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 closed with outcomes announced May 2022. Round 4 opens in Autumn 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: email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 the successful round one projects underway.
Threatened Species Conservancy
Warrnambool Coastcare Landcare Network
Victorian National Parks Association
Nature Glenelg Trust
Friends of Ocean Grove Nature Reserve
Friends of the Hooded Plover, Bass Coast
Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs
Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation
The Scout Association of Australia, Victoria Branch
Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater
Lord Somers Camp and Power House
Jane Goodalls’ Roots and Shoots Australia
Parklands Albury Wodonga
Congratulations to the following successful applicants in round two. Read about the successful round two projects underway.
Southern Otway Landcare Network
Westgate Biodiversity: Bili Nursery and Landcare
Merri Creek Management Committee
Horseshoe Bend Community Garden Group
Cairnlea Conservation Reserves Committee of Management
Werribee Park Farm Community Hub
The Friends of the Terrick Terrick National Park
Connecting to Country
Friends of Newlands Reserve
Victorian High Country Huts Association
Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria
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.
The Volunteering Innovation Fund aligns with two important Strategies;
Protecting Victoria’s Environment - Biodiversity 2037
Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 is the Victorian State Government’s policy response to addressing the decline in biodiversity. The Biodiversity Plan presents a long-term vision for Victoria’s biodiversity supported by two goals:
1. Victorians Value Nature, and
2. Victoria’s natural environment is healthy.
Specific targets have been developed to deliver on these goals, and 20 priorities have been identified to guide actions. Conservation actions delivered through the plan will be more strategic, deliver better value for money and will be underpinned by the best available science to ensure efforts deliver the most benefit for the most species.
Victorians Volunteering for Nature - Environmental Volunteering Plan
Supporting, improving and expanding the environmental volunteering sector in Victoria will contribute directly to the vision and goals of Biodiversity 2037. Of particular relevance is the target of five million Victorians acting to protect the natural environment by 2037.
The Volunteering Innovation Fund aims to inspire ideas and fuel innovation by funding community-led projects that consider new ways of volunteering in and for the environment to help reach this target.
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
Where can projects be located?
Projects must be conducted on and/or benefit Crown land within Victoria. Projects conducted on private and council land/reserves/estates are not eligible.
Projects can be conducted on and/or benefit both Crown land and other parcels of land, for example: a volunteering event with bus transfers which includes volunteering activities on Crown land and driving the volunteers somewhere else, such as a lunch venue.
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.
What projects won’t be funded?
The following projects are ineligible:
• Projects already underway
• Projects conducted on private land/reserves/estates
• Projects that will cause harm
• Projects conducted on council land/reserves/estates
• Capital Works projects
• Projects that require a Cultural heritage Management Plan
Where can I learn more?
We’re here to help and want to make sure applying for funding is easy. 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 video tutorials.