Volunteering Innovation Fund
The Victorian Government has an exciting new opportunity to inspire ideas and encourage innovation by funding community-led projects that consider new ways of volunteering in and for the environment. Parks and forests in Victoria are supported and enhanced by a host of passionate volunteers. The Volunteering Innovation Fund is building on this incredible work and inviting everyone to enjoy Victoria’s Great Outdoors through volunteering.
The Volunteering Innovation Fund will award $2million in funding over four rounds, with the final round closing in 2022.
Round 3 is now open and closes 5:00 pm Monday 24 January 2022.
How to apply
We are looking for innovators, nature-lovers and community minded people to expand and diversify environmental volunteering across Victoria. To apply:
Online information sessions
To watch the community information session for Round 3 of the Volunteering Innovation Fund, click the link below.
Vote for your favourite applications
We’ll be putting the short-list to the vote. While the Victorian Government will award the top applications for Round 1 and 3. For Round 2 and 4, we will short-list applications and funding will be decided by public vote.
The first round of voting has now closed. The second round of voting will be in Spring 2022.
If you have any queries, or require more information, please contact Parks Victoria via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 375 323.
Apply to the Volunteering Innovation Fund here.
Find further information about the Youth Volunteering for Nature Fund here.
To find out more about the Volunteer Growth Fund, please contact your Ranger or email email@example.com.
Good innovation requires taking risks, trying something new or different. To excite people to volunteer, the Victorian Government is giving funding so your bold ideas for environmental volunteering can get off the ground.
Congratulations to the following successful applicants in round one. Read about some of the successful round one projects underway.
Congratulations to the following successful applicants in round two. Read about some of the successful Round 2 projects underway.
What is the Volunteering Innovation Fund?
The Volunteering Innovation Fund is part of the Victoria’s Great Outdoors program, which seeks to get more Victorians, from all walks of life outdoors enjoying nature. Parks and forests in Victoria are supported by many passionate volunteers. The Volunteering Innovation Fund is building on this incredible work and inviting others to enjoy Victoria’s Great Outdoors through volunteering. The Victorian Government is looking for innovators, nature-lovers and community minded people to expand and diversify environmental volunteering.
How much funding is there?
The Volunteering Innovation Fund will award $2 million in competitive funding over three years. There will be four rounds, with the final round closing in 2022. Parks Victoria will invite the public to vote on Round 2 and 4, where Victorians can have a say in the future of volunteering.
Successful applications will be those that expand and invigorate environmental volunteering for all Victorians to get involved. They will be new and different ideas that create change inspire volunteering and leave a legacy.
In round 1 and 3, your application will be assessed by a Panel and you will be formally told whether you have been successful. For round 2 and 4 there will be public voting to decide funding recipients.
What will applications be assessed against?
All applications will be assessed at the conclusion of each round by a panel of assessors on the following criteria:
- • 40% Innovation: how innovative is the project?
- • 30% Volunteerism: does it address the 'Victorians Volunteering for Nature Environmental Volunteering Plan'?
- • 20% Merit: what are the overarching benefits of the project?
- • 10% Legacy: will the project leave a legacy?
As part of the Volunteerism criteria, projects must address one or more of the following ‘Victorians Volunteering for Nature, Environmental Volunteering Plan’ Key Focus Areas:
- • Increase the number of volunteers participating for the first time
- • Support existing volunteer groups to retain, support and grow volunteering
- • Develop sustainable models of volunteering
- • Improve volunteer management
- • Increase the number and diversity of people volunteering in our parks and forests
- • Develop new and innovative approaches to volunteering
- • Expand volunteering opportunities into areas currently not offered
- • Enhance inclusivity and accessibility to volunteers and visitors
- • Celebrate volunteering
- • Promote the benefits of volunteering
- • Identify and encourage new volunteer partnerships
- • Understand more about environmental volunteering
How do I apply?
If you are interested in applying for funding through the Volunteering Innovation Fund you need to:
1. Think of a creative idea that inspires more Victorians to volunteer in and for nature.
2. Read the Funding Guidelines to make sure your idea aligns.
3. Apply online through ParkConnect.
In rounds 1 and 3 your application will be assessed by a Panel and you will be formally told whether you have been successful. For rounds 2 and 4 there will be public voting to decide funding recipients.
What will happen during the public voting rounds?
Applications to round 2 and 4 will be assessed using the same criteria. The top scoring eligible applications will then go up for public vote on Engage Victoria. The public will vote for their preferred projects. Votes will be tallied and those scoring the most public votes will be awarded funding.
The Victorian Government will award funding to an application as a ‘Judges Choice’ in each public voting round. The ‘Judges Choice’ will be awarded to an application that is scored highly by the Assessment Panel, but did not score the most public votes.
If I run an existing program, can it receive funding as part of the Volunteering Innovation Fund?
Yes, we are encouraging existing volunteers and volunteer organisations to apply. All applications will be assessed against the same criteria.
Applications need to demonstrate innovation and align with the Victorians Volunteering for Nature Environmental Volunteering Plan as well as show merit, and overarching benefits. Existing volunteer programs may demonstrate these things by expanding and diversifying their volunteer base in creative ways, offering more diverse volunteer experiences (such as one-day opportunities rather than ongoing memberships) etc.
Where can I learn more?
We’re here to help and want to make sure that the best ideas are those that are funded. There is a wealth of information on ParkConnect to support people and organisations wishing to apply for funding through the Volunteering Innovation Fund. This includes Fact Sheets, Funding guidelines, and eligibility criteria. Our aim is to make applying for funding easy, please call our team on 1300 375 323, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to answer your questions and improve your chances of success.