Four Year Funding for Organisations

UPDATE TO STAGE ONE EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST 

The Australia Council for the Arts notified Four Year Funding for Organisations EOI applicants via email on Monday 12 August 2019. The email was sent to the primary contact listed on each application.

Please check your junk email folder if you have not received the notification, or contact a Grants Officer to discuss. 


Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now closed.

The Four Year Funding program provides multi-year funding for arts organisations. This funding will enable organisations delivering an artistic program or services for the arts to plan with longer term certainty, and increase their capacity to leverage other support and collaborations.

Organisations must demonstrate a high degree of artistic achievement, or a high quality of services for the arts, along with a compelling four year vision for the period 2021 - 2024. To be competitive, organisations also need to show they are well governed, effectively managed, and generate diverse income streams.

Funding for successful organisations will support activities from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2024.

The minimum eligible grant request for this program is $100,000 per year, over the four year funding period ($400,000 in total). The maximum eligible grant request is $500,000 per year, over the four year funding period ($2,000,000 in total).


Closing dates

The application process for Four Year Funding for Organisations involves two stages.

Stage 1: Expressions of Interest (EOI) have closed.

Stage 2: Full applications for organisations successful at Stage 1 only (Applications are now closed)

  • applications open from September 2019
  • applications close midnight AEDT on 12 November 2019
  • applicants notified in March 2020.

Who can apply

Stage 2 applications will only be accepted from organisations with a successful EOI.

We accept applications from organisations that deliver artistic programs (artistic organisations), and organisations that deliver services for the arts sector (service organisations).

Service organisations must be able to demonstrate the role they play in their sector, or across sectors, has a national and/or international impact.

The Australia Council requires that organisations be registered under Australian law (for example, incorporated association or company limited by guarantee) or created by law (for example, a government statutory authority). Organisations that are not legally constituted are not eligible to apply. Organisations may be required to provide a certificate of incorporation or evidence of their current legal status.

Who can’t apply

You can’t apply for a grant if:

  • you received a grant from the Australia Council in the past and that grant has not been satisfactorily acquitted
  • you owe money to the Australia Council
  • you have already submitted the maximum number of applications allowed to the Australia Council Grant Program for the 2019 calendar year. Categories listed under Other Grants and Opportunities are not counted as one of your three applications. Your EOI does not count towards this total. The maximum number of grants varies:
    • organisations currently receiving Four Year Funding can submit one additional application in 2019.
    • organisations that do not currently receive Four Year Funding can submit three applications in 2019

What you can’t apply for

You can’t apply for the following activities:

  • activities that do not involve or benefit practicing Australian artists, arts workers, audiences or communities
  • activities that do not have a clearly defined arts or cultural component
  • activities that have already taken place.


Assessment panels

Your stage 2 application will be assessed by the arts practice panel you selected. If you submitted EOI applications to more than one panel, we will specify which panel your EOI has been successful to in your EOI notification email. The panels are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts
  • Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Dance
  • Emerging and Experimental Arts
  • Literature
  • Multi-art form
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Visual Arts

If you are unsure which arts practice panel your stage 2 application was accepted by, please contact a Grants Officer now.

Applications for funding to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts panel must come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations. Organisations must have 51% Indigenous governance and key creatives at the time of application.


Expression of interest application process

The EOI application process has now closed. 

Stage 1 EOI assessment process

Your EOI will be assessed by the arts practice panel you select on your application form. Each panel will comprise of expert peer assessors with a broad range of experience, knowledge and representation.

The peers will assess your application against three assessment criteria listed below.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what peers may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

1. Artistic merit or quality of services for the arts

If you apply as an artistic organisation, your organisation will be assessed against artistic merit. 
 
If you apply as a service organisation, you can choose whether you want your organisation to be assessed against artistic merit or quality of services for the arts.

