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Campaign for Change Kick-Starting Ideas

19 October 2016 at 10:35 am
Wendy Williams
Social enterprises and individuals wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of people who need it most could be in the running for $25,000 in grant funding.

Wendy Williams | 19 October 2016 at 10:35 am


Campaign for Change Kick-Starting Ideas
19 October 2016 at 10:35 am

Social enterprises and individuals wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of people who need it most could be in the running for $25,000 in grant funding.

The Campaign for Change, now in its third run, was launched by Wesley Mission and the Minister for Communities, Women and Youth Shannon Fentiman in Brisbane on Monday.

The program is targeting Queensland’s “best and brightest social innovators” to drive social change, offering two groups the opportunity to kickstart their own social change initiative with $25,000 in funding.

Wesley Mission Queensland chief executive officer Geoff Batkin told Pro Bono Australia News there were three aims of the campaign, which will support people who want to make a real difference.

“One we are focusing on innovation, two we’re focusing on local community initiatives that will make a difference in that local community and probably the third thing is building social connectedness. So they’re the three aspects,” Batkin said.

“And the assessment process also includes a very careful look at, is the project aim likely to be achievable and is there the possibility of sustainability through accessing funding from other sources in the future.

“In past years, we have been overwhelmed by the diversity of applications received and I am looking forward to seeing new ideas that will make a positive difference in the lives of the people who need it the most.”

This year the winning initiatives will each receive:

  • a $25,000 grant from Wesley Mission Queensland with support from campaign partner, the Queensland Government,
  • mentoring from Wesley Mission Queensland via scheduled workshops in February and March 2017
  • opportunity to be profiled at relevant events.

Batkin said they were looking for ideas that could change a community.

“[We’re looking for] a great idea. So that’s number one,” he said.

“Number two, is the passion and capacity of people to implement the idea.

“And three, how well the person or group has actually connected with the local community already in coming up with the idea. So it is really I suppose the capacity to deliver.

“In prior years it has been normally… a group of people who have formed an alliance for an idea.”

Since the initiative’s conception in 2012, over 140 creative and innovative entries have been received.

Previous successful applicants include Bestlife Sleepovers, a program offering weekend respite to families with children living with a disability, and Wayward Community, an eco-friendly, fair trade fashion label creating clothes from pre-loved items.

Batkin said the program had evolved since it was first launched in 2012.

“As the organisation Wesley Mission Queensland we get approached by a wide range of people due to the programs and services that we offer, who over the years have come to us and said there is this significant need in the community and is there any chance of us partnering to meet that need, so that’s been the impetus,” he said.

“We’ve also been approached by people who have ideas that require less intensive resources and really some of those ideas have been great and that has led to this process of Campaign for Change so that in addition to what we do as a organisation our hope is to partner with groups and individuals to bring about those social changes in their community.

“The first campaign we opted up for potentially smaller allocations of money for a larger number of people or ideas or new concepts for community change and through the first and second campaign, based on the submissions we were receiving it became more clear to us that it was better in terms of long-term sustainability that the idea was targeted to a larger allocation of funds with a higher level of corporate and other supports from Wesley Mission Queensland. So that probably has been the most significant change.

“So this time we are looking at two allocations of $25,000 in earlier campaigns we had smaller amounts of $5,000 and up to $10,000.”

This years campaign launched on Monday, coinciding with the beginning of Anti-Poverty Week.

“Anti-Poverty Week is trying to help the Australian Community focus on one of the incredible needs in the community at the moment, which is three million people in poverty, 700,000 of those people are children under the age of 15,” said Batkin.

“When you think about those statistics and what it means on an individual basis for each person, child and family, it is an issue that requires change at Commonwealth Government level in terms of allowances and pensions, and also community organisations such as Wesley Mission, and then also community attitudes.

“So we felt all of those three things combined is a great initiative to say here is what we are seeking to do during Anti-Poverty Week in terms of social and Campaign for Change.”

Fentiman said she was excited to announce the Queensland Government’s support for Campaign for Change coinciding with the beginning of Anti-Poverty Week.

“With today marking the beginning of Anti-Poverty Week, I am excited to announce the Queensland Government’s support for Campaign for Change,” Fentiman said.

“This initiative aims to improve the wellbeing of Queenslanders dealing with issues of hardship by encouraging individuals, community groups and organisations with a bright idea to apply for a grant to help kick-start their social change initiative.

“This year, grant funding of $25 000 is available to support the development of two winning initiatives.”

Applications close Friday 25 November 2016. For more information, or to submit an application see here.

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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