FAQs

Our frequently asked questions will support your grant application. If you need further help, contact our friendly Grant Support Team.

Application process

What grants are available?
When do I apply?
How do I apply?
Can I apply for more than one grant?”
How long does a grant application take to complete?
Can I get help using SmartyGrants?
What if I miss the grant deadline?
What if my organisation received funding in Round 1?

Application form

How do I prioritise my projects?
Why are some sections of the application form grey?
How do I complete the budget table?
Do I have to provide supporting documents?
What if we don’t have a Strategic Plan?
What are the Annual Report and financial statements requested in the application?
What is meant by a Strategic Plan or Business Plan?
What does building capacity mean?

Development & Operations grants

How much should we apply for?
Are some activities prioritised over others?
How much funding is available?
What is meant by membership fees?
What do the stages in the project timeline mean?
What happens if we don’t supply three supplier quotes for infrastructure requests?
Are basics like studio rent, power and insurance considered operational support?
Can we apply for funds to keep just in case some equipment breaks down unexpectedly?
Where can we get advice about which equipment is best?
Could we employ a full-time Station Manager funded by an annual grant?
What is the 800 MHz transfer?
What should I include in a Position Description?
What is an organisational chart?
What additional documentation should I provide to support my application?

Content grants

What is content production?
Are some activities prioritised over others?
How much funding is available?
Why do you want our Strategic Plan in a Content grant application?
What do the stages in the project timeline mean?
Can I apply for wages under Content grants?
My proposal is for a new program, do I have to provide a demo or pilot?
My project has an Indigenous focus, is there anything I need to consider?

Specialist Radio Programming

What activities are incentivised?
What is the community/broadcaster engagement admin fee?
How much should we apply for on behalf of our Specialist Program groups?
Are the figures in how much to apply capped amounts?
Do I have to provide a budget for each Specialist Radio Program?
How will Specialist Radio Programming requests be assessed?
Should I request the same amount as last year?

Assessment

When will I find out the outcome of my application?
When will the grant be paid?
How does priority loading work?
Will the priority loading change in future years?
Does regional include rural?
Does regional include remote?
Why is there a question about suggesting Grant Assessors in the application form?
How will the application be assessed?

Grant aprocess

How will grant reporting work when there are lots of components to each grant application?
How will multi-year funding work?
Are there any salary restrictions?
What are my obligations if I receive a grant?
Why does my Grant Agreement ask about compliance with legislation related to vulnerable people?
Is GST payable on my grant?

Grant reports

What’s included in the report?
When will we need to report on the grant?
How do you complete a Grant Report?
What’s involved in providing an Auditor’s Financial Certificate?
Who can sign my Auditor’s Financial Certificate?
Do I need to provide audited annual financial statements?
Will the CBF need further information about the spending of my grant?
What happens if my Grant Report is overdue?
What if I don’t spend all my grant funds?

Application process

What grants are available?

There are two grant categories that stations can apply for:

When do I apply?

There are two grant rounds in the year. Organisations are encouraged to apply for support for the upcoming financial year in Round 1 (opens January) and seek support for unexpected needs that arise in Round 2 (opens July).
For the next grant round closing dates, see our key dates.

We understand that sometimes unexpected things happen – emergencies occur, and opportunities arise that might not time well with our grant rounds. Outside of our regular grant rounds, projects meeting specific criteria and funding conditions may be eligible for a Quick Response grant.

How do I apply?

1. Read the grant guidelines for the two grant categories: Development & Operations and Content. Make sure you’re eligible to apply and take note of what may be funded and the maximum amount you can apply for. It may be useful to view what the CBF has funded previously (see our Annual Report) and our Top 10 Tips for Applications.

2. Make a plan outlining your organisation’s various funding requests. For inspiration, view Our Stories. These can be:

  • Specific projects or programs, e.g. addition of an online shop to a station website, continuing a weekly environmental program, station open day.
  • Infrastructure requirements e.g. studio equipment upgrade, transmission site relocation.
  • Operational expenses e.g. salaries, electricity for transmission site, accounting software.

3. Engage your management committee, the people who will help write your application, manage the project, report back.

4. Identify the grant categories your requests fall into either Development & Operations or Content. Review the details of each category on our grants page and contact a Grants Administrator to chat about your proposed approach.

5. Preview the application form to get an idea of any attachments or information to you’ll need for your application, e.g. your station’s strategic plan, supplier quotes, financial reports etc.

6. Prepare your budget. Ensure it’s realistic and accurate as you’ll be reporting back on it if you’re successful.

7. Start work on your application in the SmartyGrants online grant application system. First-time users will need to create a log-in.

