The experts in
not for profit

Social Sector Transformation Fund

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In November 2020, the NSW Government announced the $50 million Social Sector Transformation Fund (SSTF).

The fund formed part of the economic stimulus measures included in the 2020-21 Budget. The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) website states,

“The Fund will provide grants to small and medium-sized charities and not-for-profits working in health and social service to help them modernise their operations — with a focus on capacity building, better digital service delivery, remote working capabilities and improving business strategies — so they can remain efficient, effective and viable.”

The SSTF commenced in March 2021 and will roll out across three separate rounds. A direct grant payment was paid to all eligible service providers with continuous or ongoing funding arrangements with DCJ and/or NSW Health. These recipients received either $20,000 or $40,000, based on their annual revenue.

Accounting For Good’s CEO, Kirsten Forrester, discusses the grant and how you might consider using any funding you still have available.

Grant funding categories

Grant recipients had to align their funding with one or more of the ten categories outlined by DCJ and were allowed to use up to 50% of the SSTF grant to reimburse expenses incurred in FY2019-20 and/or FY2020-21. It’s noted that all funding must be expended by 30 June 2022. The categories are:

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  1. Personal technology and equipment for a flexible workforce
  2. Organisational infrastructure for a flexible workforce
  3. Technology training and support for a flexible workforce
  4. Organisational business improvement
  5. Technology training and support for clients
  6. Service delivery or models of care improvement
  7. Data and information (cyber) security
  8. Client relationship or information management system
  9. Organisational capacity building
  10. Online engagement

Kirsten recognises that this funding is very unique.

“It is rare to be able to retrospectively apply funding to money you have already spent. Usually, funding is for a specific purpose and looking to the future… but in this instance, grant recipients will have already nominated the categories that their funding relates to.

You can see from the categories that the Government acknowledges that many not for profit organisations would have spent extra money on supporting staff and coping with the challenges of working during COVID.

A perfect example is one of our clients who had to invest in a completely new phone system in order for their staff to be able to work from home. They were able to align this with the organisational infrastructure category and allocate funds towards last year’s expenditure. For another client, they allocated their funding towards the establishment of their relationship with us, as our services matched multiple categories.”

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Do you have funding left over?

If you received this grant, it’s quite possible that you will still have some funding available… and depending on the categories you nominated, there are a number of options you could consider. Kirsten explains,

“This is a great opportunity for organisations to invest in new tech, whether upgrading IT equipment or new software. There are numerous categories that align here. We know so many NFPs get by using older equipment, so this could really make a huge difference. They could buy laptops or new mobiles. It gives not for profit employees a chance to use good, fast technology to do their work efficiently.”

If you selected categories such as organisational infrastructure, organisational business improvement or organisational capacity building, there might also be an opportunity to outsource your accounting. The potential business improvements are certainly worth considering as it could support you to gain a better understanding of your organisation’s financial health, improve business decision making and enhance financial performance and governance.

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Outsourced accounting

We understand the range of financial work required in a not for profit organisation and we also know it can be hard to resource with one person. Whether it’s for payroll processing, technical accounting, reporting, analysis or CFO support, we use our broad range of skills to help you determine best practice processes, refine your reports and help you set and achieve your goals.

By working with you to implement advanced processes, our Outsourced Finance Department model will increase the quality of your accounting and bookkeeping.

We give your Board, regulators and other key stakeholders the peace of mind that you have the depth of expertise, strategic advice and quality reporting and guidance to sustain your business.

Speak to our team

We are highly skilled specialists in not for profit accounting. Within our team we have unmatched technical knowledge… we are Australia’s leading experts in the non-profit sector. And crucially, we understand on a very deep level the financial constraints, compliance, regulatory and governance requirements faced by NFPs. To find out how our friendly finance and accounting team can help you, contact us today. Read more not for profit sector articles.

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