NFPs To Benefit From Increased Spending On Legal Services
28 May 2012 at 4:18 pm
Specialist Not for Profit legal service, PILCH Connect has secured a four year funding agreement with the Victorian Government.
The funding mean Victoria’s Not for Profit sector will benefit from $1.2 million in funding over four years for free or low cost legal services.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan, made the funding announcement at the Communities in Control Conference.
PILCH Connect is a service of the Public Interest Law Clearing House.
“PILCH Connect combines the pro-bono resources of the private legal profession with specialist in-house expertise to provide timely, tailored and free or low-cost legal information and advice to community organisations,” Ryan said.
“The funds will benefit small and rural NFP’s, in particular those that would normally find it difficult to afford such valuable legal services.
Currently PILCH Connect is funded by philanthropic institutions and government grants.
“We have also launched the online NFP Compliance Support Centre which is a simple portal where community organisations can access all regulatory information, licenses, forms and related support materials,” Ryan said.
PILCH Connect Director, Juanita Pope said this funding will allow more Not for Profit organisations to get on with their core work.
“It is great to see that the Victorian Government continues to recognise the importance of small community-based organisations,” Pope said.
“In many ways these organisations are the social glue of our state. They provide affordable housing, they protect our environment, they are on hand when we need them in a crisis.”
Kathy Russell of the Women’s Liberation Halfway House (WLHH) also welcomed the news.
“For small services such as ours, the probability of keeping up with the myriad of changes to the law would not be possible without the support of services such as PILCH Connect. As we are a very small organisation these resources are invaluable to us,” Russell said.
A report conducted by Deloitte Access Economics for PILCH last year estimated that 3,500 additional client services were provided to Victorians because organisations like WLHH spent less time worrying about legal issues.
“We understand our Not for Profit clients are time poor, often working in a volunteer ‘out of hours’ capacity,” Pope said.
PILCH Connect was established in 2008 and operates in Victoria.