  • Development & Operations grants – one application can include multiple items and projects. You will need to detail information about the ideas, impacts and expenses for each project.
  • Content grants – you can submit multiple applications for different content projects. Firstly, complete a primary Content application form including your organisation details. For all the subsequent content applications in this round, you don’t need to fill out your organisation details; we will link them up for you.
  • For Specialist Radio Programming, you will need to complete a separate Content grant application form if your organisation is seeking support for ongoing ethnic, Indigenous or RPH programs. Read more.

8. Review your grant application to ensure it’s easy to read. Poorly presented applications may be more difficult to read and may be scored lower when assessed. Ensure you ask others to review your application before submitting to ensure your writing is clear and free of errors.

9. Submit your grant application by the grant deadline, ensuring all fields are completed and supporting material provided. There’s a handy checklist at the end so you can confirm everything is included.

Can I apply for more than one grant?

Yes. You can apply for a Development & Operations and a Content grant in the same round. You can also apply in both Round 1 and Round 2 within the same year.

How long does a grant application take to complete?

Generally, the time spent in producing an application and the level of detail involved depends on the amount requested, and the complexity of the project, e.g. The CBF would expect more planning and detail in a grant application for a $10,000 regional conference than for a $1,500 equipment purchase. Grantees have reported that applications take less than 12 hours to prepare.

Can I get help using SmartyGrants?

SmartyGrants is software used by the CBF to capture the information needed from our grant applicants. For technical support specifically related to SmartyGrants, view their Help Guide or contact a member of the Grants Support Team who may be able to guide you over the phone.

What if I miss a grant deadline?

Late applications will rarely be accepted unless you can make a case for truly exceptional circumstances (e.g. station fire or death in the family). Don’t risk missing out on grant funding – start your application well before the due date. We encourage all applicants to submit your proposal before the due date to avoid last minute issues.

What if my organisation received funding in Round 1?

You can apply in both Round 1 and Round 2 within the same year. The majority of grant funding is allocated in Round 1, with Round 2 primarily supporting unforeseen needs that have emerged during the year.

Application form

How do I prioritise my projects?

Start with a conversation within your organisation. Of all the things you’re requesting funding for, which are vital right now and which are future projects? Does your Strategic Plan give you some guidance about the key priorities of your organisation?

Listing what’s most important to you helps our Grants Advisory Committee make funding recommendations when faced with limited available funds. If you don’t set priorities, members of the Grants Advisory Committee will make recommendations based on what they believe are priorities in your application.

The priorities you set will be considered, but you may be funded a proposal that is not your first priority. This may be due to funds being available for specific purposes, or one of your lower priority proposals more closely meeting the grant category objectives and assessment criteria.

Why are some sections of the application form grey?

Some sections of the application form may appear in a faded grey, and you won’t be able to type responses. If a section of the form is greyed out, skip past it because it means you don’t need to complete it based on your answers earlier in the form. Alternatively, check back over your responses to earlier questions to make sure you didn’t miss a question that is relevant to your application.

How do I complete the budget table?

Each grant application requires a budget for operational support requests and individual project budgets. A detailed description of how to complete the budget table is in the application form.

The budget should give an overview of the total costs for the project, not just the amount you’re asking the CBF to contribute. Make sure you list all items required for the project, even if they’re provided in-kind or paid for by the station. This will show Grant Assessors that you have a plan to cover costs the CBF grant is not covering.

More insight is offered in the table below. Click to enlarge.

Grant FAQs budget table - explaining the meaning of expenditure (drop-down list of potential expenditure items), total cost (total amount to spend to match supplier cost), other funds (how much is left to pay with other funds if not asking for the full amount from CBF), item detail (what you need), CBF grant funds (how much you want the CBF to contribute - full/part or nothing) and contributor of other funds (other funding sources e.g. a station, another funding body or fundraising).

Do I have to provide supporting documents?

Your application will be stronger if you attach documents that help demonstrate evidence of need, partnerships or project planning, e.g. run sheets. Supporting documents help Grant Assessors understand your proposal more clearly and are particularly useful for larger requests. Check the section of the grant guidelines titled ‘what should you include in the application?’.

What if we don’t have a Strategic Plan?

Apply for help to get one! Our application forms ask you to attach a Strategic Plan, but we recognise that not all organisations have an up-to-date plan. If that’s the case for your organisation, you can request funding assistance to undertake a planning process as a development project in your Development & Operations grant application.

Grant funds might be used to help your organisation access a facilitator to guide this process, cover meeting expenses, printed materials or implementation resources to get planning documents together. You’ll be better placed to connect your grant application with your new Strategic Plan in the next grant round. Many facilitators are experienced in community media – view our Planning Assistance Guide for more information.

An application without a Strategic Plan or a timeline to develop one may be disadvantaged.

What are the Annual Report and financial statements requested in the application?

