Friends of Grasslands Small Grants

FoG Supported Projects - 2020 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. Examples of the types of projects that have been funded previously can be found in the July-August 2017, May-June 2019 and November-December 2019 issues of the FoG Newsletter. The May-June 2019 issue also contains feedback from 2017 and 2018 grant recipients and an example of an article from a 2018 grant recipient.

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 our current calendar year FoG 2020 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 an applicant first read the following additional information provided below to find out more about FoG’s aims and what’s involved in the grant application and award processes:

  1. Background and Context;
  2. Grant Application Process; and
  3. Outcome Notification and Grant Award Processes

For further information, registration of interest, or discussion of potential proposals applicants are encouraged to contact FoG at supportedprojects@fog.org.au.

The closing date for applications is Monday 13 April 2020. Applicants will be notified of the outcomes of their applications by the end of May 2020.

1.   Background and Context

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. 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.

2.   Grant Application Process

The grant application and project will be assessed based upon:

3.   Outcome Notification and Grant Award Processes

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:

(*) 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:

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:

Depending on the nature of the project and what other deliverables are nominated by the applicant FoG may also request: