Volunteer Grants 2012 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For further information on any of the following questions, please refer to the Volunteer Grants 2012 Application Guidelines.

Q1. Which documents do we need to sign and by what date do they need to be returned?

A1. It is preferred that the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement be accepted by email as outlined in the instructions provided. Alternatively, a completed, signed copy of the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement can be returned to the postal address stated in the letter.

If your organisation does not have its own Australian Business Number (ABN), a declaration outlining the reason for not providing an ABN must be supplied to the Department. See Q4 below for information about what you need to do.

Q2. Does the contact person nominated on the application have to be the person who accepts and/or signs the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement?

A2. No. However, the person accepting and/or signing the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement must have the authority to do so on behalf of the organisation.

Q3. What if the contact person nominated in the application form or the person who maintains the organisation's email address does not have the authority to accept the funding?

A3. The contact person should forward the Letter of Offer email to the person who has the authority to respond on behalf of the organisation. Where two signatories are required, one copy of the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement should be printed and then signed by both signatories. The original signed copy should then be posted to Volunteer Grants 2012, Locked Bag 5001, Tuggeranong BC, ACT 2901.

Q4. We do not have an Australian Business Number (ABN). What should we provide instead?

A4. Successful applicants who do not have their own ABN must provide the Department with a declaration outlining the reason for not providing an ABN. If this information is not provided, the Department will be required to withhold 46.5% of the funding.

This can be done by either completing the declaration provided in the Letter of Offer email or by completing a 'Statement by a Supplier' form. This form can be downloaded from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website or by telephoning the ATO on 13 28 66. The ‘Statement by a Supplier’ form should be signed by someone with appropriate authority from the organisation.

Q5. How long will it be before we receive the funding? Will we be advised when payment is made?

A5. Once the Department has received your accepted or signed Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement, notwithstanding any issues, your payment will be processed. Please allow up to 30 days for the funding to be paid. A remittance advice will be sent to you once payment has been made.

Q6. How do we get paid if the organisation does not have its own bank account? Can we use another organisation to initially receive the funds on our behalf?

A6. No. The Department will not make payments into a third party's bank account or a personal bank account. An organisation will be required to open its own bank account in order for funds to be paid.

Q7. Can an organisation charge an administration or service fee for sponsoring an organisation that is not a legal entity?

A7. No. Organisations are not permitted to charge a fee for administering Volunteer Grants 2012.

Q8. We have to complete Business Activity Statements (BAS) for the Australian Taxation Office. How do we account for the grant?

A8. It is suggested that your organisation consult with its treasurer/accountant or call the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 28 66.

Q9. Do we have to expend the funding by a certain date?

A9. Yes. All funding will need to be expended by 30 September 2013.

Q10. Since we lodged our application, our volunteer needs have changed. Can we alter the items to be purchased?

A10. An organisation can purchase other eligible item/s to assist its volunteers from the list provided at Attachment A of the Letter of Offer.  Approval does not need to be sought from the Department as long as the item to be purchased is listed on Attachment A.

If you wish to purchase an item that is not listed at Attachment A, approval must be sought from the Department by contacting the Volunteer Grants Hotline on 1800 183 374. This should be done prior to accepting or signing the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement to allow for the request to be considered before payment is made.

Q11. Why are some descriptions of the items on my Funding Agreement different than on my application?

A11. References to brands, model numbers, size or dimensions were removed in the event that these particular brands/models/sizes are not available when purchasing the items/equipment. Similar models or equipment with the same purpose will be acceptable. To ensure the item description is as clear as possible, any additional text, such as the use or purpose of the item, was removed.

If an item requested in the Application Form was not eligible for funding, the Department may have replaced that item with the words ‘Choose eligible item (Refer to Attachment A)’. This indicates that an alternative item/s from the list provided at Attachment A of the Letter of Offer may be purchased.

Q12. What training can my organisation provide to volunteers using this funding?

A12. Organisations are able to use the funding as a contribution to the cost of training courses for volunteers. The courses should provide additional skills and qualifications needed in their volunteering role. Training courses may include, but are not limited to, mental health issues, first aid, leadership, communication skills, governance and/or working with vulnerable people. Recognised courses leading to a Statement of Attainment, Certificate or Diploma are preferred.

Q13. Can fuel costs apply to the organisation's equipment and machinery?

A13. No. Funding is limited to motor vehicle fuel (including petrol, diesel and gas) costs as a reimbursement of volunteers' costs incurred when undertaking their volunteering activities. Further information can be found in the Application Guidelines.

Q14. Do we have to return receipts as evidence of proof of purchase?

A14. It is not necessary to submit a report or send receipts to the Department unless requested to do so. As referenced in Clause 6 of the Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions, the Department may write to you to request receipts and/or a statutory declaration to account for the expenditure of the funding. The Department is entitled to make such a request at any time up to five years after funding is received. All proof of purchase documents/original receipts must be retained for five years.

In regard to training courses/background checks for volunteers, organisations must record detailed information about the training provider, the type of training and the number of volunteers from your organisation who have completed the training/background checks. Recognised training courses leading to a Statement of Attainment, Certificate or Diploma are preferred.

Options to demonstrate proof of purchase for reimbursement of volunteers’ fuel/petrol costs or  transport costs for volunteers with disability include:

Fuel/petrol costs incurred by volunteers

  • Copies of original fuel expenditure receipts;
  • Log book of volunteer motor vehicle trips;
  • Copies of original pre-paid fuel card receipts; or
  • Account receipts from local service stations.

Transport costs incurred by volunteers with disability who are unable to drive

  • Pre-paid travel cards;
  • Log book of volunteer transport trips;
  • Copies of public transport tickets; or
  • Copies of original expenditure receipts (such as taxi/cab receipts).

CHECKLIST - for accepting the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement.

  • I have read all pages of the Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement, including the Terms and Conditions.
  • I have emailed my acceptance as per the instructions or returned a signed copy of the completed Letter of Offer/Funding Agreement to the Department.
  • I have provided the Department with a declaration of the reason for not quoting an ABN (if required).

If you have any further queries, please contact the Volunteer Grants 2012 Hotline on 1800 183 374.

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