An Annual Report is a document in which the organisation tells its members about who was on the Board/Management Committee and what was accomplished during the year. The report should also include the annual financial statements. Typically, this would include a Statement of Income & Expenditure (or Profit & Loss), a Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) and a Statement of Changes in Net Worth (Cash Flow Statement).

The CBF prefers but does not require that an auditor prepares financial statements provided with a grant application. If your state or national regulatory authority (e.g. Consumer Affairs Victoria, NSW Fair Trading) does not require you to submit audited statements to them, we will accept the unaudited annual financial statements approved at your Annual General Meeting. If you are one part of a larger organisation, please supply financials that provide insight into your business area only.

What is meant by a Strategic Plan or Business Plan?

These are planning documents developed by your organisation to guide future activities.
A Strategic Plan would usually define the values and objectives of the organisation and outline achievable goals to meet those objectives over a defined timeframe (e.g. 3-5 years).

A Business Plan is usually focused on the financial development of the organisation, outlining in detail how the organisation will meet its goals through a marketing, financial and operational perspective. View more resources on business planning.

Does your organisation need to develop your first or a new Strategic Plan? There are various planning consultants experienced in community media who may be able to assist. View our Planning Assistance Guide or view the CBAA Community Radio Station Health Check (funded by the CBF) as a start.

What does building capacity mean?

Building capacity essentially means ‘what do you need to do to make your organisation better’? This can relate to governance, operations, technical capacity or community engagement. Examples of capacity building include:

  • Developing your capacity to broadcast at the level you’re licensed for through ACMA. This might mean getting a stronger transmitter, so your signal reaches more of your allowable broadcast footprint.
  • Developing your operational capacity and financial sustainability by creating resources to help your team approach potential sponsors.
  • Seeking technical advice on your software systems to develop a membership database.
  • Reaching out to local community groups to engage them with your organisation.
  • Projects to develop the financial literacy skills of your Board members, such as accessing resources on the Our Community website.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Development & Operations grants

How much should we apply for?

You should apply for what you need to continue your good work and also for seed funds to get new ideas established.

As part of your Development and Operations grant submission, you should consider applying for core operational costs such as:

1. Transmission expenses for primary and secondary/translator sites (site rental, electricity at the transmission site/s, ongoing studio to transmitter linking costs if you do not use a microwave link).
2. Salary subsidies for key personnel and technical support (be aware it is unlikely we will cover the full cost of wages and on-costs)
3. Costs associated with your financial management such as accountant and auditor services.

You can also apply for infrastructure requirements to maintain and develop your services, including the cost of equipment, freight, installation and testing.

Alternatively, you can also request support for development projects such as strategic planning, promotional activities, training activities, business development and income diversification plans or any range of activities that meet the objectives of the Development & Operations grant category as outlined in the grant guidelines.

Are some activities prioritised over others?

Some activities may be prioritised depending on available funds as defined by CBF funding providers.

How much funding is available?

The Department of Communications and the Arts allocates funds to the CBF to support particular activities. There are dedicated funds to support:

  • Transmission expenses
  • Indigenous broadcasting
  • Ethnic broadcasting
  • RPH broadcasting
  • Training
  • Other purposes (general funding)
  • Occasional funds allocated to particular purposes, e.g. support 800Mhz transfer requirements.

Funding is allocated to support activities that fall under those objectives, e.g. stations broadcasting weekly ethnic programs may be allocated grants from ethnic broadcasting funds.

The amounts available for each allocation to support particular activities are published in the grant guidelines for each grant round. It is worth noting that the majority of funding is allocated in Round 1 grants, with Round 2 primarily supporting unforeseen needs that have emerged during the year.

In addition to your grant application, we encourage you to look at other ways of raising income. We have some inspiration for you – see our other funding ideas!

What is meant by membership fees?

Membership fees refer to organisational and individual memberships of other organisations. We expect broadcasters will self-fund membership to relevant organisations such as the CBAA, NEMBC, the Funding Centre or relevant industry unions.

What do the stages in the project timeline mean?

The project timeline table asks you to identify the when, what, how and who of your project plan.

A dropdown list of potential stages guides you through this process. Below is an explanation of what we mean by each of the stages:

  • Already completed – what you have done before this application, e.g. researched equipment suppliers, met with project partners, gained approval for site access.
  • Planning – what you still need to do before this project can begin, e.g. meetings, event promotion, recruit personnel, develop training resources.
  • Implementation – what you need to do to deliver the project, e.g. purchase equipment, install equipment, stage the conference event, conduct training.
  • Evaluation – what you will do after the project is completed to evaluate success, e.g. collect feedback, survey new listeners via social media, take photos of presenters using the newly installed equipment.
  • Other – does something about your project plan not fit into the definitions above? Use the ‘other’ option and make sure the activity is described in detail.

