Over the last months CBB has been supporting organisations across South Australia to learn more about the Information, Linkage and Capacity Building (ILC) grant opportunities through webinars and workshops. In our ILC Ready one on one support program we have assisted 20 organisations to identify needs in their communities, create a vision for change, and design and plan a project for social impact.

On the 10 March the first ILC grant round for 2020 opened, inviting organisations to apply for Individual Capacity Building grants (ICB round 2). A total of $85 million is available for projects for a period of up to two years.

What do ICB grants achieve?

Projects need to ensure that people with disability have the skills and confidence to participate and contribute to the community and protect their rights through an increase in

  • Skills and capacity
  • Motivation, confidence and empowerment to act
  • Participation and contribution to community

Grants must be developed and delivered in collaboration with people with disability and need to be for the primary and direct benefit for people with disability.

Who can apply for an ICB grant?

  • Disabled People’s Organisations
  • Family Organisations
  • Priority Cohort Led Organisation

As in round 1, the ICB grants are designed to support the work of Disabled People’s Organisations who are run by and for people with disabilities and strongly align with the social model of disability. The majority of paid staff (or volunteers in the absence of paid staff) need to be people with disability. Alternatively the Board needs to have more than 50% members living with a disability. To make applications easier, the NDIA has simplified the assessment criteria and thankfully published an easy read version of the grant opportunity guidelines. Grant Connect however lists 28 grant documents relating to this grant under GO3770, and finding the easy information poses a challenge.

The grant is also open for applications from Family Organisations. Yet, the definition of Family Organisation has changed from previous grants. Family Organisations are now defined as organisations that support and enhance the health, wellbeing, capacity and resilience of families and carers, and design and deliver supports or services for families and carers. Organisations supporting families (and not people with disabilities) were excluded from previous grant rounds and are now strongly encouraged to apply. Family organisations however will require over 50% of staff members that are carers and more than 50% of board members to be carers. This may pose a barrier for many organisations supporting carers and families. We believe that this is to ensure that the program is available to smaller disability organisations that are not NDIS providers or where NDIS provision is only a small part of their business. However the current funding environment means that there are few organisations who will fall into this category.

As in the previous ICB grants Priority Cohort Led Organisation are also invited to apply. For Aboriginal and/or Torrens Strait Islander communities, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and LGBTIQA+ communities, the selection criteria have tightened. More than 50% of staff members and 50% of board members need to identify as part of the priority cohort.

New to the list of Priority Cohort Led Organisations are organisations supporting children and young people (0-24 years) and people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. For both, the organisation only needs to demonstrate a history and a long-term commitment to supporting children or homeless people.

What are the NDIA’s funding priorities?

The last ICB round was highly competitive, with almost 500 applications seeking over $210 million. Only one in five applications were successful – a total of 105 grant recipients across the country.

The NDIA’s funding priorities for this grant round are regions, cohorts and organisations not funded in the first ICB round. Given children or homeless people with disability were not specifically invited in the previous rounds, we anticipate to see the approval of eligible projects supporting these communities.

The NDIA also strongly invites organisation to re-apply who had funding in the 12 month interim DPFO funding round but were not successful in the ICB round 1. The funded list of activities now includes activities that scale and extend the scope and/or coverage of previously funded ICB activities which demonstrated effective outcomes. Continuity of support is crucial for people with disability and organisations and we sincerely hope that the change in eligibility criteria does not prohibit these organisations from applying in this grant round.

How much funding is available?

Eligible organisations can apply for small grants starting from $10, 000 to $25,000 per year or larger grants in between $100,000 and $500,000 per year. Organisations should take notice that the total application budget should not be more than 125% of the average annual organisational budget for the past three years. This will limit the scope of work for many organisations however, it does give grassroots movements the chance to apply for some funding. Applicants for small grants only need to address two selection criteria. Organisations applying for the larger grant need to submit a more comprehensive application addressing three selection criteria.

Disabled People’s Organisations and Family Organisations that are applying for an ICB grant can in addition also apply for funds for Organisational Capacity Building, up to $50,000 per year. This will allow many to grow their organisation capacity e.g. though upskilling their staff, volunteers or board members. Applications for Organisation Capacity Building funds alone are not permitted.

What will increase your chances for funding?

We recommend you should start with the grant guidelines and carefully analyse the eligibility criteria. Also, critically assess if the NDIA is the appropriate funding body or should your program be funded by a different agency or department such as health or education? There is also a helpful summary of Question and Answers available on Grant Connect. Ensure you explain the specific need for people with disability in your community and that you have evidence for this need. Demonstrate how the project will create the outcomes that align with the grant objectives and that your planned activities align with grant guidelines and are for and with people with disability. Do not copy what is already done elsewhere. The NDIA is looking for great innovative ideas that your organisation will be able to deliver. It is always better to start small and to grow slow but steady. Plans that are too ambitious could be considered high risk or not delivering value for money and could miss out on funding. If entering into partnerships, it is important to explain how these partnerships will enhance the outcome of the project and who will be doing what.

What if you are not eligible to apply?

We expect to see two more ILC grant rounds this year:

  • The Economic & Community Participation grant round 2 is expected to open in April 2020. The grant will offer three application streams: Economic Participation, Social and Community Participation and Activating Community Inclusion. Projects should commence in August 2020.
  • The Mainstream Capacity Building grant round 2 is anticipated to open in May 2020. The program aims at enabling service systems to be more accessible and inclusive and will start from September 2020. Given the first round focused on Health Services we expect a different priority focus this year.

There are no future rounds planned for the National Information Program.

CBB’s ILC Ready program was kindly funded by the South Australia’s Department of Human Services through its NDIA Community Inclusion and Capacity Development Grant.