The Be Connected grant program, including Building Digital Skills grants, Capacity Building grants and Digital Devices grants, helps organisations deliver free Be Connected digital literacy programs to older Australians in their community.
From May 2023, there are changes to some of the grants in this program. Grant length and the number of people you need to support has been reduced. The value of grant funding available through our program has stayed the same, but some Building Digital Skills contract sizes will not be available in every round.
Do you want to understand why and what the main changes are? Check out the FAQ below.
What Building Digital Skills grants are available in 2024?
In January 2024, we got special permission to open two additional Building Digital Skills grant rounds this financial year (FY23/24). The funding in Round 49 and Round 50 of this grant will support organisations to run Be Connected digital skills programs for over 50s between 1 April - 30 November 2024.
Grant contracts of $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 will be available. The biggest grant contract size of $20,000 will not be available to apply for in these two grant rounds.
Details of the extended Be Connected program beyond June 2024, including information on grants, will be made available over the coming months.
Why did Building Digital Skills grant contracts change for FY23/24?
The current Be Connected program funding we receive from the Australian Government is due to end on 30 June 2024. This means that all grants we offered under this program had to be completed by 31 May 2024.
In January 2024, we got special permission to open two additional Building Digital Skills grant rounds this financial year. The funding in Round 49 and Round 50 of this grant will support organisations to run Be Connected digital skills programs for over 50s between 1 April - 30 November 2024.
We still want to offer grants because we know they are so important to running effective digital skills programs. So we have offered our Be Connected Building Digital Skills and Capacity Building grants with reduced timeframe (terms) from our standard 12 months, and lowered learner numbers.
Why have learner numbers for Building Digital Skills grants been reduced?
You will have less time to deliver your grant funded programs, so we have reduced how many people you need to support while keeping grant funding values the same. This helps you to keep the quality of the programs high.
How do I know how many people I need to help and by when?
Every grant we offer has grant guidelines. Read these carefully to see how the reduced learner targets and timeframe for Be Connected grants may apply to that grant round.
When is the last Building Digital Skills grant round under the current Be Connected program that I can apply for?
The last Building Digital Skills grant round under the current Be Connected Program was scheduled to be Round 48. The application period for this round was 28 August to 29 September 2023. The delivery period for this grant is 7 months long, from 1 November 2023 to 31 May 2024.
In January 2024, we got special permission to open two additional Building Digital Skills grant rounds this financial year. This funding will support network partners to run Be Connected digital skills programs for over 50s between 1 April - 30 November 2024. These rounds (Round 49 and Round 50) are available in $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 contract sizes.
Do I still have to do CaptureIT and the Skills Checker?
Yes. The funding allocation and terms and conditions of the Building Digital Skills grant will remain the same. The only change to the program is the reduction of the timeframe and learner target numbers.
I have a Be Connected grant from a previous round. Does this affect me?
No. The changes to the learner target numbers and grant length apply only to Building Digital Skills grants from Rounds 44 on, and some Capacity Building grants being delivered in FY23/24. Check your grant guidelines to see if these changes apply to your grant.
You will be expected to deliver your Building Digital Skills grant per the terms and conditions you accepted when awarded a grant.
What will happen if I don't reach my learner targets in time?
We appreciate that sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, organisations may have to pause their program for a period. However, unlike previous grant rounds, the option to extend the term of the grant is not available for Building Digital Skills rounds 44 to 48.
If you are encountering difficulties in delivering your program, don't hesitate to contact our grants team to discuss your options. It is better to chat to us as early as possible.
I want to apply for a Specialist grant contract. Will these also change?
Yes, the reduced number of people you need to support and the shorter delivery period also applies to Specialist Building Digital Skills grants
Why is Be Connected funding ending in 2024 and what are you doing to extend it?
The current Be Connected program funding we receive from the Australian Government is due to end on 30 June 2024. We have been advocating for the extension of this essential digital skills program.
In October 2023, we got the great news that this program is being extended to 2028. We do not have further details of what the extended program will look like at this stage, including what grant funding will be available, but will keep our network of community partners up to date as information becomes available.