Back to School (BTS)
Back to School (BTS) is a national program that helps remote and rural children and young people access quality educational experiences. Since 2005, this practical, positive program has helped thousands of students to engage in learning and strengthen their educational outcomes.
Working through local community organisations, Back to School provides $50 digital gift vouchers to students in need redeemable at Target, Kmart or local retailers. The vouchers can be used for items such as school uniforms, clothing, shoes, school bags and stationery – or anything that helps students feel ready to learn.
This program is currently closed.
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How to apply
Please read the information on each of the three tabs below to make sure this is the right grant for your project.
If you want to explore other grant options, please go to Find Funding Now.
I have a question, who can I talk to?
1800 170 020
Confirm you are eligible to apply for this grant
To make sure this is the right grant for your community, please read the grant information below carefully. Click on each headline to reveal the detail.
What are the program objectives?
The objectives of the Back to School 2021 program are to:
- Improve access to education through enabling the purchase of items required to attend and engage in school;
- Build local connections and community resilience through local distribution networks and Community Foundations; and
- Support students and their families affected by the 2019/2020 bushfires.
Is this grant available in my area?
The BTS program is available nationally to not-for-profit community based organisations and prioritises applications from Community Foundations.
How much funding is available? Are there priority areas?
There are currently two funding streams available for BTS 2021:
▪ focusing on disadvantaged students
Bushfire Response stream
▪ focusing on and prioritising disadvantaged students within local government areas with a bushfire disaster declaration, from September 2019 to April 2020
The program is funded by various Foundations, businesses and individuals who generously provide the financial backing for the program. The Bushfire Response stream has been made possible through the generous support of philanthropic and corporate donors, as well as public fundraising initiatives such as the Fire Fight Australia concert in February 2020.
Due to high demand and limited funding, we may not be able to meet every request.
What can be funded?
A broad range of charitable projects are considered under this program, including:
- Delivering, or providing activities, events, programs and services;
- Purchasing or hiring equipment and materials;
- Community infrastructure projects;
- Organisational capacity building; and
- Community resource development.
Is my organisation eligible?
Not-for-profit community-based organisations that have an ABN or Incorporation Certificate can apply to be part of the program. Not-for-profit organisations with and without DGR endorsement are eligible to apply.
Organisations applying under the Bushfire Response stream need to be operating in rural areas of Australia in an LGA with a bushfire disaster declaration, from September 2019 to April 2020.
Please note, you will be considered ineligible if the:
- Application is submitted by individuals, sole traders, private or commercial businesses (as per the submitted ABN);
- Application is submitted by an organisation that is not a legal entity, without the written consent of the governing / partnering body who holds the ABN / Incorporation number;
- Application is submitted without required financial documentation (see additional information on the second tab);
- Final report/s from any FRRR grants awarded in the previous seven years have not been acquitted (delivery organisations should check with legal organisation to see if there are any outstanding final reports);
- Application is for a project or activity that has already occurred / is occurring prior to the announcement of funding;
- Application is incomplete. NOTE: Due to the volume of applications received, applications are assessed based on the documentation received at the time of application. FRRR is unlikely to follow up missing documentation after applications have been submitted.
How does participation in the program work?
It is preferable for one organisation to apply for vouchers on behalf of each community and demonstrate coordination with other community organisations in the distribution of the vouchers.
- Priority will be given to Community Foundations working in rural, regional and remote areas.
- Where there is no Community Foundation, FRRR is happy to accept applications from eligible community-based organisations.
- Applications from a community organisation in an area where an eligible Community Foundation already exists and who has also applied to this program, may be a lower priority and may be referred to their local Community Foundation.
It is expected that community organisations that participate will ensure the vouchers are distributed to students in greatest need in their community.
When and how are vouchers delivered and distributed?
If successful, vouchers will be forwarded to your organisation for distribution in January 2021. Vouchers are to be distributed in a timely manner to those families in need.
Participating organisations will enter into a Grant Agreement with FRRR, with specific distribution and reporting requirements, and must administer the program at their own cost. FRRR also administers this program at its own cost, enabling every dollar donated to the program to be distributed out in vouchers.
If you need to share this information with others, you can download the guidelines above.
Submit your grant application via the Grants Gateway
Please contact FRRR if you have questions about any aspect of the Grants Gateway online application form.
Before you submit your application via the online Grants Gateway, please ensure you have:
It is time to submit your application. If it is helpful, you can download a copy of the application form.
Read more about the impact that these vouchers have had.
Back to School Program – making a real difference in rural Australia
A $50 voucher goes a long way for families that are struggling to put food on the table, let alone buy new school clothes and stationery. The BTS voucher distribution program continues to have a positive and significant impact for families in need in Deniliquin.
Back to School vouchers help farming families
FRRR’s $50 Back to School vouchers are making a big difference to farming families that have been impacted by consecutive natural disasters. For one family of four, it meant sending them to school with all they needed to start the school year.
Watch Joel’s story and see how $50 can make a difference
When Joel started high school he really needed a uniform, shoes and socks. Without them, his confidence was waning and he was skipping classes.