The Department of Social Services has announced the opening of the Volunteer Grants for 2016 which aim to support the efforts of Australia’s volunteers through single grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 towards the cost of small equipment used by volunteers, fuel and training.

In 2016, the eligibility criteria for applicants has changed and there is no longer a limit on the number of applications an organisation can submit (although there will be a limit to the total value of applications awarded to organisations such as Scouts).

The guidelines state that applications will now be accepted from legal entities and community groups who are not legal entities and allows for individuals as a legal entity to apply for funding on behalf of a community group.

The Acting Chief Commissioner would like to take this opportunity to remind all Scout Formations that under QBSI 6.5 (Financial Management – Grants), all grant applications must have the prior approval of the Region Commissioner and Chief Commissioner and be lodged through the Branch Support Office prior to submission. The Volunteer Grant application form ‘Declaration’ can only be signed by an authorised representative who is legally empowered to enter into contracts and commitments on behalf of the applicant. For Scouts Queensland, only the Chief Commissioner and General Manager are authorised to sign on behalf of the organisation and therefore the approval of the Chief Commissioner must be sought by all applicants.

The Grants and Project Officer is currently in consultation with the Department of Social Services to confirm that individual groups can apply under the auspice of Scouts Queensland with the one ABN. On receipt of formal advice all Scout Formations will be notified of the process for applying to this Fund.

Queensland Scout Formations will be encouraged and supported in their efforts to apply to this Fund which has benefited many Groups in the past and we hope that as many Groups as possible will benefit in 2016/17, however, we ask that you follow the recommended process to ensure that the necessary governance arrangements are adhered to.

Further guidance will follow shortly, in the mean time you may wish to start thinking about how your Group could benefit from this Fund in support of your valuable volunteers.