Funding Principles and Grant Guidelines

Funding Principles

Ecstra’s purpose is “to equip Australians with the support and access to resources they need to make confident money decisions now, and for their financial future.”

The following Funding Principles apply to Ecstra’s grants program.

Ecstra will:

Community engagement
Support projects, programs and organisations that engage communities in Financial Capability. Work with diverse organisations across multiple sectors. Consult with and include communities and investors to promote confident and informed participation in the financial system.

Promote social and economic inclusion and advancement
Support projects, programs and organisations which actively promote social and economic participation, inclusion and advancement for communities. Support a range of local, state, and nationally targeted projects which actively promote Financial Capability and confident and informed participation in the financial system.

Equality and equity
Support projects, programs and organisations which provide or improve equitable access and overcome barriers for participation in Financial Capability initiatives.

Evidence based
Require projects to demonstrate an evidence based approach. Support new and evolving approaches which build community knowledge, understanding and increase the evidence base of Financial Capability in Australia and Internationally.

“What Works” build
Promote and encourage a shared knowledge hub of “What Works” through funded projects and foster collaboration and encourage shared learnings.

Qualifications and commitment
Ensure projects can demonstrate effective project management and a positive commitment to outcomes evaluation.

Sustainability, scalability and replication
Consider the sustainability of projects post grant period. Priority will be given to projects that can demonstrate scalability or replicability to amplify the impact of the grant.

Long term change
Take a system change approach to addressing persistent social, economic and behavioural issues affecting Financial Capability, acknowledging that long term change requires a collaborative approach and there is not a single solution.

Grant horizons
Balance grant making between projects addressing immediate gaps and opportunity in Financial Capability and supporting organisations engaged in long term, systems change level approaches to addressing Financial Capability.

Partnerships and collaboration
Give priority to projects that demonstrate openness to form partnerships (whether formal or informal), and to work collaboratively with others to maximise impact. Cross sector projects are encouraged, bringing the community, government and corporate partners together to address Financial Capability.

Right to decline
Retain the right to decline proposals at our discretion and provide feedback where appropriate.

Grant Guidelines

1. Application Process
Ecstra will accept expressions of interest or Proposals (Proposals) at any time, rather than announcing fixed granting rounds during the year. In the spirit of cooperation and transparency Ecstra aims to respond to Proposals (other than auto generated enquiries and fundraising appeals) within six weeks of receipt. Email and telephone contact details are included on the Ecstra website. The grants management process is administered through the SmartyGrants platform.

Ecstra will also proactively engage with organisations and consumer groups interested in Financial Capability to discuss opportunities, current or proposed projects and collaborations which may result in an invitation to submit a Proposal.

2. Eligibility Criteria
Organisations must be based in, registered in and conduct their activities predominantly in Australia.

The following are ineligible for support from Ecstra:

  • Projects that support private business and commercial activities, except for social enterprises

  • Organisations and/or activities outside Australia

  • Projects that are within the remit of Commonwealth, State or Local Government responsibilities, including ASIC’s operational work

  • Projects that could be perceived as serving religious or political purposes

  • Projects that merely duplicate an existing resource or service

  • Projects that benefit only one individual, or related parties

  • Reimbursement of projects already completed, loan repayments and fundraising activities

3. Assessment Process
The purpose of the assessment process is:

  • To ensure grants meet the stated purpose of the Community Benefit Payments, namely promoting the confident and informed participation of investors and consumers in the financial system.

  • To ensure grants align with Ecstra’s Funding Principles and stated purpose of equipping Australians with the resources and support they need to be confident making money decisions today, and to plan their financial future.

  • To provide a framework for reviewing Proposals fairly and transparently.

Proposals will be assessed on whether they address Financial Capability by fulfilling at least one of the below:

  • Filling an identified gap or immediate need

  • Addressing the needs of a specific group of consumers

  • Promoting financial empowerment for a specific group of consumers

  • Piloting a new approach

  • Scaling up existing programs or approaches

  • Fostering collaboration

  • Promoting the outcomes and impact of an evidence-based approach

  • Evaluating an existing program

  • Adding constructively to the ‘what works’ base

  • Building organisation capacity to better serve their communities

  • Mapping projects to the Ecstra Impact Framework (Inform, Engage, Grant and Build).

Priority consideration may be given to Proposals which address Financial Capability for the following groups or issues affecting:

  • Women

  • Young people

  • Older people, including in aged care or home care settings

  • Financial inclusion for Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, and/or people experiencing financial hardship

  • Ethical decision making in a financial context

Consideration may be given to Proposals supporting specific urban, regional and remote communities as well as a range of local, state and nationally targeted Proposals.

4. Approval process
Proposals are reviewed by Ecstra management against the eligibility criteria and the assessment process. Appropriate due diligence and risk assessments are conducted. Proposals to be progressed are then incorporated into a formal grant recommendation. These recommendations and supporting documentation are submitted for Board consideration.

The Board meets regularly to consider grant recommendations and decisions are communicated to the applicant organisation as soon as possible.

5. Grant Agreement
On approval, successful grantees are required to sign a Grant Agreement which outlines the purpose of the grant (the “Project”), standard contractual terms and conditions and a negotiated schedule (including grant amount, commencement and completion dates, payment terms, and any special conditions).

6. Reports and Acquittals
Reports and financial acquittals required for all grants. Satisfactory progress reports are required for all multi-year grants before subsequent instalments can be paid.

A final report on the Project outcomes and expenditure is due within one month of Project completion. This may include an agreed outcomes and impact framework.

Ecstra encourage grantees to submit case studies and testimonials (can be de-identified) as well as images for possible inclusion on the Ecstra website and annual report (signed release forms must accompany photographs of identifiable individuals).

7. Grant Amendments
Grantees are required to contact Ecstra with any proposed changes to their Project, including key personnel, project scope, timeline, expected outcomes and outputs as soon as possible.

8. Acknowledging Ecstra and Communicating Outcomes
A key element of Ecstra’s approach is the sharing of outcomes, and the short term and long impact achieved by funded Projects. By agreement this could include case studies on the website, participation in feedback or shared learning forums, and/or opportunities for further collaboration.

Grantees are encouraged to acknowledge Ecstra’s support and use the Ecstra logo on public documents relating to the Project, with prior written permission. Logo and style guides are available on request.