Westpac Announces New Grants
1 December 2011 at 12:33 pm
The Westpac Social Sector Banking team has been extremely busy in recent months, releasing the first ever Westpac Community Confidence Index (CCI) in October, attending Our Community’s Board Builder Conference on November 18, finalising the third in our Guide for Community series (the Guide to Investing Money for Community Organisations) and announcing the Catalyst Grant – a new initiative from The Westpac Foundation.
In particular, the Social Sector Banking team were very excited to announce the results of the first ever Community Confidence Index, the result of a detailed study based on a survey of 977 Not For Profit organisations across the country.
Key findings of the inaugural Westpac Community Confidence Index, which are developed in partnership with Our Community, are:
- The outlook is positive: Despite a difficult year, 85% of Australian Not For Profit organisations are confident that they will achieve their goals over the next 12 months.
- Financial indicators are looking good: Close to half of the Not For Profit organisations surveyed have experienced an increase in overall income in the past six months; 71% are expecting an increase in the next 12 months; and 82% are actively exploring additional sources of income.
- Staffing challenges are biting: The main concern in the Not For Profit sector is around finding skilled staff – one-third of respondents said they were struggling with this. On the up-side, the sector is positive about retaining staff, with 73% saying they are confident on this front.
- Mergers are imminent: One in four Not For Profit organisations say they are considering partnering or merging for growth.
- WA is leading the states: On a national basis, WA Not-For-Profits achieved the highest overall Index score, and also led the field in income trends and expectations, as well as confidence in achieving their goals. While WA had an overall index score of 126 (where 100 is the baseline), Victoria, Queensland and South Australia all scored below 100.
- Some segments are doing better than others: The most confident organisations in the community sector are those that fall into the professional/trade associations category, with an overall score of 140.2, followed by the hospitals/health segment on 132.4, and social services on 120.2. The culture and recreation segment had the lowest index score, on 64.4.
We will release the next CCI report in August 2012 which will show how the next 12 months impact the health and confidence of the sector. The 2011 report can be downloaded at www.westpac.com.au/socialsectorbanking
New Grant announced
Another key initiative that we are very pleased to announce is the development of a new grant specifically for the sector, provided by the Westpac Foundation.
The Catalyst Grant aims to support an existing social enterprise or social enterprise initiative within a Not For Profit which The Foundation believes has been and continues to be a catalyst for change.
Up to eight $50,000 grants will be awarded, so we encourage any community organisations who fit the criteria to enter an application. You have until Friday 25 February 2012 to send in an application. Find out more about the Catalyst Grant and how to submit your application at http://www.westpac.com.au/about-westpac/sustainability-and-community/westpac-foundation/application-process/
About Westpac Social Sector banking
Westpac has been working with community organisations of all sizes for many years — and whether it be local sports clubs, schools or national aged care facilities, we’ve learned that the demands and opportunities of the Not For Profit sector are both unique and diverse. We offer more than just banking.
We are committed to:
- Understanding our community customers unique day-to-day financial workings and requirements.
- Designing and innovating our products and services to align with the needs of the social sector.
- Providing specialist bankers and financial advisers, who are specifically trained to service the not-for-profit sector.
- Connecting our customers with financial education, training, resources and other areas beyond just banking that will help strengthen their organisation and achieve long-term visions.
We want to provide the community and Not For Profit sector with the most beneficial banking partnership in Australia.