NFPs Receive Share of $200,000 in Funding to Tackle Family Violence
19 October 2017 at 4:33 pm
Community Sector Banking has awarded six not-for-profit organisations tackling family violence and homelessness a share of $200,000 in funding, as they look to grow the program and offer $1 million in funding every year.
As Australia’s only banking service dedicated to not for profits, Community Sector Banking (CSB) funds these NFPs through their Social Investment Grants Program.
This program is funded through CSB contributing 50 per cent net profit earned on all their social investment deposit accounts.
Account holders with CSB can also choose to contribute to the grants, by donating 50 or 100 per cent of the interest earned on their account.
The Tara Costigan Foundation, St John’s Youth Services Inc, Youth Off The Streets, and Pat Thomas House, all received $25,000 grants.
While Melbourne Homeless Collective and Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre each received $50,000 grants.
CSB’s CEO, Andrew Cairns, said he was “delighted” to announce the recipients of the Social Investment Grants, as a way to strengthen Australia’s not-for-profit sector.
“This year’s grants were themed to address homelessness and domestic and family violence, as they are among the greatest challenges our communities face,” Cairns said.
“We wanted to create a long-term solution to these social crises by building confidence in victims as well as people at-risk. The recipients’ projects will do just that, building resilience and capability in people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, to ultimately, make a real difference in their lives.”
Bruce Argyle is the chair of the independent Social Investment Grants Committee, and he has judged the program since it began in 2014.
He told Pro Bono News that CSB had reached a milestone of paying out more than half a million dollars in grant money through the program, which was “pretty exciting”.
“It started off pretty small, in the first year we focused on financial inclusion and gave out $50,000. The second year we focused on NFPs working with those with disability and raised $100,000,” Argyle said.
“Now this year, recognising that domestic violence is one of the key drivers of homelessness, we decided to focus on homelessness with a specific focus on domestic violence and have awarded $200,000, which is the same amount we awarded last year.”
Argyle said CSB hoped to see the fund grow to the point where they could give out a $1 million every year, ensuring that more programs positively impacting the community could prosper.
“We’ve got a way to go, and the only way we’re going to achieve that is by getting more individuals and organisations to open investments accounts. It’s a grand aspiration but it’s really growing and we’re very excited about that,” he said.
He said social investing was growing because more people were recognising that they could save money while still making a positive impact.
Argyle said businesses engaging in social investing would be better equipped to attract young people to their organisations, with a high proportion of young Australians seeking job opportunities with a social focus.
“I think social investing allows people who may not see themselves as philanthropists, [but who want] to make a difference, the chance to put money in an account and know while they’re saving that their money is doing good,” he said.
“And I know from experience with my own kids, that they young people don’t want to work for organisations that don’t have a social conscious and which don’t have a desire to make the community a better place and have a positive impact.
“It’s not enough anymore for young people to just be getting a nice pay cheque, they actually want to know they are contributing to making society a better place.”
Argyle also lauded all the NFPs who applied for the grants, whose eagerness he said was an encouraging sign for the program.
“We had over 300 applicants of a very high calibre… and these NFPs are doing amazing work out there. We’ve quite excited because the spread of successful applicants is national and it gives us a lot of motivation to grow the fund, so we can give out more,” he said.
“There does seem to be [a growing group] of people who want to make a difference and this program gives them that opportunity.”