Foundation to Fund Capacity Building
25 May 2006 at 1:05 pm
The Macquarie Bank Foundation is to help fund community sector capacity building in Australia – a timely announcement given a new US study that says Not for Profits have a long list of capital needs, but most have trouble finding the investment capital to fund them.
The Macquarie Bank Foundation says it plans to introduce a new category of funding designed to help build capacity in community organisations, to help facilitate their development, growth and sustainability.
Foundation Chairman David Clarke says the funding would enable well-planned start-up community organisations to get off the ground and help established enterprises with their next phase of growth.
Clarke says the initiative is in response to concerns raised by community organisations about the difficulty of sourcing the funding required for strategic growth.
The Macquarie Bank Foundation and Mission Australia hosted a three-day Social Innovation Dialogue where community representatives repeatedly made the point that while they can source program funding, they have trouble obtaining funds for the infrastructure and administration associated with day-to-day operations.
David Clarke says there is also little in the current funding avenues offered by government and business to facilitate the growth of community organisations or allow new enterprises to be established.
This means many worthy enterprises are delayed in their establishment or stalled as they approach the next stage of growth.
Clarke says the initiative will enable the good intentions of these organisations to be put into practice.
The Macquarie announcement comes at the same time as the release of a new US survey called “Investment Capital: The New Challenge for American Nonprofits,” by the Nonprofit Listening Post Project, at Johns Hopkins University.
The survey found that nine out of 10 Not For Profits need investment capital for technology yet fewer than four in 10 of those groups say they have been able to raise the funds.
It says some eight in 10 report needing investment for “program development,” but only one in four has successfully raised the capital they need.
Almost all NFPs surveyed say they either don’t know how to raise capital from groups like insurance companies and pension funds, or cite difficulties in securing such investment.
The Macquarie Bank Foundation has previously provided capacity-building funding for new enterprises such as OzHarvest, as well as growth funding for organisations such as Inspire Foundation.
In addition, the Foundation has been a strong supporter of Social Ventures Australia and Nonprofit Australia, whose work is aimed at building a strong and sustainable community sector.
The Macquarie Bank Foundation and Macquarie staff currently contribute about $11 million a year to more than 250 community organisations across Australia and internationally.
Macquarie Bank Foundation CEO Julie White says organisations will be invited to apply for funding.
White says the Foundation has flexible funding criteria and organisations will be assessed on their individual level of need.
To view the survey ‘Investment Capital: The New Challenge for American Nonprofits’ go to:.www.jhu.edu/listeningpost/news/pdf/comm05.pdf .
For more information on the Macquarie Bank Foundation go to: www.macquarie.com.au/au/about_macquarie/macquarie_in_the_community.htm