Artistic merit

Peers will assess your organisation’s artistic achievements and artistic vision as described in your EOI. In making this assessment, they may consider how your organisation’s track record and vision support:

  • the making and sharing of great arts and culture
  • the development of great artists and arts workers
  • broader and deeper connections with audiences and communities
  • diverse cultural expression
  • a vibrant society and culture.

or,

Quality of services for the arts

Peers will assess the quality of services that your organisation delivers to the arts sector. In making this assessment, peers may consider how your organisation’s track record and vision demonstrate:

  • the relevance and benefits of your services for the arts sector, responding to an identified need or demand· how your organisation contributes to the development of your sector nationally and/or internationally
  • how your organisation contributes to the development of your sector nationally and/or internationally
  • your organisation’s contribution to sustainable and diverse arts practice
  • strong engagement, partnerships and collaborations.

2. Organisational capacity

Peers will assess your organisation’s track record of delivery, and capacity to deliver its vision. In making this assessment, peers may consider:

  • the experience of the people leading and governing your organisation
  • the financial health of your organisation, including the effective use of resources
  • the diversity and scale of income and co-funding you generate and receive
  • whether your work is supported by meaningful evaluation
  • how you demonstrate representation, cultural competencies and adherence to relevant cultural protocols, particularly if your organisation works with diverse artists, audiences or communities.

3. Contribution to Strategic Priorities of the Australia Council

Peers will assess how your organisation’s vision may contribute to one or more of the strategic priorities informing the next Strategic Plan of the Australia Council, for the period 2019 to 2024. These priorities have emerged from deep and sustained research, consultation and analysis over the last four years. The priorities are: 
  • Memorable arts experiences for everyone – how we experience and engage with the arts, with a particular focus on audiences and shifting patterns of consumption.
  • Our arts reflect us – contemporary Australia’s diverse population represented in the arts, ensuring relevance to people of all backgrounds and circumstances.
  • First Nations arts and cultures are cherished – understanding and valuing the world’s oldest living culture, and investing in First Nations’ arts and culture.
  • Arts and creativity are thriving – ensuring the Australian arts sector continues to be a vibrant part of our society, while addressing challenges faced by individuals and organisations working in the arts.
  • Arts and creativity are valued – leading discussion and advocating for the public value of the arts to Government and society more broadly.

Stage 1 EOI recommendations

The peers on each arts practice panel will rank the EOI from highest to lowest, based on how well they consider each EOI meets the assessment criteria.

Australia Council staff will support the peer deliberations, providing arts practice context and analysis of the financial data provided in each application. Please note: if we have provided funding to your organisation previously, our advice will also take into account how well you have delivered the activity supported.

Peers may also consider the diversity of the organisations when ranking, to understand the spread across arts practice genres, geography, communities and services offered to the sector.

The final rankings from all panels will be reviewed by Australia Council staff in light of the available budget for the Four Year Funding program. A recommendation of the mix of organisations to invite to submit full applications in Stage 2 will be presented to the Board of the Australia Council for approval.

You will be notified of the outcome of your EOI in August 2019. Notifications will be sent by email to the primary contact listed on your application.

We received a high volume of applications at Stage 1. Only the most competitive organisations will be invited to submit a full application in Stage 2. We will provide limited feedback to EOI applicants following notification.


Stage 2 applications

If your organisation is invited to submit a full application in Stage 2, please note it will count as one of your applications for the 2019 calendar year. We advise:

  • organisations currently receiving Four Year Funding should not submit any applications to the Arts Projects – Organisations category until they know the outcome of their EOI in August 2019
  • organisations that do not currently receive Four Year Funding should submit no more than two applications to the Arts Projects – Organisations category until they know the outcome of their EOI in August 2019.

You will be asked to update your EOI application with additional information. This includes:

  • A strategic plan that covers the majority of the Four Year Funding contract period from 2021 to 2024. The plan should be no more than 20 pages. A guide on refreshing or developing your strategic plan is available on PDF or RTF format.
  • Detailed financial projections for the next two years. If you report on a calendar year basis your projections should cover 2020 and 2021; if you report on a financial year basis your projections should cover 2020/21 and 2021/22. A link to the budget template to complete and attach is provided on your application form.
  • A detailed program of activities for the next year, and an outline program activity for the following year. If you report on a calendar year basis your programs should cover 2020 and 2021; if you report on a financial year basis your programs should cover 2020/21 and 2021/22.
  • Updating the narrative, key staff, Board members and support material you provided in your EOI application. You will be able to edit the narrative sections describing your four year vision, your organisation and your achievements. You can update your staff and Board members if there have been any changes, and you will be able to link to different URLs. We recommend requesting feedback on your EOI to help you decide what to update.

