Community Conservation Grants

Applications are now closed for 2023

Apply for the Community Grant

Collaborating for Bird Conservation

With our specialised knowledge and the support of a nationwide network of volunteers and supporters, we combine the best of conservation practice and rigorous scientific data and research to protect Australia’s birds and their habitats. We work locally, nationally and globally to drive the recovery of threatened bird populations, restore nature and prevent bird extinctions.

When it comes to conservation, collaboration is key – we can’t tackle the extinction crisis alone. That’s why BirdLife Australia is partnering with leading experts and organisations, communities and landholders to save birds and nature for the benefit of us all.

These partnerships are key to achieving the ambitious goals and targets outlined in our bold new Bird Conservation Strategy: to stop bird extinctions by 2032, improve the status of 30% of threatened birds by 2032 and halt overall bird population declines by 2050.

About Birdlife Australia’s Community Conservation Grants

Birdlife Australia’s Community Conservation Grants empower local community groups and our network with the tools, knowledge and guidance they need to protect birds and nature both locally and nationally.

Funding and Support for Community- and Capacity-building Projects

We offer grants of up to $20,000 for community- and capacity building-projects that align with and support the delivery of BirdLife Australia’s Bird Conservation Strategy. This includes funding for equipment, signage and vegetation restoration, as well as community education, training and advocacy.


How to apply for this grant

Applications for the 2023 Community Conservation Grants are now closed. Applications close 30 April annually.

Assessment criteria

What will the project be assessed against?

We are looking for projects that implement the following Conservation Action Areas (CAAs) outlined below and  in the Bird Conservation Strategy

As a guide, the project must:

  • Align with BirdLife Australia’s programs, priorities and Bird Conservation Strategy.
  • Comply with BirdLife Australia’s policies and values, and identify and manage any associated risks.
  • Consider opportunities for volunteer participation and volunteer leadership development.
  • Consider strategies to improve the diversity, equity and inclusion approaches to projects and volunteering.
  • Have a tangible conservation impact and clear, measurable outcomes
  • Ensure bird surveys are standardised and submitted to Birdata.
  • Ensure expenditure has not already been incurred (funding will not be given retrospectively).
  • Be completed within the permitted timeframe (typically within 12 months).
  • Be conducted within Australia (overseas projects will not be funded).
Bird Conservation Strategy: Conservation Action Areas (CAAs)

CAA 1 – Build evidence base through science, research, information management and partnerships

BirdLife Australia and our members, supporters and Network, through our existing conservation, research and citizen science programs and together with partnerships with governments, universities and research bodies, will expand, consolidate and maintain a robust evidence base that will guide and support our conservation work. This will include, for example, building internal support tools, identifying knowledge and capacity gaps, identifying priority species/sites and their threats, optimising current monitoring programs and implementing new research initiatives. While science underpins BirdLife Australia’s conservation work, it is not the only form of knowledge.

BirdLife Australia will engage with First Nations people and, with their free, prior, and informed consent, integrate Traditional Knowledge, innovations and practices into the evidence base and our conservation planning while ensuring that Indigenous knowledge is owned and shared by Indigenous communities themselves.

CAA 2 – Advocate for, refine and develop decision support tools, methods and standards

BirdLife Australia will work with governments and others in our strategic partnerships to advocate for, refine and develop a suite of decision support tools (e.g. sensitivity mapping tools and other technologies), methods and standards (e.g. National Environmental Standards) so that early-stage planning, decisions and late-stage assessments can utilise the best available information and best practices. By advocating for, refining and developing these tools, we empower other managers (e.g. governments, Natural Resource Managers, etc.) and the private sector to protect and conserve biodiversity.

CAA 3 – Establish, support and empower local communities and Network

BirdLife Australia will ensure that supporters, local communities and our Network have the tools, knowledge and power to protect and restore birds and their habitats through on-ground conservation efforts and advocacy for both BirdLife Australia’s priority conservation issues and local conservation issues.

CAA 4 – Develop and promote incentives

BirdLife Australia will explore further opportunities to advance natural climate solutions to the climate change and extinction crises. We will continue to support novel projects that promote bird-friendly economic activities, and we will promote incentives, including livelihood and behavioural incentives (e.g. stewardship payments), and alternatives for managing land for birds and biodiversity, including certification and co-benefit schemes.

CAA 5 – Influence economic and social drivers

BirdLife Australia and our strategic partners will influence the economic and social drivers behind many of the greatest threats to Australia’s native birds. These include improving environmental and conservation legislation, regulations and funding/incentives/ subsidies at all levels of government, addressing unsustainable business practices and investment strategies that contribute to the degradation and destruction of habitat for threatened bird species (e.g. forestry operations in Swift Parrot habitat) and ensuring decision-making processes incorporate strong environmental standards and effective participation of civil society.

CAA 6 – Advocate for appropriate policies

BirdLife Australia and our Network will utilise our expertise and scientific credibility to proactively advocate for appropriate policies and decision-making processes at all levels of government and within the private sector. We will also influence broader civil society to incorporate biodiversity conservation within their policies and decision-making processes.

CAA 7 – Work with First Nations peoples

BirdLife Australia will deepen the relationship between BirdLife Australia and First Nations peoples for mutual benefit and for positive conservation outcomes. We will increase opportunities to exchange knowledge and perspectives and opportunities to collaborate with First Nations peoples, through partnerships to conserve and restore threatened bird species and their habitats and to ensure that policies
and decision-making processes incorporate First Nations peoples’ perspectives with their free, prior and informed consent.

CAA 8 – Work with the private sector

BirdLife Australia will continue to explore opportunities to build relationships with businesses and the private sector that delivers positive conservation outcomes and leads to mutual benefits and/or influence private sector decision-making and/or actions.

CAA 9 – Direct action to manage, benefit and restore conservation targets

BirdLife Australia will implement and/or facilitate the delivery of high-priority direct actions to reduce or eliminate threats, protect and conserve birds and restore, connect and create habitat. These actions will be identified, together with strategic partners and key stakeholders, through conservation plans (e.g. Conservation Action Plans (CAPs), threatened species recovery plans or alternatives) for our core conservation programs and priority species.


Who can apply?

Any community group or volunteer organisation can apply for a Community Conservation Grant, including BirdLife Australia branches and action groups. Your project proposal will be reviewed by BirdLife Australia’s Community Grants Coordinator and Community Grants & Awards Committee.

Please note that we will only approve one grant per round for each branch or community group.