Nature Play Grants Program (NPGP) Funding Guidelines



These guidelines provide details for organisations wishing to apply for financial assistance from the “Nature Play” Grants Program (NPGP) for projects to be completed during the 2018 Calendar year. This is an ACT Government grant program administered by Active Canberra.

There are concerning rises in obesity, heart disease and sedentary lifestyles and against this background we are witnessing changes to the way in which people spend their leisure time and engage in physical activity. Reflective of this change, Canberrans are seeking new opportunities for active recreation and play to enrich their everyday lives.

Nature play is a concept encouraging children to spend more time in free play outdoors using their imaginations in a natural setting. It aspires to ensure societal values and behaviours embody a strong love of the outdoors and associated active lifestyles for life.

Nature-based outdoor activities are integral to the health and wellbeing of our people and our affinity for the natural world around us. These are activities and experiences where the natural environment is central to an activity, not just incidental to it.

The funding provided by Active Canberra is limited and as such, all applications will be assessed on relative merit. It is not possible to approve all requests for assistance, therefore grant funding should not be deemed automatic or anticipated.

The provision of funding is subject to the appropriation of funds through the ACT Government budget.


The primary objective of the NPGP is to provide financial assistance to eligible organisations for outcome based projects, programs and initiatives to support participation in active lifestyles through the delivery of quality “Nature Play” programs and services for the benefit of all the Canberra Community.


The intended outcomes of the NPGP are:

  • to increase community access and participation in nature-based outdoor activities and events;
  • to increase participation in active lifestyles, particularly for children and young people;
  • to enhance health and well being through active participation in nature-based outdoor activities and events;
  • to provide training and education opportunities for employees, early childhood educators, volunteers and members that will assist in the development of nature-based outdoor activity  organisations and nature-based activity delivery;
  • to assist nature-based outdoor activity organisations with marketing and promotion initiatives to engage increased community participation; and
  • to assist organisations to purchase non-consumable equipment that will increase nature-based outdoor activity opportunities.

The Minister for Sport and Recreation is responsible for the final endorsement of all recommendations for the NPGP.


Any organisation applying for funding under the NPGP must:

  • be a not for profit organisation incorporated in the ACT under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 or a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth) with its principal place of business in the ACT; or
  • be an accredited early childhood education and care centre or out of school hours program; or
  • be a not for profit organisation in an auspice arrangement with one of the above (see note 1 on the next page); and
  • deliver programs within the ACT;
  • have current Public Liability Insurance coverage to a minimum level of $10,000,000. Applicants (or auspice organisations) without current insurance must provide evidence of a public liability insurance quote;
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN). Applicants (or auspice organisations) who don’t have a current ABN must provide evidence they have applied for one;
  • be registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if applicable (if turnover is greater than $150,000 per annum);
  • have compliance requirements under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991 up to date; and
  • have satisfactorily acquitted all previous grants provided by Active Canberra (except for current year's funding), including financial acquittals for any other ACT Government agency grant.

Note 1: An auspice is an organisation that accepts legal responsibility (including financial accountability and Insurance) for a project. If your organisation is not a legal entity, you will need to arrange for an organisation that has legal status to act as an auspice and provide evidence of this.


The following organisations or groups are not eligible to receive funding from the NPGP:

  • Schools; Tertiary education institutions;
  • Parents and citizens associations; and
  • Student community groups.


1. The declaration on the application form certifies that all information provided in the application is true and correct. Action may be taken for repayment of any grant made where information contained in the application is subsequently found to be false or the grant is not used for its approved purpose.
2. All organisations are accountable for funds received from Active Canberra and must adhere to all conditions and guidelines of the NPGP.
3. All organisations must provide suitable acknowledgment for the financial support provided by Active Canberra under this program as outlined in the Acknowledgement Guidelines. This document can be accessed on the Active Canberra website at Failure to do so may result in reduced funding in subsequent years,
4. All organisations that receive public funding from Active Canberra must comply with the ACT Government Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).
5. All organisations must be able to demonstrate that every effort is being made to ensure that the principles of access and equity are guiding the development of the organisation and any programs that it conducts.
6. Successful applicants will need to seek written approval from Active Canberra to make any variation to the project, as detailed in the application form. Requests to amend the scope of the project need to be addressed to the Director, Active Canberra, clearly outlining why the change of purpose is required. Organisations should not assume that a change of purpose request will be approved.
7. Funded projects will at the discretion of Active Canberra, be profiled and promoted on the Nature Play CBR website (
8. As a condition of funding, Active Canberra may request the promotion and/or placement of the Nature Play brand in promotional material, electronic communications or physical assets directly linked to the funded activity or project.


