apply for funding?
- Can organisations make a joint application?
- What if we want to work with another organisation?
- Can there be a lead organisation working in partnership with other organisations?
- Does our organisation require an ABN?
- The application asks for our financials for 2019/20. What should I include?
- I am a new organisation and don’t have 2019/20 financials. Can I apply?
Grant categories and expenditure
- Can the Open Grant be used for a (retrospective) project that has already commenced?
- What can’t the SSTF grants be spent on?
- Can I apply for funding for a project already being funded by DCJ / another government department?
- We haven’t used SmartyGrants before, is there another way to lodge our application?
- Should our application include GST?
- When completing our application, how many grant funding categories and outcome measures should we select?
- Can we go back to our application and update it as we go?
- Can an organisation submit more than one application?
- If an organisation applies for a higher grant amount and are declined, will they automatically be considered for a lower grant amount?
- Will all applications receive funding?
- Can we confirm that our application has been submitted?
- Will late applications be accepted?
- Will the SSTF open grant application period be extended?
Assessment and approval of grants
- Our organisation meets the conditions to be considered for additional prioritisation
- How are applicants notified?
- What happens if my application is successful?
- How long do we have to start and complete the project?
- What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
Support and Resources
- Where can I find additional resources on Program Logic and Cost Benefit Analysis?
- Who can I contact about my application?
Questions and answers
1. What is the eligibility criteria?
There are three ways the SSTF Grants are being allocated and there are different eligibility requirements:
- Direct allocation:
SSTF grants are being paid directly to not for profit service providers. No applications are required.
Service providers are eligible if they have continuous or ongoing funding arrangements with DCJ and/or NSW Health and if they have total annual revenue:
- less than $1 million they can receive a $20,000 (GST exclusive) grant, or
- greater than $1 million and less than $5 million they can receive a $40,000 (GST exclusive) grant
Local councils and other state government agencies are not eligible.
- Open Grant Applications
Eligible organisations can apply for a competitive grant at three fixed funding amounts ($20,000, $50,000 and/or $200,000).
Organisations must meet all of the following eligibility criteria to be able to submit an open grant application:
- Be an incorporated charity or not-for-profit entity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, NSW Fair Trading or equivalent other equivalent regulatory bodies
- Be a small to medium sized organisation that has total annual revenue reported in their 2019/20 financial statements of less than $5 million
- Be an organisation that provides health and/or social services in NSW. Note this excludes arts and sporting organisations in the broader social and community sectors
- Consultancy and Advisory Services
Service providers will be invited to submit a grant application to provide consultancy and advisory services to the sector.
DCJ will select providers to participate based on their organisation’s capacity and capabilities to deliver this service.
2. Our organisation does not meet any of the registration requirements listed in the SSTF application form. Is there any way we can apply for funding?
No, you must be an appropriately registered organisation before the close of this grant round and be able to supply requested evidence.
3. Can organisations make a joint application?
No. An application must be made by a single organisation that will accept responsibility for the delivery of the project if the application is successful.
4. What if we want to work with another organisation?
You can still work with other organisations and note this in your application but the project can only be submitted by a single organisation.
The organisation that applies must take full responsibility for the successful completion of the project. Successful completion includes all the outcome and measures being met and reporting on and the financial acquittal through annual accountability.
No consortium applications will be accepted.
5. Can there be a lead organisation working in partnership with other organisations?
Yes, but the application must be made by a single organisation.
Organisations are encouraged to consider the potential opportunities of developing digital transformation projects together as well as the risks.
Potential partnerships could include sharing training costs, negotiating a better deal on IT products across organisations or achieving cost savings by implementing a system across several organisations. This could also include using the same web developer to build a website and then tailoring the content for different organisations.
No weighting is given to partnerships in the assessment process.
6. Does our organisation require an ABN?
Yes, your organisation must have valid ABN.
7. The application asks for our financials for 2019/20. What should I include?
Applicants should include:
- ACNC registered organisation – Annual Information Statement (AIS)
- ORIC registered organisation - Annual return
- Others - audited financial statements
8. I am a new organisation and don’t have 2019/20 financials. Can I apply?
Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria and can show that you have become an appropriately registered organisation after 1 July 2020 your application may be considered.
1. Can the Open Grant be used for a (retrospective) project that has already commenced?
Only for $20,000 and $50,000 grant amounts.
Organisations may apply for up to 50% of the total grant amount for previously incurred eligible expenses from one or more of the ten grant categories. It is only valid for expenses incurred during the 2019/2020 and 20/21 financial years.
Evidence of retrospective expenses will be required e.g. invoices for services and, receipts for goods purchased.
This is not available for $200,000 grant amount.
2. What can’t the SSTF grants be spent on?
The SSTF grant specifically aims for organisations to gain access to IT technologies and services and/or to transform their organisation.
Therefore, there are a range of activities that will not be funded:
- general maintenance of existing IT technologies
- purchase of building materials, physical infra-structure, or construction activities
- general business operating costs (including bookkeeping/accounting and tax returns)
- retrospective payments for expenses incurred prior to grant funding approval date or work already undertaken – for the $200,000 grant only
- fees for services provided by related parties (such as companies with common shareholdings or directorship with the applicant, and employees or immediate family of the applicant)
- Recurrent or core operational costs
- Activities already funded by other government grants schemes or program funding
- Commercial or profit-making activities
- Activities not of benefit to NSW
- Travel costs, unless they relate to direct service delivery.
3. Can I apply for funding for a project already being funded by DCJ / another government department?
Yes. You may apply for funding for a project already being funded by DCJ/another government department, provided the activities of the requested additional funding are not the same as the activities already being delivered by your project.
