Volunteering gets half a million dollar funding boost
Wednesday, 1st May 2019 at 4:27 pm
The volunteering sector has received a pre-election funding gift from the federal government worth almost $500,000.
Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher announced half a million dollars worth of funding for volunteering projects on Monday, with $275,000 for Volunteering Australia and $284,000 for Justice Connect to provide specialist legal advice for Volunteer Involving Organisations.
Volunteering Australia will use the funds to establish a clearinghouse or resource hub for the volunteering sector, while money will also go towards the National Volunteering Conference and the 2020 National Volunteer Week.
CEO Adrienne Picone said given the reliance on volunteers in the Australian community, there was a real need for volunteer programs to be effectively supported.
“The volunteering clearinghouse will provide a single-entry point to access nationally consistent resources, data, research and information,” Picone said.
“There has been a strong need for the project identified within the sector and we are very pleased to be able to deliver this to the sector over the next year.”
Picone welcomed the government’s funding for National Volunteer Week in 2020, which she said would enhance the organisation’s capacity to deliver on this for the sector. She also welcomed the funding for the National Volunteering Conference.
“The national conference is strongly received by the sector and an important opportunity to share information, network and find out the latest innovations in volunteer management,” she said.
But Picone added that, for a sector of this size, longer-term, ongoing and indexed funding for projects was needed to strategically build the capacity of the volunteering sector and create a giving culture in Australia.
Volunteering Australia’s election platform calls for all parties to commit to investing in the future of volunteering in Australia and the subsequent benefits it provides to the community.
Justice Connect also welcomed the funding support, which it said would contribute to providing a full-time lawyer to help organisations with legal enquiries.
Minister Fletcher said the funding would help charities better focus on their work, confident that help on common legal issues was readily available.
“It builds on the resources and support Justice Connect already deliver to the sector, and I am sure they will help many not-for-profit organisations across Australia add to their already considerable contribution to our community,” Fletcher said.