How we’re funding our COVID-19 grants

April 24, 2020

Grants sign against a blue sky

Yesterday, our CEO Ian Stanistreet joined Jon Bisset and Holly Friedlander Liddicoat from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) to talk about the funding support and opportunities available for community broadcasters.

Ian provided more detail on the measures we announced last week to support stations during the COVID-19 pandemic and how we are funding them. Here’s an edited version of what he said.

COVID-19 Quick Response Grant – Open now

We have allocated $200,000 from our reserves to provide one-off grants to Australian community broadcasters without paid staff. We did this because these stations would be unable to benefit from the existing Australian Government COVID-19 economic stimulus initiatives.

This grant specifically deals with the immediate needs of stations that have had to adjust their operations under COVID-19 social distancing requirements. This includes purchasing equipment, software, supplies and other costs incurred since 1 January 2020. Eligible stations can apply for up to $2000.

Applications close at 2pm AEST Monday 4 May 2020 and funds will be distributed by mid-May.

Want to know more?

Grant Round 1, 2020-21 – reopens Tuesday 28 April

We paused this grant round in late March because we realised that applications lodged as early as January may no longer reflect a station’s current priorities given the pervasive economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We also wanted to reassess how we could best use our resources in supporting as many stations as possible through the pandemic period and into 2020-21. We did this in conjunction with the CBAA through the joint COVID-19 Crisis Taskforce.

As a result, existing Round 1 applicants will be given the opportunity to revise their applications if they wish to do so, removing items or activities that are either no longer possible due to the COVID-19 restrictions or a priority for 2020-21. Applicants will also be able to update items or activities that remain a high priority. No item or activity for a new purpose can be added and the overall amount requested cannot be increased. Additional assistance to address the impact of the pandemic will not be available as part of this grant round as that will be available separately (see below).

The grant round will be assessed in the usual way as a competitive process.

Applications close Monday 18 May at 2pm (AEST). Applicants will be notified in July following Board approval and funds will be distributed later that month.

Want to know more?

Find out more about what you can do

Contact your relevant Grants Support Team member:

  • Dean Linguey: Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia
    03 8341 5988
    Contact Dean by email

Applicants will receive an email on Tuesday 28 April with instructions on how to log back into SmartyGrants and review their application.

COVID-19 Crisis Fund – opens Tuesday 28 April

An early recommendation from the COVID-19 Crisis Taskforce was to establish a fund that would be accessible to all stations and would ensure that community broadcasters are able to maintain or improve their operations and services to communities throughout the pandemic.

The $2.2 million fund has been created using repurposed 2019-20 and 2020-21 funding, as well as drawing on CBF reserves. Our intention is to build on this initial investment through government and philanthropic support.

To this end, we have endorsed the CBAA’s request to the Australian Government for an additional $5 million specifically for the fund and, together with the CBAA, will also be seeking further contributions from philanthropic and other sources. The application process for a COVID-19 Crisis Fund grant will be very streamlined to avoid placing unnecessary additional burdens on stations at this challenging time. We will be asking stations to answer a short set of questions about:

  • current operating costs
  • eligibility for support through government or other assistance packages
  • steps taken to reduce costs and mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic.

The resulting dataset will help us to determine how we can provide as much support relative to need to as many stations as possible. Our aim is to look at both the reduction in key income sources and increased expenditure resulting from the impact of COVID-19 .

The assessment process for COVID-19 Crisis Fund grants won’t be competitive, unlike our usual grant processes. We expect that funding will be made available to most applicants.

Applications close on Monday May 18 at 2pm (AEST). Grants will be announced in July and payments made soon after.

Want to know more?

Find out what you can do and how

Please get in touch with the CBF Support Team if you have any questions or concerns. The team will also be calling and emailing every station over the next couple of weeks to make sure you’re aware of these COVID-19 specific grant opportunities and step you through the process.

Other funding and resources available for community broadcasters

The CBAA have put together a useful list of available financial assistance and government stimulus packages that is updated regularly.

They also outlined in detail during yesterday’s webinar a range of practical tasks that community broadcasters can do to manage the financial impacts of COVID-19, as well as identified sources of funding and support at all levels of government.

A recording of the webinar is available on the CBAA website.

Stay Informed