Four Year Funding program FAQs
The Australia Council’s Four Year Funding program provides multi-year funding for arts organisations. The next round of Four Year Funding will support organisations from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2024.
Read the frequently asked questions below for information on the Stage 2 application and assessment process.
Find a list of the current Four Year Funded organisations here.
- Will we still be eligible to apply for other Australia Council grants if our Four Year Funding application is successful?
Yes, you will be able to apply for other Australia Council grants. This includes one application to Arts Projects for Organisations per calendar year, and other opportunities currently offered through our International team, and government programs like Playing Australia.
Other applications you submit to the Australia Council will need to demonstrate that the funds are for activities outside the scope of your Four Year Funding application or agreement.
- Does the Stage 2 application count as one of the applications I can submit in a calendar year?
Your Stage 2 application will count as one of your applications for the 2019 calendar year.
- We are a business unit within a larger institution and share an ABN with other parts of the institution. Can we apply?
Yes. However, be aware that the number of applications that you can submit in a calendar year is determined by your ABN, not your business unit name. To ensure you are eligible to apply, we recommend you check with the other business units in your institution to determine whether they have applied to Australia Council grant programs in the 2019 calendar year.
- When do Stage 2 applications open?
Online applications for Stage 2 opened in August 2019.
- When are Stage 2 applications due?
Online applications for Stage 2 close at midnight AEDT, Tuesday 12 November 2019.
- Can I change the arts practice panel that will assess my application?
- - No. Your application will be assessed by the same arts practice panel you selected in your Expression of Interest.
- - If you submitted Expressions of Interest to more than one arts practice panel, you will have been advised which panel your application was successful to.
- How much funding can we apply for?
- Will more money be available for the Four Year Funding program?
- - Our current allocation to the FYF program is around $28 million.
- - At this stage, we do not anticipate the overall budget allocation for Four Year Funding will change significantly. $28 million is the minimum that we would invest in the next cohort of organisations.
- How much will be available for each arts practice panel / State or Territory?
- - There is no set amount to award by State or Territory.
- - The amount of funding available for each area of arts practice will be informed by an analysis of the funding requests for the Four Year Funding program and for the other funding programs we offer.
- Where do I access the Stage 2 application form?
You can access your application via our Application Management System. It will be in the section titled ‘Your Draft Applications’ on the menu to the left of the screen.
- What parts of the form need to be updated for stage 2?
You need to update:
- - Your narrative – your four year vision, about your organisation, your key achievements
- - Your key staff and Board members (if relevant)
- - Your annual four year funding grant request
- - Additionally, you may choose to update or revise the support material provided in your Expression of Interest. This is not compulsory.
You will also need to provide additional support material:
- - A strategic plan that covers most of the Four Year Funding contract period from 2021 to 2024
- - Detailed financial projections for the next two years, and a projected balance sheet for the current year
- - A detailed program of activities for next year (2020), and an outline program of activity for the following year (2021).
- How do I update the narrative on the form?
There are three text boxes for you to provide the narrative for your four year vision, about your organisation, and your key achievements.
- - The key achievements text box contains the narrative you provided in your Expression of Interest. You can leave this as is or update it if you choose.
- - The text boxes for your four year vision and about your organisation are blank and you need to enter the narrative in each. We have copied the responses you have provided in your Expression of Interest in the section above – you should copy and paste from this section into the blank text box and make any changes if you choose.
Support Material – Financial
- Our organisation reports on a financial year basis – what time period should I provide financial data for?
Your detailed financial projections should cover 2020/21 and 2021/22 and your projected balance sheet should cover 2019/20. Please enter the data into this excel template and attach it to your application.
- Our organisation reports on a calendar year basis – what time period should I provide financial data for?
Your detailed financial projections should cover 2020 and 2021 and your projected balance sheet should cover 2019. Please enter the data into this excel template and attach it to your application.
- We are applying for support of a specific program. Do we need to provide financial information for all our activities?
Yes. Please provide your organisation’s financial data, and the forward projections for your whole organisation.
- We are applying for support of a specific program or business unit, and are part of a much larger institution; do we need to provide financial information for the whole institution?
We consider this applies to larger institutions like Universities, local government or major galleries. Please contact our enquiries team (firstname.lastname@example.org / 02 9215 9000) to discuss your situation, including what financial data you are able to access for your program or business unit.
We may give you an exemption from providing the projected balance sheet or allow you to provide financial data that relates only to your program or business unit.
- Can we provide late confirmations after the closing date?
We will accept late confirmations of income after the 12 November 2019 closing date.
If you need to provide an update after the closing date, please send it to email@example.com by Friday 31 January 2019. Be sure to include your application reference number in the email.
Please note: any late confirmations are not distributed to peer assessors with your application. We make a note of it on file and bring it to the attention of peer assessors during the assessment meeting at our discretion.
- What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted philanthropy?
- What expenditure should be recorded as ‘Non-direct Program Costs – Sundry’ in the budget template?
- Who should I contact for help in completing our budget template?
Please contact our enquiries team (firstname.lastname@example.org /02 9215 9000).
- Should we update our audited financial statements?
If your most recent audited financial statements have been completed since the closing date for Expressions of Interest in April 2019, you can attach the most recent document to your application in the ‘Support Material’ section of your application form.
- Do I need to update the financial table we provided in our Expression of Interest? I can see it in the application form but cannot edit it.