What happens if we don’t supply three supplier quotes for infrastructure requests?

Your application will most likely receive a lower score against the implementation assessment criteria if you have fewer than three quotes for each piece of equipment you want to purchase. It signals you have not demonstrated clear planning for the activity. You have an opportunity in the form to explain why you did not include three quotes, however.

Our Supplier list may provide insight into different companies able to help.

Are basics like studio rent, power and insurance considered operational support?

Yes, those basics can qualify for support through a Development & Operations grant. You can apply for support for any expenses that your station has – but you’ll need to describe in the application what you are requesting support for and why your organisation needs the CBF to help with it.

If you are applying for operational costs, please attach previous invoices from providers or identify these costs in your financial statements. Demonstrate the support you need for our Grant Assessors. Please do not upload dozens of bills to demonstrate that you have basic operational costs.

You will already be attaching your most recent audited financial statements with your application which may provide some context for your request. It is helpful if you provide some supporting documentation for any expected increases to your costs or reasoning for why you need help with a particular request.

Can we apply for funds to keep just in case some equipment breaks down unexpectedly?

The failure of some equipment may be difficult to predict which is why we offer Round 2 of grant funding each year. Your station may need to borrow equipment or use backup equipment in between grant rounds. We would encourage stations to develop a cash reserve for equipment emergencies wherever possible through income-generation. While it’s good practice for stations to have backup equipment, it’s unlikely that our funds can extend to provide backup equipment for all community media.

Our Quick Response grants help stations to replace damaged or destroyed essential equipment to restore basic transmission following an unforeseen event. You can apply for an Quick Response Grant at any time, but it’s best to contact us in the first instance to confirm if your circumstances qualify.

Where can we get advice about which equipment is best?

There are many avenues for researching the best technological solutions for your station’s needs. One quick option is to post a question on Technorama’s Community Radio Tech Q&A Facebook group, and the techs on that page might be able to point you in the right direction.

Could we employ a full-time Station Manager funded by an annual grant?

You can request funding support for the full amount of an annual salary but keep in mind, funds are limited. If that’s a need within your station, be mindful that our Grants Advisory Committees will be balancing salary requests against other station needs such as equipment and the funding priorities in the Development & Operations grant guidelines. You are most likely to receive support if you are undertaking or planning activities that meet those objectives and if your submission demonstrates the potential to sustain an ongoing salary in the future. That said, if funding support to this level is a priority for your station, you can certainly explain that in your grant application.

What is the 800 MHz transfer?

The Australian Government has provided the CBF with specific funds to assist community broadcasting stations affected by the re-organisation of spectrum in the 849-852 MHz range, commonly used by community broadcasters for Studio to Transmitter (STL) linking.

The re-organisation of spectrum means that 55 stations that currently use spectrum in the 849-852 MHz range are required to vacate that spectrum and find alternative means of linking from their studio to their transmitter as soon as practicable. Affected stations have been contacted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The specific funding to assist stations with this spectrum re-organisation is being made available through the CBF’s Development & Operations grants. Applicants should include a request for support for necessary infrastructure to enable alternative linking to a reasonably equivalent standard. Note that the specific funds available for stations for this purpose will not be available to improve or upgrade linking, and any applications for improvements or upgrades, if successful, will be funded from the transmission funds provided by the Department of Communications and the Arts specifically for this purpose.

Affected stations can apply for support for alternative linking in Rounds 1 & 2 in 2018/19 and are encouraged to speak to a Grants Administrator as you apply.

For further advice:

  • Watch a recording of the CBAA’s webinar: What your station needs to know about the 849-862 MHz transfer
  • If you plan to engage a frequency specialist to investigate options for alternative STL frequencies, view the ACMA accredited suppliers.

What should I include in a Position Description?

If you are applying for funding to support a new role, it’s important to demonstrate strategic thinking and planning. Attaching a Position Description helps our Grant Assessors better understand why the role is needed. Download our Guide to Writing a Position Description.

What is an organisational chart?

An organisational chart graphically represents the structure of your organisation including paid staff and volunteers. An example is below – click to enlarge.

Example of an organisational chart including Board, Admin, Station Manager, Technician, Broadcasters, Fundraising Committee, Programming Committee and Membership Admin. Each details if a role is voluntary or paid and how many people work in this role.

What additional documentation should I provide to support my application?

Any evidence that supports the claims in your application, either regarding information or finances, will help verify your grant request. This includes:

  • Scanned documents such as recent bills, invoices, lease agreements and quotes.
  • Supporting documentation for partnership arrangements such as letters of support or short video files expressing community support for a project proposal.
  • Do you quote research or support for your project using data? Attach a copy to your application.
  • Are you applying for studio infrastructure? Provide a diagram of your set-up – how many studios, the purpose of each (on-air, training, production). If you are applying for transmission infrastructure, provide a block diagram of your primary and secondary (translator) sites and methods used to link them, including backup systems.

Attach documents in Microsoft Excel, Word and PDF format rather than msg or jpg. Please ensure you present multi-page documents as a single attachment, not separately loaded pages.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Content grants

What is content production?

The application form asks a series of questions about the number of people involved in content production at your organisation. We define content production as people contributing to media content across all platform, e.g. presenters, producers, segment contributors, social media publishers, photographers, television crew etc.

The people involved will vary depending on your organisation, so think about all of the platforms your organisation broadcasts through (tv, radio, online, social media) and who makes various components of that content.

Are some activities prioritised over others?

Yes. We detail what we are looking to fund in the grant guidelines. These grant objectives may change from round to round to respond to sector needs.

How much funding is available?

The Department of Communications and the Arts allocates funds to the CBF to support particular activities.

There are dedicated funds to support:

  • Ethnic broadcasting
  • RPH broadcasting
  • Indigenous broadcasting
  • Other purposes (general funds)

There are specific funds available to support Specialist Radio Programming in Content grants. Ethnic, RPH and Indigenous broadcasting funds may also be allocated to support other activities relevant to those broadcast groups or audiences. Funds available for general content may be allocated for any content purpose.

In a single financial year, applicants can only receive support for a total of six content projects. Read the grant guidelines for more information.

Why do you want our Strategic Plan in a Content grant application?

Strategic Plans help Grant Assessors understand the overall goals of the station and hopefully, where your content projects connect with that plan. For example, if your station has identified attracting youth announcers as a priority over the next three years, your request for an outside broadcast at the local high school can be understood in the greater context of what the station is trying to achieve.

To support stations, we’ve worked with the CBAA to develop the Community Radio Station Health Check. This online self-assessment tool is designed to help community radio leaders evaluate their station’s governance and develop effective Strategic Plans. Outside of your grant application, you may wish also to consider encouraging your station to undertake this check to prepare your organisation for the future. If you are looking to revisit your Strategic Plan, our Planning Assistance Guide may be helpful.

What do the stages in the project timeline mean?

The project timeline table asks you to identify the when, what, how and who of your project plan.

A dropdown list of potential stages is provided to help guide this process. Below is an explanation of each stage:

Already completed – things you have done before your application, e.g. researched equipment options, met with project partners, had an initial meeting with participating broadcasters, gained approval for project site access.

  • Planning – things you still need to do before this project can begin, e.g. finalise outside the broadcast team, purchase zoom recorder, set up interview times, purchase music.
  • Production – this describes creating the program content, e.g. finalise running sheet, pre-record content, script-writing, researching.
  • Post-production – finalising any pre-recorded content ahead of the broadcast, e.g. editing, recording voiceovers, promotion of proposed broadcast time.
  • Broadcast – when will the content be broadcast? How and when can audiences access your content? This will vary from project to project depending on whether the content is a one-off project, a series, or a regular program rebroadcast on a national platform. We want to know when it’s happening, on which platform and how people can interact with your content.
  • Evaluation – things you will do after the project is completed to evaluate success, e.g. collect feedback from participants, sample audience feedback via social media, track the number of calls received during the program, collect information on any stations rebroadcasting content.
  • Other – does something about your project plan not fit into the definitions above? Use the ‘other’ option and make sure you describe the activity in detail.

In addition to your grant application, we encourage you to look at other ways of raising income. We have some inspiration for you – see our other funding ideas!

Can I apply for wages under Content grants?

It depends on the type of wage. There are generally two types of salaried roles that relate to the production of content.

The first type relates to people who work across a number of programs within the station, such as Program Managers, Interview Coordinators or Content Engagement Officers. These roles are viewed as station salary positions and funding requests for these types of positions should be applied for under Development & Operations grants. These types of salaries are considered operational expenses of the station.

However, if the wage is specific to a particular program or content project, you can request support as part of your Content grant application and include it in your project budget for that particular show, series or project. Project-specific content wages include presenter or producer fees for an individual program, technician fees for an outside broadcast, expertise the station needs to pay to carry out a particular content project. You can apply for support towards these types of wages or costs involved in creating an individual program or content project within the project details section of your Content grant application.

My proposal is for a new program, do I have to provide a demo or pilot?

Your application will be stronger if you provide a demo or pilot. If you can provide a pilot of the program, it will help Grant Assessors get a clearer idea of the style of the program you’re expecting to create. If you can at least provide an example of previous work, it will demonstrate your capacity to create quality programming.

My project has an Indigenous focus, is there anything I need to consider?

Yes. For all projects with an Indigenous focus, you must engage Indigenous people in a meaningful and respectful manner. More information and quick references guides are provided by Media Diversity Australia.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Specialist Radio Programming

What activities are incentivised?

