NFPs Win MoneySmart Awards
4 September 2014 at 3:35 pm
Four Not for Profits have been honoured in the annual MoneySmart Week awards that recognise the outstanding achievements of organisations and individuals working to improve the financial literacy of Australians.
The Salvation Army’s You’re the Boss program received an outstanding achievement award in the Community category.
The program is run over a series of face to face workshops and provides participants with the opportunity to identify how past experiences or current situations can impact upon how they make financial decisions and making positive changes by developing new, positive money habits in a non judgmental supportive environment.
The Salvos say the goal of the program is to encourage people to take action with their finances. The program is run in partnership with Virgin Money and IAG.
The Judges described the program as well thought out and targeted.
“The Salvation Army works with some of the most disadvantaged groups within the community to provide opportunities to those who would not otherwise have them. It is always positive to see new corporate and community partnerships form to help better the financial literacy levels of others,” they said.
“Part of the program’s success within the community can be credited to how easily accessible the program is to individuals.”
The awards are the initiative of Financial Literacy Australia a Not for Profit organisation founded in 2012 by members of the Federal Government’s Financial Literacy Board.
St. Vincent de Paul Society (Tasmania) received an Outstanding Achievement award in the community category for its Fresh Start Program started in 2012 with the aim of providing life skills and support to those already receiving assistance.
Funding for the program was secured through a state government financial literacy grant in 2013.
Vinnies said the program was designed to be delivered with a non-threatening gentle approach with Fresh Start participants encouraged to discuss their financial decisions throughout the process in order for volunteers to facilitate discussions around the individual’s future.
The Judges said there was much to commend about St Vincent De Paul Tasmania’s program.
“They are doing such positive work in the community with a great program. It is incredible to see just how many people the program has helped over the years, considering the geographical area the program covers. With over 200 volunteers supporting the program it is evident just how much community support there is.”
The Good Money community finance stores run by Good Shepherd Microfinance were also recognised in the national MoneySmart Week Awards.
The Good Money project received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Community category for its innovative approach to providing alternative financial products for people on low incomes who are excluded from mainstream finance.
In December 2012, three stores were opened in Victoria as part of a partnership between Good Shepherd Microfinance, National Australia Bank (NAB) and the Victorian Government.
Since opening, the stores have received almost 10,500 enquiries and provided 1430 loans.
CEO of Good Shepherd Microfinance, Adam Mooney, said Good Money is an example of community, government and business working in partnership.
“We know that three million adults in Australia are locked out of mainstream banking. If we are going to solve this, we need new and innovative solutions that work such as Good Money. The financial services provided by Good Money make people feel valued, included and in control of their finances,” he said.
Good Shepherd Microfinance was also recognised at the MoneySmart Awards for its research with Strategic Project Partners into ‘Microfinance, Inclusion and Economic Growth’. The research quantified the overall benefits of moving people collectively from financial exclusion towards and into financial inclusion. It found that financial inclusion was a critical support to economic growth.
It says the Victorian Government has invested $6 million since 2010 to support the operation of the three Good Money stores.
Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) – the first women’s health service in Australia to develop a NILS scheme for women leaving family violence – was also awarded a Highly Commended for its campaign against domestic violence.
The Judges said commended Women’s Health Goulburn North East for picking up an important issue, and presenting it in a good, clear, innovative way without the benefit of corporate sponsorship.
“The Keep Your Boat Afloat program has created a pool of resources that speak directly to those women affected by this issue and has the potential for wider distribution amongst community financial services,” they said.