NFP Community Banking Celebrates 10th Anniversary
9 August 2012 at 10:32 am
Community Sector Banking – a specialist in Not for Profit banking service described as one of Australia’s largest social enterprises – is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
The social enterprise banking service was launched on 29 July 2002 when Community 21 (a consortium of 20 Not for Profit organisations including Jobs Australia, St Luke’s and ACOSS) and the Bendigo Bank entered into a 50:50 joint venture.
“From day one we’ve worked to build financial capability in the community sector, to improve the sector’s access to capital. We’ve encouraged organisations to look after their own financial destiny and developed the tools to help,” the Chair of Community 21 and Community Sector Banking, David Thompson said.
“Community Sector Banking has partnered with some of the largest Not for Profit networks on social projects and to refine services.
“A diverse group of 20 Not for Profit organisations came together and formed Community 21 to build a way to reduce their reliance on governments and short-term grant funding and increase their security by pooling resources and borrowing expertise from the for-profit world,” Thompson said.
“Community 21 actively takes on an advocacy role and participates at Federal and International level in issues that have an impact on the Not for Profit sector, such as the taxation of unrelated business activities; how to make funding structure maximise social impact.”
“The economic capacity of our sector is now widely acknowledged. Community Sector Banking helps us in two ways; supporting us to use our resources strategically and developing financial products with us to assist the people and communities we work with,” Executive Director, Anglicare Australia, Kasy Chambers said.
“10 years ago there were few specialised options for Not for Profit organisations; the banking system was largely uninterested in catering to the unique circumstances of Not for Profits.
Apart from banking products, Community Sector Banking is also involved in projects that it says foster the Not for Profit sector.
“We’ve helped build over 1,100 social and affordable homes throughout Australia by providing finance and facilitating partnership arrangements. We’re a founding member of Social Enterprise Finance Australia, which assists social enterprises to become sustainable,” Thompson said.
“We’re working with Not for Profit organisations to provide microcredit and microenterprise loans for low income Australians excluded from mainstream banking. Our Not for Profit customers have nearly 8,000 salary benefit ‘b-packaged’ cards, assisting their staff to manage tax responsibilities efficiently and reduce finance team workload.”