The CBF supports diversifying voices in community media to ensure that community radio reflects the whole community. The Department of Communications and the Arts allocates funds to the CBF specific for this purpose, to encourage programming that services the information needs of particular audiences, namely people with a print disability, and Ethnic and Indigenous communities.

Specialist Radio Programming grants maintain diversity in community broadcasting through supporting the production of ongoing, regular ethnic, Indigenous and RPH programs.

In particular, these grants help organisations extend their broadcasting activities beyond weekly music programs. Through the eligibility requirements, these grants incentivise spoken word content broadcast in a language other than English, content that meets the Protocols for RPH broadcasting, programs produced in and broadcast to remote Indigenous communities and increased levels of Indigenous and ethnic programs on ‘generalist’ licensed stations (as different to specialist ethnic or Indigenous licensed stations).

What is the community/broadcaster engagement admin fee?

Collecting information about what each ethnic or Indigenous program needs will take some work. As will holding consultation meetings with each broadcast group to make sure all parties are aware of the proposed grant expenditure and how the organisation plans to administer the grant funds. Those conversations and meetings are a requirement of the grant application. Broadcasters must know what is requested on their behalf, must be aware that any equipment purchased with CBF grant funds remains the property of the applicant organisation (not the individual broadcaster) and must agree to the amounts submitted in the grant budget. We are aware that this will take some time and resources, so we have allowed a contribution to the station of up to $250 per program to cover some of those expenses and staff time.

How much should we apply for on behalf of our Specialist Program groups?

There is no set limit on the total amount you can request for Specialist Radio Programming support.

The grant guidelines include a guide for how much may be considered reasonable per program and per station for particular items such as music, program marketing, small equipment etc.
The best starting point is to look at what your station has spent on Ethnic or Indigenous program grants previously. Ask the broadcast groups what resources they need to continue and improve their programs. Use our Specialist Program forms (Indigenous/Ethnic) to guide your discussions.  For a more extensive workbook to gather data, refer to our Specialist Content Workbook (adapted from a workbook kindly shared by Behrooz Farahnakian at Radio 4EB). We recommend you audit the data you collected in this workbook to ensure your totals are accurate.

Your station may set limits or internal policies relating to some items (e.g. no local travel, only one conference attendance subsidy per group, one portable recorder to be shared by five program groups etc.).

Are the figures in ‘how much to apply’ capped amounts?

No. There is no set limit on the amounts you can request.

The guide describes how much the CBF considers to be a reasonable request for particular items per program and per station. If your programs have a greater need for support than what is described in the guide, you can apply for more than what is stated, but you should explain why you. For example, new program groups are likely to have a strong case for a higher support level during their first year.

Do I have to provide a budget for each Specialist Radio Program?

No. You should provide an aggregated budget for all programs by Specialist Program type. All of your Ethnic programs will be described in one budget (e.g. music for 32 programs, 3 x headphones to share between five program groups) and all of your Indigenous programs would be described in a separate budget (i.e. music for two programs, consultation with two x program groups).

How will Specialist Radio Programming requests be assessed?

Specialist Radio Programming applications are not allocated an assessment score like other content projects. Funding to support ethnic, Indigenous and RPH programming is not competitive. Your application will be assessed to ensure each program is eligible under the grant guidelines. Assessors may provide comment on the items or amounts for items requested in your budget for the consideration of the Content Grants Advisory Committee. Grant offers will depend on this eligibility and budget level assessment.

Should I request the same amount as last year?

No – we expect the needs of Specialist Radio Programming broadcasters will change from year-to-year. Some items, such as music and subscriptions are likely to be continuing, ongoing requirements to create specialist programs. Other items, such as small equipment and program marketing may be required in one year but not in others. Some items, such as program specific mentoring or special events may be one-offs. We do not expect to replace zoom recorders and headphones for every broadcaster, every year.

The Content Grants Advisory Committee will consider the items provided in recent grants when considering Specialist Radio Programming support. The total amount requested to support Specialist Radio Programming at your organisation may be up, down or equivalent to last year’s application depending on the anticipated needs of your broadcast groups in the coming financial year.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Assessment

When will I find out the outcome of my application?

Grant applications are reviewed by a team of Grant Assessors, our Grants Advisory Committee and our Board. Once funding recommendations are endorsed by our Board, applicants are notified of their outcome.

For Round 1 applications, you will receive notice of the outcome of your application early June. All grants allocated in June will be published on our website homepage by mid-June.

For Round 2 applications, you will receive notice of the outcome of your application in late November. All grants allocated in November will be published on the CBF website by mid-November.

When will the grant be paid?

