Funds Manager Awards $300,000 to Local & Global Causes
13 October 2015 at 9:35 am
Empowering women, protecting wildlife, and overcoming poverty are among the 18 charitable causes awarded a total of $300,000 in community grants from funds managers, Australian Ethical Investment.
The grants program is part of Australian Ethical Investment’s decision to donate 10 per cent of its pre-tax profits to organisations making a positive difference and is said to be one of the highest rates of corporate giving in Australia.
Since the program began, Australian Ethical said it has donated over $2 million to organisations working for charitable, benevolent, and conservation purposes. The funds manager has more than $1 billion under management across superannuation and managed funds.
“Our company charter isn’t simply a guide for screening investments – it is the basis of our company culture. Underpinning it is a belief that we have a responsibility to do more than just make money, but to improve the world around us,” Managing Director of Australian Ethical, Phil Vernon, said.
“The grants program is one way we are achieving this goal.The grants were awarded to 18 charities and social businesses that are working on Australian and international causes.
“Projects are varied and include animal welfare, conservation, women’s empowerment, renewable energy, addressing homelessness and alleviating poverty.”
One of the recipients, Free To Shine, is an Australian charity working to break the cycle of sex trafficking in rural Cambodia.
“The $10,000 grant from Australian Ethical will allow us to identify and enrol an additional 33 girls into our program. We visit rural villages to meet with their leaders and officials and assess which families are most at risk of being targeted by traffickers,” CEO of Free To Shine, Nicky Mih, said.
“We then enrol these girls into a scholarship program where they receive uniforms, school resources and a dedicated Education Outreach Officer to visit them every month.
“Girls should be in schools, not brothels. This grant is helping us proactively tackle this problem and prevent young girls from being trafficked.”
Closer to home, the grants program is also helping to fund an initiative targeted at helping homeless people find shelter.
Claire Wearne, founder of the Angel Place Project each night around 20,000 young Australian children are accompanying their parents into homelessness.
“While today’s hotels may not be ready to open their doors to the homeless, we are going to design a sustainable, financially sound hotel that will be ready. Australian Ethical Investment’s grant of $20,000 will be instrumental in helping conduct the market testing necessary before launching this new venture,” Wearne said.
Vernon said that while the grant recipients are diverse, what they have in common is a dedication to improving the lives of those around them.
“Whether it’s supporting Indigenous health in the outback, caring for donkeys in Afghanistan, or creating jobs for refugees – there are so many inspiring people working hard to make a difference. We are proud to support these organisations and the great work they are doing,” he said.
The full list of grant recipients can be found here.