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You are here: Skip breadcrumbAttorney-General's Department >> National security >> Countering violent extremism >> Frequently asked questions about the Building Community Resilience Grants Program

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Frequently asked questions about the Building Community Resilience Grants Program

About the grants program

Eligibility

Applying for funding

Application process


About the grants program

What is the Building Community Resilience Grants Program?

The Building Community Resilience (BCR) grants program aims to support, encourage and empower Australian communities to resist the influence of violent extremism.

The BCR program forms part of the Australian Government's Countering Violent Extremism Strategy.

Under the program, grants are awarded to a range of local initiatives that:

  • give communities the skills and resources to understand and actively address intolerant or extremist messages and discourage violent extremism
  • support people who may be vulnerable to extremist views due to personal experiences of disengagement and marginalisation
    and/or
  • educate groups and individuals about the avenues available to participate positively in political debate.

All potential applicants should note that each funding round under the program may have a different focus, and you should carefully consider if your application is eligible for funding.

How is this program different from the Building Community Resilience Youth Mentoring Grants Program previously run by the Attorney-General's Department?

The Building Community Resilience Youth Mentoring program was launched by the Attorney-General's Department in November 2010 and successful applicants were announced in February 2011.

The program was piloted in New South Wales and Victoria and focused on mentoring activities for youth at risk of violent extremism. By contrast, the Building Community Resilience Grants Program is a broader program that is open to community organisations in all states and territories, and supports a wider range of activities, including youth mentoring, that contribute to countering violent extremism.

How is this program different to other social policy grants programs?

The Building Community Resilience grants program is strongly oriented to helping communities that are particularly vulnerable to violent extremist ideologies. Proposals that deal with communities that may be vulnerable in a general sense, such as some Indigenous youth, may be better placed to apply through other social policy programs specifically designed for those groups.

Is the program just about promoting social cohesion and/or cross-cultural harmony?

The Australian, state and territory governments manage a number of programs designed to build social cohesion and cross-cultural harmony. The Building Community Resilience grants program is intended to complement, but not overlap with, these other initiatives. The goal of the program is to build community resilience to the specific issue of violent extremism.

Is the program specifically targeting religiously inspired extremism?

No. Violent extremism can be manifested in a number of different ways and can be based on different motivating factors. At present the most prominent form of violent extremism globally is expressed by people who follow a militant interpretation of Islam. However, grant applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that address violent extremism in all its forms, whether it is ideologically, politically or religiously inspired.

What kinds of activities would be considered under this program?

Proposals should address issues of violent extremism, radicalisation and/or factors that may contribute to susceptibility to radicalisation. Proposals should be for education and skills-building activities that can be delivered (wholly or in part) through online platforms and tools.

Applicants may wish to browse past projects that have been funded through the BCR program on the Living Safe Together website.

Applicants may propose activities such as:

  • media projects that give marginalised communities a voice
  • intercultural and interfaith education in schools and universities
  • skills and leadership training
  • local peer support/big brother schemes for at risk individuals
  • community forums and outreach events to promote social inclusion
  • referral and diversionary programs
  • civics education.

The examples above are not intended to be an exhaustive list - proposals may fall outside of the list of examples and yet still be eligible for a BCR grant.

Where can I obtain more information?

For more information about the grants program, refer to the Countering violent extremism page or email bcrgrants@ag.gov.au. Responses to questions sent by email will be posted on the website to ensure that those who have similar questions will also have the answer.

We will endeavour to respond to all queries in a timely manner through this question and answer section. To ensure a fair and transparent selection process, departmental officers are not able to discuss or advise directly on issues relating to specific proposals.

Eligibility

Is my organisation eligible for funding?

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be not-for-profit organisations (including community organisations and local government associations). Applications will not be accepted from:

  • individuals
  • political organisations
  • Australian Government, state or territory government agencies
     or
  • commercial or for-profit organisations.

Are church groups and religious organisations eligible for funding?

Yes.

