Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Online Safety Grants Program FAQs

Find out the answers to common questions about applying for funding under the Online Safety Grants Program.

The Online Safety Grants Program helps NGOs deliver online safety education to children, young people and their communities, or training to those who work with them.

Round 2 applications closed at 5.00 pm on Tuesday 25 May 2021. A list of successful Round 2 projects will be published on our website and the GrantConnect website when they have been decided.


eSafety acknowledges the significant impact that COVID-19 (the coronavirus pandemic) is continuing to have on the Australian community. NGOs should carefully consider in their applications any limitations that COVID-19 may have on physically accessing schools and communities to deliver projects and outcomes within this grant opportunity.

eSafety recommends NGOs keep up-to-date on COVID-19 developments via the Australian Government website. NGOs can also check information about how to manage online safety during the COVID-19 pandemic on the eSafety website.



Only non-government organisations (NGOs) that are registered as not-for-profit charitable organisations with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission can apply for Round 2 of the Online Safety Grants Program.

If you are unsure whether your organisation meets the eligibility requirement, we recommend you seek independent advice. eSafety cannot provide this advice.

eSafety can only contract (enter into a grant agreement) with NGOs that are legal entities. A legal entity is any company, business or organisation that can legally enter a binding contract with another legal entity.

Schools are not eligible to apply for a grant under the Online Safety Grants Program. For further information about eligibility see section 4.2 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2.

The Online Safety Grants Program provides grants to NGOs to deliver practical and innovative approaches to online safety education, including in schools and other places of learning.

Australian universities with foundations, departments and institutes that are NGOs and are registered as not-for-profit charitable organisations with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are eligible to apply.

If you are unsure whether your organisation meets this eligibility requirement, we recommend you seek independent advice. eSafety cannot provide this advice.

For the purposes of the Online Safety Grants Program, eSafety cannot contract (enter into an agreement) with businesses or for-profit companies. 

Businesses may apply as part of a consortium where the lead applicant is an eligible NGO. Information regarding joint (consortium) applications can be found in section 7.2 of the Online Safety Grant Program Guidelines - Round 2

Yes. To be eligible your NGO must have a current Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN). 

This will be verified when assessing the eligibility of your application.

If your NGO is not registered for GST, you are not eligible to apply for grant funding.

No. NGOs do no not need to be a Trusted eSafety Provider (TEP) to apply for funding. 

Find more information about the TEP Program. 

No. These grants are for the delivery of new products, resources and services or delivery to new audiences. 

Grant funding cannot be spent on your organisation’s ‘business as usual’ functions.

When working with children under the age of 18 it is standard practice that your NGO has a child safety policy in place. 

A child safety policy outlines an organisation’s commitment to child safety through the prevention, identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. 

eSafety recommends NGOs use the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations in the design of child safety policies.

eSafety requires evidence from your Board (CEO or equivalent) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project commitments within the timeframe. 

The accountant’s declaration should also indicate that any of the ordinary costs of running your NGO will not be covered by the project grant funding.

For information about supporting documentation, please refer to section 7.1 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2.

Yes. NGOs may lead a joint (consortium) application. A consortium is two or more organisations that work together to deliver a project.

Other organisations in the consortium do not need to be NGOs.

Information regarding joint applications can be found in section 7.1 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2


The Australian Government has committed a total of $10 million over three financial years (2020-2021 to 2022-2023). 

This includes $9 million in grant funding and $1 million to support the delivery of the program.

Round 1 (2020): $2.25 million
Round 2 (2021): $4.5 million
Round 3 (2022): $2.25 million

In Round 2 (2021), eSafety expects to award approximately 14 grants, as outlined in section 3.1 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2.

eSafety reserves the right to award grant funding in a manner that differs from this table.


Before beginning an application, it is recommended that you carefully read the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2

Make sure you have the required supporting documentation ready and that your NGO meets the eligibility criteria. 

Applications for this grant opportunity must be submitted via the online application form

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact the grants team at

No. We will only accept applications that are submitted within the timeframes set for the online application process. 

Applications not submitted before the grant round closes at 5.00 pm (AEST) Tuesday 25 May 2021 are ineligible for assessment.

If you are experiencing accessibility issues, please contact the grants team at for assistance.

No. An organisation can only submit one application for Round 2, either as the lead organisation or as part of a joint (consortium) application.

The five focus areas are based on our research into needs and gaps in the provision of online safety education.

The areas are broad, as we want NGOs to think outside the box and demonstrate new ideas and ways of thinking about how to work with children and young people.

NGOs must select at least one focus area and a maximum of three, to encourage rigorous and sustainable approaches to priority areas.

No. eSafety is unable to provide guidance on the types of projects that your NGO could develop.

eSafety is unable to recommend other organisations that your NGO can partner with or seek advice from.

eSafety cannot introduce NGOs to schools or other places of learning or support.


You can only spend the grant funding on eligible expenditure you incur to deliver the project. 

For more information on grant funding expenditure, please refer to section 5.3 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2.

The budget template within the online application form is where you need to identify what the grant funding will be spent on, and any in-kind or monetary contributions to the project budget from the lead applicant or partners.

If you require assistance with completing your budget template, please contact the grants team at

eSafety cannot offer you a grant if you are receiving funding from another Australian Government source for the same purpose. 

If you have applied for funding for this project through other Australian Government grants programs and more than one application is successful, you must choose only one program to fund your project. 

You must declare if you are already receiving funding for this project from another Australian Government source.

If you are receiving funding for your project from a non-Commonwealth source you can still apply for a grant under the Online Safety Grants Program, however you will need to declare this income in your application.


eSafety will convene an Assessment Panel comprising representatives from eSafety and other Australian Government agencies. 

It will be chaired by the eSafety Manager (Grants, Trusted eSafety Providers and Child Safety Team) who has responsibility for the Online Safety Grants Program.

The Assessment Panel will assess each application against the assessment criteria outlined in Section 6 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2. 

The Assessment Panel will review each application based on its merits and compare it to other eligible applications before recommending which grant applications should be awarded funding.

Yes. If your application is unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply again in the next available round of Online Safety Grants Program funding.

The Program Delegate will make final decisions on which projects are funded and the amount of each grant. This is the person who occupies the role of eSafety Chief Operating Officer. 

More information on grant approvals is outlined in Section 8.3 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2. 

Successful grant recipients will be notified at the completion of the assessment process. It is anticipated that this will be in August 2021.


We will require you to report on the project’s progress against agreed milestones and outcomes, contributions of participants directly related to the project/services, as well as expenditure of the grant funding.

Reporting requirements are outlined in Section 12.2 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2.


The Commonwealth Standard Grant Agreement will be used as the basis for contracting with successful NGOs. A draft of this is available in the Online Safety Grants Program page of eSafety's website.


The Online Safety Grants Program uses SmartyGrants to facilitate the online application portal. 

If you are experiencing issues with logging into the grants portal or technical problems with the application form, please contact the service team at SmartyGrants:  Phone (03) 9320 6888 or


The Australian Government crest and the eSafety Commissioner must be acknowledged on all materials related to the Online Safety Grants Program. Branding guidelines will be provided to the successful applicants. 

Information relating to acknowledging the Government can be found in section 12.8 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines - Round 2.

Still have questions?

Please contact us at


Updated May 2021