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.


Application Process

Funding Request

  • How much funding can we apply for?

    - When you were invited to Stage 2 we advised you of the maximum grant request you can make. That value may be higher or lower than the amount you requested in your Expression of Interest.
    - There may be additional guidance on your grant request in the feedback from the peer assessors. You can request feedback from our enquiries team by emailing with your application ID number.
    - Please think carefully when deciding the amount to request from Council and make a strong case for the impact of that funding.
    - If you are successful at Stage 2, you will be funded at the amount requested.

  • 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.

Application Form

  • 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

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?

    - Not necessarily. We understand many organisations will have recently prepared strategic plans in support of other multi-year funding applications, and work to a variety of timelines.
    - If your current strategic plan covers most or all of the Four Year Funding contract period from January 2021 to December 2024 you can provide that plan in support of your application. However, we strongly recommend you review your plan first to ensure it reflects all aspects of your four year vision and proposed budget, and is informed by Council’s new strategic objectives.
    - We have prepared guidance (available in PDF or RTF formats) to help you review and refresh your strategic plan.

  • Is there a template we should use to create our strategic plan?

    - There is no template or fixed format that we require your strategic plan to be provided in. It is up to you to determine the best way to explain your organisation and plans, however we recommend that you limit your plan to around 20 pages in length.
    - We have prepared guidance (available in PDF or RTF formats) to help you create and review your 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

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.

Assessment Process

  • Who will assess my application?

    - Applications to each arts practice panel will be assessed by experienced and representative peers from the relevant arts sector.
    - The names of peers will be released once final decisions have been made.
    - Further detail on the assessment process is available on our website.

  • 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

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.

Exit off canvas