1. We haven’t used SmartyGrants before, is there another way to lodge our application?
No. Only applications made through SmartyGrants will be considered.
To register with SmartyGrants, please visit: www.smartygrants.com.au
Online tutorials and help are available to assist you at the website. It is recommended that you register early and familiarise yourself with the site to make the application process easier.
If your organisation already has a SmartyGrants account registration from another grant program, you may log in using the same username and password.
2. Should our application include GST?
No. Your request should exclude the GST that you will be charged as part of the project cost/delivery.
This needs to be reflected in your budget breakdown.
3. When completing out application, how many grant funding categories and outcome measures should we select?
It is important to carefully consider and select the grant funding categories and outcome measures that are most relevant to the project. If your application is successful, you will be required to report on each of the selected measures. Applicants should consider the level of reporting they will need to make back to DCJ. This should be commensurate with the size of your grant. As a guide, it is suggested that no more than 1-2 grant funding categories with the relevant outcome measures for each category are selected when applying for the $20,000.00 grant.
For $50,0000 grants, 1-3 grant funding categories with the relevant outcome measures should be selected, and for the $200,000.00 grant four grant funding categories and four outcome measures.
4. Can we go back to our application and update it as we go?
Yes. Applications in SmartyGrants may be saved, revisited and edited before being submitted.
5. Can an organisation submit more than one application?
Yes. Organisations may apply for $20,000, $50,000 and $200,000 grants via a separate application, but will only be approved for one grant per organisation at the end of the grant round.
It is recommended that applicants consider carefully which grant amount they apply for.
6. If an organisation applies for a higher grant amount and are declined, will they automatically be considered for a lower grant amount?
No. It is important that organisations only apply for the grant amount that matches their needs and ability to deliver.
7. Will all applications receive funding?
No. The assessment process is competitive.
Applications will be assessed on how they address the assessment criteria.
8. Can we confirm that our application has been submitted?
Yes. Once you click submit, you will receive a confirmation email that will contain a PDF copy of your application.
Check to ensure that you have received this email and retain it as a record of your application.
If you have not received this email, your application has not been successfully submitted, or the confirmation email has ended up in your junk mailbox.
You can also log in to the online system and click ‘My Submissions’ to view all submitted and un-submitted applications.
9. Will late applications be accepted?
No. The online system will not accept applications submitted after the advertised closing date of 5pm 3 May 2021 (AEST).
If you are having issues submitting your application, please contact the SmartyGrants Support Desk at email@example.com or telephone 9320 6888 (Opening Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm AEST), well before the closing date and in time to seek assistance.
10. Will the SSTF open grant application period be extended?
Yes. The grant round has been extended and has a new closing date of 5pm 3 May 2021 (AEST).
Do we need to address all of the assessment criteria to be considered?
Yes. You must address all five assessment criteria.
In your responses, please provide only the requested information and evidence to support your claim. Any additional information submitted that is not requested will not be assessed.
Assessment and approval of grants:
1. Our organisation meets the conditions to be considered for additional prioritisation. Does this mean we do not have to address the assessment criteria?
You must address all the assessment criteria in order to be considered for an SSTF grant. Applicants who fail to address all criteria may not be considered further.
2. How are applicants notified?
All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in writing via email in May/June 2021.
3. What happens if my application is successful?
If your application is successful, you will be formally notified in writing by email.
To receive your grant, you will need to log in to SmartyGrants and fill out and return the online Funding Deed and the EFT Banking Details form to DCJ for processing. Funding will then be released.
It is recommended to return your signed documents as soon as possible. All funding must be released by 30 June 2021. Organisations that do not return their Deed and Banking details in time risk missing out on the grant.
DCJ will be using Docusign to execute grants.
4. How long do we have to start and complete the project?
Organisations will nominate in their application timeframes for commencement and completion. It is expected that projects will commence by, or on, 1 July 2021. All funding must be expended by successful organisations by 30 June 2022 or earlier.
5. What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
If your application was not successful, you will be formally notified in writing by email and provided an opportunity for feedback.
Our organisation hasn’t used DocuSign before. Is there an alternative to execute the funding deed?
No. Successful organisations will need to execute the funding deed via DocuSign.
DocuSign is a secure online way for people to easily execute legal documents. There is no cost to people signing documents and there is no training needed to start to using DocuSign.
For further information about DocuSign, please visit www.docusign.com.au.
SSTF team members will be able to help you through the process. They can be contacted on SSTF@facs.nsw.gov.au
How will I be paid if I am a successful applicant?
Successful applicants will be asked to provide their bank detail as part of the funding deed. Once the deed is executed payment will be made directly into your nominated bank account.
What are the reporting requirements for successful applicants?
DCJ will include reporting requirements as part of the final funding deed.
Each project will report against agreed outcomes and output measures. Higher value grants may be required to undertake additional or more frequent reporting.
Successful applicants will be required to submit annual accountability returns to DCJ. Information on the Annual Accountability can be found here
Support and Resources:
1. Where can I find additional resources on Program Logic and Cost Benefit Analysis?
Only applicants for the $200,000 grant are required to provide information on Program Logic, Cost Benefit Analysis and evaluation processes
The NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet website contains information to support applicants in understanding and developing a program logic. Information on Program Logic, Cost Benefit Analysis and evaluation processes can be found here.
2. Who can I contact about my application?
For clarifications on the SSTF program, you can contact the SSTF team at SSTF@facs.nsw.gov.au.
If your query relates to using SmartyGrants please contact them through their website at www.smartygrants.com.au