No, you only need to complete and upload the excel budget template to your application. The financial table you completed in your Expression of Interest will not be visible to the peers assessing your application, it is only displayed for your information.
- Does it matter that the financial projections we provided in our Expression of Interest are different to the financial projections in our excel budget template?
No, we understand your projections may have changed since you lodged your Expression of Interest. The financial table you completed in your Expression of Interest will not be visible to the peers assessing your application. They will only view the detailed projections in your excel budget template at this stage.
Support Material – Strategic plan
- What time period should our strategic plan cover?
Your strategic plan should cover most or all of the Four Year Funding contract period from January 2021 to December 2024.
- Do we need to create a new strategic plan?
- Is there a template we should use to create our strategic plan?
- Can we submit our strategic plan after the closing date?
We will not accept late support material like your strategic plan after the 12 November 2019 closing date.
Support Material – Program of activities
- Our organisation delivers programs on a financial year basis – what time period should we provide the program of activities for?
You should provide a detailed program of activities for 2020/21, and an outline program of activity for 2021/22.
- Our organisation delivers program on a calendar year basis – what time period should we provide the program of activities for?
You should provide a detailed program of activities for 2020, and an outline program of activity for 2021.
- How detailed should our program of activities be? Is there a template we should use?
There is no template or fixed format that we require your program of activities to be provided in. It is up to you to determine the best way to summarise this activity, however it could include a description of the activities, the people / organisations involved, where and when they will occur, and who they are targeted towards.
You could collate this information in a single word or PDF document. We recommend not overwhelming the peers with too much information.
- Can we submit our program of activities after the closing date?
We will not accept late support material like your program after the 12 November 2019 closing date.
Other Support Material
- Can I supply letters of support with my other support material?
Although letters of support are not specifically asked for in the Four Year Funding guidelines, you may supply them if you wish. You can include up to five letters of support, with each letter not exceeding one A4 page, collated into one document.
We encourage you to use one of the three URLs allocated for Artistic Support Material to supply letters of support, but if you prefer you can upload a PDF document in the ‘uploaded support material’ section of the online form if you have difficulty providing them by URL.
Peers will be advised to focus on the first three URLs or attached support material files only, so there is no advantage in providing additional files. Make the selection that best demonstrates the quality of your organisation’s artistic output / services for the arts.
- Can we submit late support material after the closing date?
We will not accept late support material after the 12 November 2019 closing date.
- How should we provide other support material?
Our preferred method of receiving artistic support material is via URLs (web links):
- - URL which directly links to where an example of your work may be read, viewed or heard is the preferred method for supplying support material. A URL is simple for applicants and peers to use.
- - Providing a URL to your work allows you to present your work so that it can be easily accessed and played on a variety of operating systems (e.g., Mac, Windows, Linux) and devices (e.g., laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile).
- - Providing a URL to your work allows you to present your supporting material in high definition, without having an impact on your total application file limit of 20MB.
- - Uploading large video and audio files with your application can be slow.
- - You may submit up to three URLs, which can include video, audio, images, and written material. You can link to a specific page on your artist or organisation website displaying examples of your work. If you don’t have a website, there are a number of free and easy to use online hosting services.
Alternatively, you can directly upload files to your application form in the following formats:
- - Video (MP4, QuickTime, and Windows Media)
- - Audio (MP3 and Windows Media)
- - Images (JPEG and PowerPoint)
- - Written material (Word and PDF). Where possible, please combine all documents into one PDF.
- Who will assess my application?
- What is the likely success rate at Stage 2?
- - Our initial advice of an 80-85% success rate at Stage 2 was based on our modelling of previous multi-year funding rounds.
- - Following the assessment of the Expressions of Interest, we have revised our estimate of the success rate to around 55-60% at Stage 2. The success rate is likely to vary between arts practice panels.
Organisations Currently Receiving Four Year Funding
- What organisations are currently funded?
The list of the current Four Year Funded organisations can be viewed here.
- If we are unsuccessful with our new Four year Funding application, will we receive transitional funding?
The Australia Council is committed to working closely with organisations around the impact of the Four Year Funding results. However, the form of support provided does not include a financial component.
Council will be in close contact with each State and Territory funding agency throughout the Four Year Funding process. Those agencies will also support organisations through any transition.
- We currently receive Four Year Funding and provide the Australia Council with our financial, statistical and program information. Do we need to provide this again with Stage 2 application
Yes, please be sure to include the relevant support material and data with your application, so peers have all the information they need to assess your application.
Other Funding Frameworks
- What impact will the review of the Major Performing Arts Framework have on Four Year Funding?
- - Reforms to the MPA Framework were agreed at the Meeting of Cultural Ministers in October 2019.
- - The new National Performing Arts Partnership Framework does not impact the Four Year Funding program. You should continue to work towards submitting your Stage 2 application by the 12 November 2019 closing date.
- - Outcomes of the Four Year Funding program will be considered in early 2020, prior to the contributing partner Governments making final decisions on which organisations may be invited to apply to the new Framework.
- Will the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy (VACS) be considered as part of the Four Year Funding process?
- - Current VACS recipients have had their contracts extended by a year to bring it into line with the Four Year Funding contracts (ending 31 December 2020).
- - A new VACS Policy Framework for 2021-24 was agreed at the Meeting of Cultural Ministers in October 2019. This will be implemented in the coming year.
- - There will be a separate assessment process for the next tranche of VACS funding, with organisations invited to apply. More information on the application and assessment process will be available soon.