Are schools and universities eligible for funding?

Yes, with the exception of universities proposing academic research activities. For those schools and universities considering undertaking a project in partnership with another organisation, please also note the requirements regarding joint applications.

Are state or territory government-owned agencies eligible for funding?

Local government organisations are eligible to apply for a BCR grant, but state or territory government organisations are not. Separate funding opportunities may be available for state or territory government organisations through jurisdictional arrangements.

My organisation is not incorporated. Can we apply anyway?

If an unincorporated association wishes to apply for grant funding, it must seek the agreement of an eligible organisation to sponsor the proposed project. That eligible organisation must be the entity named on the application form and, if successful, will be the entity that enters into a funding agreement with, and will be responsible to, the Attorney-General's Department for the proper expenditure of the grant funds and the completion of the project.

Can organisations submit joint applications?

Applications will only be accepted from a single lead organisation. That organisation will be required to enter into a legally binding funding agreement with the Attorney-General's Department, and will be solely responsible for the proper management and expenditure of grant funding.

However, the involvement of other organisations in a project, including community bodies and youth groups is welcomed. A key criterion for the grants program is that projects demonstrate community involvement in, or support for, the project and that people in the community have been, or will be, involved in the development, management and evaluation of the project.

Applying for funding

What information is required about referees?

Applicants should provide contact details and organisational details for two referees who can provide information about the applicant and, where applicable, details of previous funded projects that the applicant has managed. The two referees should not be employees or officers of the applicant, but need to be familiar with the applicant and be able to write about its experience and ability to manage grant funded projects. For those applicants that have not received grant funding previously, the referees should be able to comment on the applicant's managerial and organisational capacity based on current and/or previous experiences.

The department may contact referees to obtain information. Referees should be available to be contacted during business hours. The department may exclude applicants from the assessment process who fail to provide referee information.

Are there any project criteria that are more important than the others?

The relative importance of each criterion is indicated by their weighting. Applicants should pay particular attention to responding to these criteria in their application. Please note that if a proposal does not meet the relevant criteria, the application may not be assessed further.

Under the program applicants may not seek funding for academic research. What is considered academic research?

Research is defined as data or information collection and analysis. The BCR Grants Program is designed to support projects that have a direct impact on individuals and communities. Therefore, proposals where the primary outcome is a research report or academic paper will not be considered.

If you are uncertain about whether your proposal would be considered academic research, we encourage you to submit your application to allow our Grants Assessment Team to determine its eligibility.

Are members of the existing Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Research Panel eligible for the BCR grants?

Yes - Applicant organisations already on the CVE Research Panel are eligible to apply for a BCR grant.

The CVE Research Panel is a standing arrangement through which the government funds research activities. It is a separate arrangement to the BCR grants program.

Are applicant organisations able to undertake studies of the local community that will inform future approaches and projects?

The BCR grants program welcomes applications for projects that have a sound evidence base. If the proposed study can demonstrate alignment against our selection criteria - for example, if the study is focused on education and skills building with online components - then it would be considered for a BCR grant. Refer to the program guidelines and the assessment criteria for specific eligibility and assessment requirements.

What detail should I go into about previous and pending funding applications?

All applicants are required to disclose all other financial support they receive at the time of application (including other grants) and, on an ongoing basis, should they gain access to further funding. There are particular sections of the online application form that will prompt you for this information.

Applicants should provide as much information as possible that would be relevant to addressing the request.  If important information is not included in an application, it may not be considered.

What level of contributory funding is required?

There is no requirement that applicants contribute funds to the proposed project. However, any financial contributions from the applicant or another organisation must be outlined in the application form. The total amount needed for the project must also be specified. Details of any financial contributions will be reflected in the legally binding funding agreement that must be entered into by successful applicants.

Can grant funding be used to cover administration and staffing costs?

Applicants may not seek funding for operational or administrative costs. Projects also will not be considered favourably if they involve high staffing costs (more than ten per cent of the total amount of funding sought) and there is no in-kind contribution from the applicant or another source.

In other words, if your application for BCR funding requires BCR contributions to salaries, the department will look for evidence in your application of other similar contributions from your organisation or a third party. It does not mean that your application will not be considered at all.

Can organisations submit multiple applications for more than one project?

Yes. Organisations may submit applications for multiple projects. However, each application will be assessed separately on its merits and the success of related applications is not guaranteed. Multiple applications are permitted from a single organisation or different branches of an organisation (eg, different state and territory offices).

Is there any support available to assist individuals or organisations in completing their applications?

Unfortunately the department cannot provide support, or referrals to support, for applicants. This is to ensure a fair and equitable process for all applicants competing for grants. Community organisations may wish to consult their own contacts and networks to get help completing their applications.

Refer to all supporting material available on the Countering violent extremism page. The material available is designed to help applicants in understanding the BCR grants program and preparing their applications. The Living Safe Together website is also a useful resource and lists past BCR projects and organisations for reference.

Will the online application form be made available via email or hard copy?

We ask that all applicants use the online application form, available on the Countering violent extremism page. This will help us to process your application in a timely manner.

If you do not have internet access the department will consider providing an alternative application form on a case-by-case basis.

What should I do if I am experiencing technical difficulties with the online application form?

  • If you receive an error message titled 'Malware Detected' or 'Error 401, try hitting F5 to refresh the screen. There may be an issue with your computer or network firewall.
  • It is recommended that you do not use any version before Adobe Reader 9. If you do you will need to upgrade Adobe.
  • The form will work in all web browsers but Adobe must be enabled.
  • The form is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux provided you have Adobe 10.1.2 or above (for Apple Mac and Linux).
  • System firewalls have been known to block the submission of the online form. Please check your computer firewall.

For more information, visit the Adobe website.

Will applications be accepted after the closing date?

No. Unfortunately we are unable to accept late applications beyond 5.00pm (AEST) Friday 28 June 2013.

Applicants, who may be overseas during the application window, should be able to access the application form and all supporting material online.

Funding process

What happens if my organisation is successful in being awarded a grant?

Successful applicants will receive a letter of offer detailing the process for commencing a funded project. Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the Attorney-General's Department.

What happens if my organisation is unsuccessful?

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be notified about the outcome. Unsuccessful applicants may request feedback about their application from the Attorney-General's Department, which is intended to help unsuccessful applicants to improve their capacity and possible future applications.

How will funding be disbursed to the successful organisations?

Payments of grant funding to the successful organisations will be linked to project milestones and/or the provision of deliverables (eg progress and final reports) to the Attorney-General's Department.

A decision on the appropriate payment schedule will be determined on a case-by-case basis with the successful applicants. Funding such as up-front payments on the commencement of the project will be negotiated based on factors such as the amount of funding sought and the duration of the project. The final payment schedule will be captured in the funding agreement.

Can successful applicants negotiate alternative start and end dates for projects?

There may be scope for successful applicants to negotiate alternative start and end dates for their projects, however all successful applicants must aim to complete their projects by 30 June 2014.

Which standard-form funding agreement should I expect if my application is successful?

Funding agreements will be applied based on the department's risk assessment of an individual project and organisation. Please note that the funding amount sought by the applicant is not the only factor in determining whether a short or long form funding agreement will be used.

What should I do if I identify components of the standard form funding agreements that my organisation would not agree to?

All successful applicants will be expected to sign a funding agreement with the department that closely resembles one of the standard form templates available online.

If your organisation identifies potential issues relating to the funding agreements, use the attachments tool on page 18 of the online application form to provide information about these (for example, a 'Statement of Departures').

Are attachments required for the online application form?

Unless you are prompted on the final page of the application (for example, if you have a conflict of interest to declare), there are no supplementary documents, attachments or declarations required.

How should I fill out the declaration on page 19 of the online application form?

A person with the authority to bind your organisation should type their name into the 'Declaration' section of the online application form.