You can ask for feedback on your EOI from Council staff, and guidance on the grant request you can include in your full application. This may vary from your request in the EOI. Our guidance will be informed by assessment feedback and our review of the financial information you provided in your EOI and support material.

Stage 2 assessment process

Your full application will be assessed by the arts practice panel you selected on your application form at the EOI stage. They will assess your application against three assessment criteria listed below.

Under each criterion are bullet points indicating what peers may consider when assessing your application. You do not need to respond to every bullet point listed.

1. Artistic merit or quality of services for the arts

You will be assessed against the same criterion you selected in your EOI. 

Artistic merit

Peers will assess your organisation’s artistic vision and program as described in your strategic plan and other support material. In making this assessment, peers may consider:

  • the quality of your artistic vision, program, and collaborators
  • the contribution your organisation will make to artists, audiences, participants, communities or your arts sector
  • the contribution your organisation makes to diverse artistic and cultural expression
  • whether your strategic plan sets out a clear road map for achieving your artistic vision.

or,

Quality of services for the art sector

Peers will assess the quality of services that your organisation will deliver as described in your strategic plan and other support material. In making this assessment, peers may consider:

  • the relevance and benefits of your vision and program for artists, arts organisations, their audiences and communities
  • the contribution your organisation will make to the development of your sector nationally and/or internationally
  • your organisation’s contribution to sustainable and diverse arts practice
  • whether your strategic plan sets out a clear road map for achieving your vision.

2. Viability

Peers will assess the viability of your strategic plan, and the likelihood that your organisation can implement it. In making this assessment, peers may consider:

  • whether your strategic plan sets out a clear road map for achieving your vision
  • the experience of the people leading and governing your organisation, including succession planning
  • the relevance and appropriateness of your collaborators and partners
  • financial viability of your organisation, the strategic plan and program of activities
  • how you demonstrate representation, cultural competencies and adherence to relevant protocols, particularly if your organisation works with diverse artists, audiences or communities.

3. Contribution to the Strategic Goals of the Australia Council

Peers will assess how your organisation’s vision may contribute to one or more of the strategic objectives in the Australia Council’s Corporate Plan for the period 2019 to 2023. 

  • Australians are transformed by arts and creativity – we will enable more opportunities for Australians to be captivated by, and inspired through, experiencing the arts.
  • Our arts reflect us – we will support equity of opportunity and access in our creative expression, workforce, leaders and audiences.
  • First Nations arts and culture are cherished – we will build on our long term commitment to First Nations arts and culture, recognising the importance of First Nations peoples’ self-determination, cultural authority and leadership to our collective prosperity.
  • Arts and creativity are thriving – we will support the best circumstances for a thriving arts sector.
  • Arts and creativity are valued – we will increase awareness of the value of public investment in arts and creativity.

Stage 2 recommendations

Each arts practice panel will rank applications from highest to lowest based on how well peers consider they meet the assessment criteria.

Australia Council staff will support the peer deliberations, providing arts practice context and analysis of the financial data provided in each application. Please note: if we have provided funding to your organisation previously, our advice will also take into account how well you have delivered the activity supported.

Peers may also consider the diversity of the organisations when ranking, to understand the spread across arts practice genres, geography, communities and services offered to the sector.

The final rankings from all panels will be reviewed by Australia Council staff in light of the available budget for the Four Year Funding program. We may seek advice from representatives of each peer assessment panel to identify issues and priorities across arts practices. A recommendation of the mix of organisations to support with Four Year Funding will be presented to the Board of the Australia Council, who will approve the budget allocation.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your full application by the end of March 2020. We will provide feedback on your application following notification.


Reporting for Grant Recipients

Four Year Funded organisations must provide the Australia Council with at least biannual financial and statistical data as well as an annual report on outcomes achieved, to receive their payments.

The data and outcomes reporting provides Council with valuable information to monitor the performance and activity of each organisation, and ensures accountability for investment of public funds. It also informs the research and communication by Council, allowing us to demonstrate the impact of our funded organisations.

Note:
This information is also available for download in rtf and pdf formats.

Exit off canvas