Round 1 grants are paid from July. Round 2 grants are paid from December. Make sure your organisation has all prior grant reporting up-to-date. Organisations with overdue Grant Reports will not be paid until the reports are complete.

How does priority loading work?

To mitigate the potential disadvantage that low resource or regional stations may experience through our competitive grant application process, we apply priority loading to the aggregated assessment score given by our Grant Assessor Team.

This loading is a ‘bump’ of 5% for organisations in regional and rural areas, as well as organisations with a limited capacity to fund initiatives (an average annual income less than $100,000 over the past three years). Some organisations may qualify for both loadings, making their total score ‘bump’ 10%. This function aims to address potential inequality in organisation capacity to access grant funds.

Will the priority loading change in future years?

Each year we review the impact of the priority loadings applied to scores to determine if we need to refine. Different strategies to address inequities in a competitive grants processes may be explored in future years.

Does regional include rural?

Yes, under the CBF grant guidelines, the regional and rural terminology is interchangeable. The CBF follows ACMA’s definition of metropolitan, regional and remote broadcast licenses and will apply the ‘bump’ of 5% to regional licensed applicants for stations, and by postcode for other eligible organisations incorporated in regional areas.

Does regional include remote?

No, it doesn’t. Support for remote broadcast services is largely provided through the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy with supplementary and complementary funding support provided by the CBF for some activities.

Why is there a question about suggesting Grant Assessors in the application form?

Applicants may feel that their project proposals will be best understood by Grant Assessors with a particular cultural background, experience-base or skill set. This question allows applicants to identify where this is the case. Where possible, we will accommodate those requests.

The CBF is committed to principles of self-determination and will assign Indigenous assessors (or those who have completed relevant cultural competency training) to all Indigenous grant projects.

How will the application be assessed?

Competitive grants are assessed against the criteria detailed in the grant guidelines. This criteria is a consideration for our Grants Advisory Committee when making grant recommendations.

The CBF uses a peer review assessment process to determine funding allocations. People assessing your application have experience in the community broadcasting sector and bring their own set of expertise to reviewing your application. The process your application follows the staged process demonstrated below (click to enlarge).

Flowchart of the CBF grant application process 1. Application submitted. 2. Processed by Grants Administrator 3. Assessed by at least five Grant Assessors 4. Reviewed by Grants Advisory Committee 5. Funding allocation reviewed by Board 6. Application outcome advised.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Grant process

How will grant reporting work when there are lots of components to each grant application?

The Grant Agreement will describe each activity that is being funded with details on the timeline and what your report for that activity should include. We want to hear about the highs and lows of your activities – what worked, what didn’t and the impact of the activity on your station and community.

In particular, we want to know how you have met the objective of the grant category as stated in the respective grant guidelines.

You can report on any funded activities as you complete them during the period or wait until the report due date. For longer-term projects, we may request a progress report so we’re confident your project is on schedule.

How will multi-year funding work?

In each application form, you have the option to nominate activities for multi-year funding. If you select ‘yes’, Grants Advisory Committees may invite you to provide a more detailed budget for multiple years and an extended activity plan.

Should your request for multi-year funding be approved, the grant agreement will detail a schedule of payment instalments appropriate to your activity timeline and approved grant budget. The payment of scheduled instalments will be contingent on you providing progress reports, as described in your Grant Agreement.

Are there any salary restrictions?

There are no restrictions around how often an organisation can receive funding support for salaried positions, however available funds generally prevent ongoing support for salaries on a yearly basis. Applicants can request salary subsidy support in consecutive years and funds will flow to where they’re needed most. In a funding climate where demand always exceeds funds available, this may mean some tough decisions for CBF Grants Advisory Committees as we are unable to provide funds for all salary requests. However, you are welcome to make a case for salary support in multiple years if your organisation can demonstrate a need for consecutive year support.

What are my obligtions if I receive a grant?

When you are awarded a grant, we will send you a Grant Agreement detailing your offer and responsibilities. It’s important to read this carefully and set up adequate accounting and reporting systems to manage the funds. More tips can be found at Managing your Grant.

You must sign and return your Grant Agreement and forward us a Tax Invoice (if you are registered for GST) within eight weeks. When we receive these, we’ll forward you the grant funds.

If your organisation has received funding for the first time or has changed bank details since the last grant was distributed, you will also need to complete an EFT Authorisation form.

You will need to complete all CBF grant reporting requirements within the timeframe specified. Refer to the grant reports for further details.

Why does my Grant Agreement ask about compliance with legislation related to vulnerable people?

We are committed to helping community media organisations engage youth at stations. We are equally committed to creating a culture of child protection. You need to ensure your organisation is complying with the laws in your state related to the protection of vulnerable people including children. If you are unsure what these obligations are, the team at the CBAA has kindly gathered together everything you need to know. View their collection of information related to child protection obligations.

