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ACCAN is committed to best serving telecommunications consumers by administering a high quality Grants Program that is responsive to consumer needs. We have a two-stage application process, and also offer Streams depending on the type of work you are planning to do. 


First, choose your Stream

You can apply under one of two Streams:

1. Research Stream

Applications in this stream are predominantly consumer-focused research and may request up to $100,000.

2. Education and Representation Stream

Applications in this stream are for work that is predominantly consumer education and/or representation. The lead applicant must be from the community sector, or demonstrate strong community sector partnership. Applications may be for up to $50,000.

Expression of Interest stage

Expressions of Interest are completed via a shortened application form and assessed according to the Guidelines by the Independent Grants Panel. 

Step 1 - Read the Guidelines and Strategic Plan.

Step 2 - Create a rough draft of your project idea.

Step 3 - Contact the grants team to review the idea and get advice on whether it is likely to be considered eligible:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call: 02 9288 4000. If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service: and ask to speak to a member of the grants team.

Step 4 - Thoroughly plan out your project, then complete all the questions on the Expression of Interest online application formThis is via SmartyGrants. You will need to register for a SmartyGrants account if you don't already have one.

Step 5 - Submit your application online by the due date stated in the Guidelines. Late applications will not be accepted.

Word version of the Expression of Interest form

It can be useful to prepare your answers offline and share the document with your team. Download the Word version of the online application form for this purpose. Do NOT submit this sample form. Log on to SmartyGrants to submit the online form.

Download: Word version of the 2020 Expression of Interest form docx2020 ACCAN grants EOI form83.79 KB

Full Application Stage

If your Expressions of Interest is successful, you will be invited to submit a Full Application, also via SmartyGrants. Use the same login details as you used at the EOI stage.

Download: Word version of the 2020 Full Application form docx2020 ACCAN Grants Full Application form.docx90.32 KB

We strongly encourage all Full Application stage applicants to consult the Guidelines and to contact the ACCAN Grants Team to discuss your application to ensure it is eligible and competitive. Please note that answers in the Full Application form do not have to match those given at EOI stage - applicants are able to change their answers to strengthen their applications by adding further detail, clarifying any areas, or changing approach; this also applies to the budget question as the requested amount can be adjusted.

Supporting documents

If the Assessment Panel needs more information such as annual reports or other documents, they will request it. They do not need to be uploaded at the time you make the application.

What should I put in the budget?

You are required to submit a budget with your application. You must think of all the income components from every source. You must think of, and reasonably estimate, each cost (expense) necessary for your project.

Income and expenditure need to add up to the same amount: you can't spend more than the project receives, and you can't spend less either.


The income table is a summary of all other sources of funding you will be using for this project (e.g. if your organisation is contributing cash or in-kind support). If you have another grant for this project, show that grant in the list. Each source should be listed separately. Make sure your Total Income is the same amount as Total Expenditure. These two figures need to equal each other.


In the expenses table, list all costs directly associated with the project. You may need to buy or rent equipment, fund a research worker, pay for travel, printing, or even room hire. Think through all the things you will need to make your project a success. If you have included in-kind in the income, then make sure you include it as part of the total expenditure. Expenditure is the list of things that are expended as part of the project.

Only include travel that is absolutely necessary for your project and this needs to be well justified. Simply presenting results at a conference is not sufficient justification as the activities must form an integral part of the project.

Will ACCAN fund overheads?

ACCAN won't fund overheads, such as administration levies, general office space and so on. We don’t cover normal operating costs for an organisation to do its business either. Check the complete list of exclusions in the Guidelines. The grant program funds clearly defined projects and project activity towards specific outputs.

We do cover all costs that are directly attributable to the project itself, e.g. project labour, project management, project accounting, or even office space and room hire if it can be justified as directly attributable to the project.

It all depends on how clearly the cost is related to the project - If you weren’t doing this project would the cost still exist? If yes, then we won’t cover it. Is it an arbitrary levy added by your organisation on top of the project? If yes, we won't cover it. We only cover costs for activities inside the project.

Do I include GST?

No. All amounts you put in the budget should exclude GST. If you are successful, GST will be paid in addition to the amount you apply for.

Top Tips

  • Ensure your project fits: Is it really a telecommunications project? Does it satisfy one of the listed priorities? Read the Guidelines well, and contact us to discuss your project idea.
  • Write in clear, simple English: avoid jargon and long-winded sentences. Say exactly what you're going to do.
  • Be specific: Rather than "a large number of consumers will benefit" say "150 consumers in the Armidale community will access tailored digital literacy training programs."
  • Balance your budget: Income needs to equal expenditure. Include all cash and in-kind contributions. Be realistic about what time and resources you will need. This shows you have thought things through.
  • Demonstrate that you understand the context for your project  - what gap are you filling in terms of the research and other work that already exists? Check other published work, including ACCAN's research, and government bodies such as communications regulators.
  • Clearly explain how your project differs from other related projects that exist. This is particularly important for projects involving cyber-safety and digital literacy training. This is because the Australian government and other not-for-profits are addressing these issues through various training programs. If you see a gap or a limitation to these resources, explain why and how your project is addressing a significant gap. Ensure you refer to the ACCAN resources already available. If you are developing new materials, how will they complement what's already 'out there'?
  • Clearly explain the future your project will have after our funding ceases. Do you expect the work to continue in any way? What provisions have you included in your planning to ensure this can happen?
  • Look through our previous grants projects to get a better understanding of what and who we fund.

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