Friends of Grasslands Grassy Ecosystem Grants
Information for Applicants
In 2017, Friends of Grasslands (FoG) commenced its Supported Projects initiative with a grants program which offers a number of small grants each calendar year to support projects that promote its objectives and priorities in relation to the understanding, conservation and management of native grassy ecosystems. Grants are typically between $500 and $1,500 each. Any individual or organisation can apply.
A grant may be used for a small project or as part of a bigger project and may support publications, research, education, on-ground work, advocacy, publicity and/or training consistent with FoG’s Objectives and priorities. See projects that have been funded to date for examples.
FoG will publicise projects it funds and, will provide what in-kind support it can offer if this is sought. Successful recipients will be asked to keep FoG informed of progress, to write up their projects for our newsletter, and, if applicable, to nominate and provide other relevant outputs. These other requested outputs might include giving a talk to FoG, or leading before and/or after inspections of the project study site, or providing of a copy of any relevant project output (including acknowledgement of funding and other support provided by FoG), for example draft experimental data results and findings, draft or final research paper, an information brochure, educational video, artwork for an interpretive sign, or conference presentation.
Grant applications must be submitted by the requested date using the 2021 FoG Grassy Ecosystem Grants Project Application Form. This form is for entry of information about an applicant and their project that FoG requires to evaluate a grant application. Before filling out the form it is strongly advised that applicants first read the information provided in the sections listed below to familiarise themselves with FoG’s aims and what’s involved in the grant application and award processes:
- Background and Context;
- Grant Application Process; and
- Outcome Notification and Grant Award Processes
For further information, registration of interest, or discussion of potential proposals applicants are encouraged to contact FoG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FoG is a community group dedicated to the conservation of native grassy ecosystems (terrestrial, riverine, estuarine) including related native flora and fauna species. FoG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation and management of native grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FoG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, land owners, land managers and interested members of the public from across Australia.
The specific functions of FoG are:
a) to halt and reverse the decline of native grassy ecosystems; and
b) to give particular attention to doing this in Australia; and
c) to give special attention to areas, zones or issues identified as priorities from time to time.
FoG takes an ecological approach to native grassy ecosystems and hence covers matters relating to their ecology such as their structure, associated flora and fauna species, and functional relationships between these species and their habitat.
The purpose of the Supported Projects program
The Supported Projects program aims to support landholders, members of the community and researchers to undertake work that would not necessarily be eligible for funding through established government or Non-Government Organisation (NGO) funding projects. Through this program, FoG aims to enhance knowledge, appreciation, and conservation of native grassy ecosystems where they are most vulnerable as well as to encourage broader participation in the conservation effort.
To be eligible the projects must meet FOG’s Objectives, as summarised in the Application Form, which are embodied in its constitution (FoG Rules 17 Mar 2015) at http://www.fog.org.au/statement.pdf.
FoG gives priority to natural temperate grasslands, grassy woodlands, grassy forests and other grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. Many of these ecosystems contain threatened ecological communities. Although FoG's immediate focus is in the ACT and Southern Tablelands of NSW, it is also active in surrounding regions of NSW (e.g. Southern Rivers, Riverina, Western Slopes and Northern Tablelands) and it also works cooperatively with others in south-eastern Australia e.g. Volcanic Plains of south-western Victoria, and northern plains of South Australia. However, in line with FoG’s values and functions, projects with potential to advance the knowledge, management and/or conservation of native grassy ecosystems more generally, either in other parts of Australia or in other parts of the world, are also eligible for grant funding.
Threats to grassy ecosystems are many, and FoG gives a high priority to understanding, controlling, reducing or abating such threats. Threats include clearing and development, agricultural intensification (i.e. from grazing to cropping), weeds and pest species, climate change, lack of awareness, and poor and/or insufficiently resourced and implemented government legislation, policy and programs.
Another priority for FoG is supporting projects undertaken by or in partnership with Aboriginal custodians. FoG believes the implementation of traditional Aboriginal land management techniques has an important part to play in management and restoration of grasslands and other grassy ecosystems. FoG therefore encourages research into and application of such techniques.
The grant application and project will be assessed based upon:
- Receipt, by the advertised closing date, of the Application Form completed with all requested information entered into the application entry template plus any attached supporting information.
- Support of native grassy ecosystems in the form of research, surveys, citizen science, education, publications, communication, advocacy, publicity, training, on-ground work, or a combination of these consistent with FoG’s Objectives and priorities as provided in the Application Form and above.
- Proposed project timeframe, and considerations of value for money and potential for successful implementation within the proposed timeframe. Project deliverables should ideally be achievable within 12 months of a grantee’s acceptance of FoG’s Letter of Offer or, if this is not practical, within an alternative negotiated timeframe (see Section 3 below).
- Capacity of FoG to provide any requested additional in-kind support if this is sought.
- Deliverables to be provided to FoG (see Section 3 below).
Each applicant will be notified in writing of the success or otherwise of their application. For an unsuccessful applicant the provision of feedback, including reasons for non-success, and entry into any further correspondence will be at the discretion of FoG.
Notification to a successful applicant will usually include an initial email message then followed by a formal Letter of Offer. The Letter of Offer will typically include:
- an indication of the grant amount on offer, either for the full amount or part of the grant amount requested (*);
- instructions on how to accept the Letter of Offer;
- conditions for acceptance and acquittal of the grant offer; and
- details of an assigned FoG contact for project liaison.
(*) Note FoG is not required to collect GST therefore an applicant or their organisation may be obligated to pay GST out of the grant amount offered if they are registered to collect GST.
Conditions for acceptance and acquittal are necessary for FoG to account for and justify funding of Supported Projects grants to its members and to meet FoG’s statutory reporting obligations. Given the modest amounts of funding on offer FoG will endeavour to keep grant acquittal requirements to the minimum possible. For example, requested information and deliverables are likely to include:
- request for written acknowledgement advising acceptance (or otherwise) of the Letter of Offer and associated conditions;
- what the grant is expected to be used for based on the grant application, FoG’s offer, any variation subsequently negotiated with and agreed to by FoG;
- a request for confirmation of project dates and of planned expenditure of the grant offer;
- instructions on how to obtain payment of the grant;
- project deliverables to FoG;
- agreement to notify FoG if at any stage the project will be significantly delayed or altered, or not completed; and
- agreement, where deemed appropriate by FoG, to negotiate with it for the return to FoG of any unexpended grant money.
The general policy is to pay grant amounts as the required relevant project expenditure occurs subject to consideration of project implementation and budget timeline. This may be either as progressive payments or, if appropriate, as a lump sum as negotiated with FoG.
Requested project deliverables to FoG typically comprise at least a minimum of:
- a brief written report at the end of the project indicating how the grant has been spent and outcomes in terms of meeting project goals and objectives (this can be incorporated with other deliverables e.g. FoG newsletter article);
- an article for the News of Friends of Grasslands newsletter (format is flexible); and
- suggested dates (Month/Year) for progress updates if project delivery will be greater than 6 months from acceptance of the Letter of Offer.
Depending on the nature of the project and what other deliverables are offered by the applicant FoG may also request:
- a presentation to its Committee or membership; or
- a site inspection before and/or after project completion; or
- an electronic copy of any relevant project output (including acknowledgement of funding and any other support provided by FoG), for example draft data results and analysis, draft or final research paper/article, an information brochure, educational video, artwork for an interpretive sign, or conference presentation power point.