GST is payable to organisations that receive financial assistance under this program if they are GST registered with the Australian Tax Office and can provide an Australian Business Number (ABN), i.e. if turnover is greater than $150,000 per annum.

For successful applicant organisations, Active Canberra will gross up the grant/s by 10% if registered for GST and after receipt of a Tax Invoice. Organisations that are not registered for the GST will not have their grants grossed up.


All organisations must be aware of the following funding parameters:

  • organisations can apply for a minimum of $250 and maximum $5000 in funding to any single application under the NPGP;
  • While there is no requirement for any matched funding contribution, evidence of co-funding/partnerships in the delivery of the project/activity may be favourably considered.

When Active Canberra receives your application, it will be checked to ensure eligibility for funding (refer to Item 4 for eligibility requirements). All eligible applications are then provided to an assessment officer and a panel to be rated. The assessment panel is chaired by a senior staff member of Active Canberra.

Each application will be assessed against the guidelines and selection criteria on the application form. In addition, an independent assessment panel will consider the application as a whole and make an assessment as to the merit of the application in meeting the aims and objectives of the assessment round and its overall ability to address priority for the ACT community.

Applications that meet all the general eligibility requirements will be assessed against the following criteria in meeting the primary objective and outcomes of the NPGP:

  1. Demonstrated need: the application provides evidence of need for the particular project/program being proposed.
  2. Demonstrated benefits: the ability to identify the benefits likely to be delivered by the project/proposal.
  3. Value for money: the application provides a realistic budget with an itemised list of expenditure supported by quotes.
  4. Application quality and organisation history: the application demonstrates a well thought out project and all requested documents are provided.

Even though an application may meet the above criteria, approval will depend on the number of applications received, the relative merit of the application, government priorities and available funds.

Recommendation for funding will then be made to the Minister for Sport and Recreation for final approval. Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application as soon as possible after Ministerial approval has been given. Active Canberra is unable to provide feedback on the outcome of your application prior to the conclusion of the assessment process.

  • non consumable equipment items that will assist in increasing opportunities for participation in nature-based outdoor activity;
  • eligible costs associated with marketing and promotional activities;
  • education and training costs to assist in the development of people within your organisation (employees, volunteers and members).
  • Small capital projects including support for the development of Nature Play spaces.
  • Funding to support the hosting of events to assist with engaging new user groups.
  • requests for retrospective funding;
  • general administrative and management costs associated in operating the organisation;
  • costs associated with salaries for staff currently employed by the applicant organisation;
  • costs associated with voluntary labour and in-kind support;
  • costs associated with travel to competition and events;
  • requests for items damaged by vandalism, theft, fire, or any natural disaster where those should have been covered by the appropriate insurance;
  • clothing or consumable equipment, unless for the purposes of providing a one off financial contribution for the development of a new club/organisation; and
  • prize money, trophies, catering and hospitality expenses.
  • Funding for capital projects where approval is not provided by the land custodian/owner.

All organisations must submit a minimum of one quote for each item of the application that has a clear and identifiable cost. This would include the purchase of equipment items and provision of services. Failure to submit this information may jeopardise any offer of funding.


Within three months after the termination date of the grant period, organisations must provide Active Canberra with the following:

  • a signed “Acquittal Form”, certifying that the organisation has utilised the financial assistance in accordance with the Conditions and Guidelines of the NPGP; and
  • a copy of the relevant audited financial statement or invoices, receipts, bank statements or other financial documentation that clearly identifies the income and expenditure of the grant; or
  • documentation that clearly identifies the income and expenditure of the grant, signed by the official auditor of the organisation.

No further financial assistance will be provided until all outstanding grants provided by Active Canberra (except for current year’s funding) have been successfully acquitted, including financial acquittals for any other ACT Government agency grant and organisations are compliant under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991.


Connecting and Building Recreation: A vision for the Territory

Nature Play CBR

For further information on Nature Play Grant Program, contact the Program Officer on (02) 6205 0344.

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