Is GST payable on my grant?

GST may be payable on your grant. If you are registered for GST, you should apply for the GST exclusive amount. If GST is payable, we will add this onto your grant.

If you are not GST registered, apply for the GST inclusive amount. If you’re successful, the grant will cover for the GST on the goods and services you’ll purchase using the grant.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Grant reports

What’s included in the report?

If your application is successful, there will be information in your Grant Agreement focused on reporting.

Your Grant Report will include a description of what the outcomes of the grant were, a financial report that shows how the grant was spent and a statement certifying that the grant was spent according to the terms of the Grant Agreement. Some grantees are required to provide certification by an auditor.

Successful applicants are reminded that grant funds can only be used for the purpose specified within your Grant Agreement. Any variation to that purpose must receive written agreement from the CBF beforehand. Your management of CBF grant funding must meet all the conditions set out in your Grant Agreement.

When will we need to report on the grant?

Your final report for a funded activity will be due three months after the end of the funded activity period which in many cases will be based on the timeline you have identified in your application. For example, if you are funded to replace your main transmitter, and you anticipate you can finish that by December 2017, your funded activity period may be July to December 2018, with a final report due March 2019. If you receive a grant to produce content for the entire year, the funded activity will be July 2018 to June 2019, with a final report due September 2019.

How do you complete a Grant Report?

To complete your report, gather your original Grant Application, your Grant Agreement and the specific grant guidelines. These documents describe the initiative you wanted to fund, how you intended to spend the funds and any required reporting.

Simply log into your SmartyGrants account to complete your report. This report follows the following structure.

A. Grant Outcomes Report: what you achieved with the CBF grant. What was the impact of the project on the station or the community? Did you achieve what your goals, e.g. did the project increase support, contribute to diverse/innovative/quality programming or help the station to develop its technical/operational resources? Explain how you acknowledged the CBF for the project and If possible, include any support material, e.g. media articles, photos, ads, programs, written responses to your project etc.
B. Grant Financial Report: how was the grant spent in comparison to your intended budget? You will need to have financial management processes that accurately record the receipt and expenditure of each CBF grant. It’s essential that your financial management systems meet the requirements for Management of Funding set out in your Grant Agreement. Any variation in funding expenditure from the Approved Budget in your Grant Agreement will require approval before a grant report is submitted.
C. Certification: This is a statement by a person from your organisation who is authorised to sign legally binding documents (usually the Public Officer, President or a member of Management Committee) certifying that the grant was spent according to the terms of the Grant Agreement.

What’s involved in providing an Auditor’s Financial Certificate?

Organisations receiving more than $45,000 annual funds: at the end of your financial year, the CBF will send an Auditor’s Financial Certificate. An auditor must certify that all CBF grant funds received in the financial year have been, or are being spent according to the terms of the relevant Grant Agreement/s. This can be signed in your annual audit. If all the grant funds have not been spent before the Auditor’s Financial Certificate is completed, you will need to send further Auditor’s Financial Certificates for each financial year until the grant funds are fully spent.

Organisations receiving less than $45,000 will receive an Annual Statement for information only (no auditing required).

Who can sign my Auditor’s Financial Certificate?

The Auditor’s Financial Certificate must be signed by an approved auditor who is either:

  • Registered as a company auditor under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
  • A practising auditor who is an appropriately qualified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Australia), CPA Australia or the Institute of Public Accountants.

An approved auditor must not be any of the following:

  • A principal, member, shareholder, officer, agent, subcontractor or employee of your organisation or of a related body corporate as defined in section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
  • Any auditor whose registration as an auditor under the Corporations Act had been cancelled by the ASIC under an Enforceable Undertaking.
  • The accountant or bookkeeper who prepared the accounts of the grantee organisation.

Do I need to provide audited annual financial statements?

If you have received $45,000 or more in grants in the year, you are required to provide both an Auditor’s Financial Certificate and audited annual financial statements. This ensures that you are meeting the highest accountability standards. If you are not required to complete an Auditor’s Financial Certificate, and your state or national regulatory authority does not require you to submit audited statements to them, we will accept your unaudited annual financial statements approved at your Annual General Meeting.

Will the CBF need further information about the spending of my grant?

Under the terms of the Grant Agreement, the CBF (and the Australian Government, through the Auditor General) can request further information about the spending of the CBF grant or a further audit by a registered auditor if the financial information supplied is considered inadequate.

What happens if my Grant Report is overdue?

You will not be eligible to receive any further CBF grants if you have overdue Grant Reports. If you think that you will have difficulty meeting our reporting requirements or you need further advice, please contact us as soon as possible.

What if I don’t spend all my grant funds?

If for some reason you have funds left over, you will need to forward the unspent portion of your grant back to us.

We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!

Stay Informed