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Online Safety Grants Program FAQs

eSafety acknowledges the significant impact that COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic, is having 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 the eSafety website where we are regularly publishing information about how to manage online safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current round of the Online Safety Grants Program is now closed. Outcomes of the current round will be published on our website in coming months. These FAQs will no longer be updated.


The Australian Government has committed a total of $10 million over four financial years (2019-2020 to 2022-2023). 

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

2020-2021: $2.25 million
2021-2022: $4.5 million
2022-2023: $2.25 million

In Round 1 of 2020, eSafety expects there to be approximately seven grants awarded as outlined in section 3.1 of the Online Safety Grants Program Guidelines.

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


Only non-government organisations (NGOs) can apply for the Online Safety Grants Program. An NGO is an organisation that operates without any Government involvement. 

An NGO is an organisation that is independent of any government involvement and typically is an organisation that is a not-for-profit organisation. 

If you are unsure if you are an NGO, we recommend you seek independent advice. The eSafety Commissioner cannot provide this advice.

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

The intention of the Online Safety Grants Program is to fund NGOs to deliver projects that can deliver practical, innovative and new solutions to online safety education:

  • for use in schools and other places of learning
  • designed for parents and carers, communities or support workers 
  • focused on at-risk communities
  • aimed at scaling up new services, resources or products.

Government schools are not NGOs and are therefore ineligible to apply for this funding opportunity. 

Some non-government schools may be registered as not-for-profit organisations. However, as non-government schools operate with government funding, they are ineligible to apply for this grants program.

Australian universities that are NGOs and those with foundations, departments and institutes that are NGOs are eligible to apply.

If you are unsure if you are an NGO, we recommend you seek independent advice. The eSafety Commissioner cannot provide this advice.

For the purposes of the Online Safety Grants Program, the eSafety Commissioner cannot contract with businesses or for-profit companies. 
Businesses could consider a joint (consortia) application. Information regarding joint applications can be found in section 7.1 of the Online Safety Grant Program Guidelines

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 will not be eligible to apply for grant funding.

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

More information about TEPs can be found here

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

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.

We can only accept applications that provide 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.

Yes. NGOs may submit a joint (consortia) application. A consortium is two or more organisations that are working together to combine their capabilities when developing and delivering a grant activity. 

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 Grant Program Guidelines


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

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 portal

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 5pm AEST 21 May 2020 are ineligible for assessment.

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

The five focus areas are based on our research that indicates there are 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, up to a maximum of three. Three has been chosen as the maximum number of focus areas to ensure that outcomes can be delivered in a sustained and in-depth way rather than multiple areas with limited impact.

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 have incurred to deliver the project. 

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

If you are employing a staff member or contractor to deliver agreed project outcomes, and the activities are reasonable and appropriately related to the grant funded project, this would be deemed eligible.

Expenditure for staff wages and overheads associated with ordinary business as usual (BAU) tasks of your organisation would not be deemed eligible.

The budget template is where you need to identify the source of funding, how much funding the project has allocated and what this funding will be paying for. 

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

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. 

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

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


eSafety will convene an Assessment Panel comprising representatives from eSafety and other Commonwealth Government departments. 

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

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 is the decision maker. This is the person who occupies the position of the eSafety Executive Manager, Education and Prevention Branch. 

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

Successful grant recipients will be notified at the completion of the assessment process. It is anticipated that this will be in August 2020.


We will expect 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.


The Commonwealth Simple Grant Agreement will be issued for contracting with successful NGOs. A draft of this is on our 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:  Ph – (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.

Still have questions?

Please contact us at