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How Hireup’s way of grantmaking is breaking the status quo

9 June 2022 at 7:30 am
Hireup Impact Grants are open to individuals, project groups, community groups and organisations who want to enable the pursuit of a good life for people with disability. 

Contributor | 9 June 2022 at 7:30 am


How Hireup’s way of grantmaking is breaking the status quo
9 June 2022 at 7:30 am

Hireup Impact Grants are open to individuals, project groups, community groups and organisations who want to enable the pursuit of a good life for people with disability. 

At Hireup, we’re in the business of doing good. That’s why we’ve launched Hireup Impact Grants – a new approach to granting that’s all about supporting people with disability to live the life they choose. 

Laura O’Reilly, co-founder and co-CEO of disability service provider Hireup, knows that being connected to the people around you and getting involved in your communities is a core component to enabling the pursuit of a good life. 

O’Reilly’s sibling Shane had cerebral palsy, and one community experience she recalls enjoying with Shane was skiing in Thredbo. The experience was facilitated by a local not for profit skiing service that helped people with physical disability participate in an experience that would otherwise be out of reach. 

“Shane had the best time on that trip and one of the highlights of my whole life was skiing down a mountain with him,” O’Reilly says. 

“It’s life experiences like this that you look back on and think, that was the good stuff. These are the beautiful moments that matter, and together add up to a good life.”


Growing up alongside Shane, it became clear to O’Reilly that not everyone has access to the things they need to live life to the fullest and that some extra monetary support can have a powerful effect on a person’s quality of life. 

In the early days of Hireup, when it was “little more than an idea and we were struggling to get started”, a small impact philanthropy grant of even a few thousand dollars changed everything. 

“I saw the impact that a relatively small amount of money, given at the right time, can have on people and organisations. And it’s powerful,” O’Reilly says.

At around the same time, Jo Berry, who’s now a complex support administrator at Hireup, was fundraising to pay for modifications for her car. O’Reilly can remember thinking that she wanted to be able to do something to support Berry’s fundraising efforts. 

“We couldn’t, because we didn’t have any money at the time. Luckily enough, generous people in our community supported Jo with a fundraiser and she was able to secure the money she needed to modify her van,” O’Reilly says.

“It showed me how carefully targeted financial support, to the right people at the right times, can lead to enormous outcomes in terms of inclusion and quality of life.” 

In an effort to fund meaningful projects such as Berry’s, Hireup has launched the Hireup Impact Grants program. A program that’s all about enabling people with disability to live the life they choose and fund great ideas that aren’t covered by a NDIS plan.

Hireup Impact Grants are open to individuals, project groups, community groups and organisations who want to enable the pursuit of a good life for people with disability. 

The theme for this grant round is “community connection”, and funds can be used to develop your skills, purchase an item that will improve your quality of life or engage in an unforgettable experience.

“We always knew that if, one day, Hireup got bigger and had the ability to do so, part of the business’ impact would be to do what we could to help individual people and groups to live a good life,” O’Reilly says.

“We have reached the point that we have a bit of power to do good and impact people’s lives. And so we’re going to do it.”

While grantmaking isn’t a new concept, Hireup’s approach is. 

Traditionally speaking, grant applications require hours of time and thousands of written words. Grant givers aren’t usually open to receiving an audio or video application, or taking an application over the phone. They take a one-size-fits-all, largely inaccessible approach. 

The Hireup Impact Grants application process is quick and easy. Step one involves answering four simple questions. 

  1. How would you use a grant from Hireup to better connect you (or people with disability) with your community?
  2. How does your grant idea enable you to pursue your good life (or enable the good life of people with disability)? 
  3. How much money do you need to make your grant idea a reality? 
  4. What else will you need to bring your idea to life? 

If shortlisted, step two involves giving a little more detail – which can be delivered via a Zoom chat with a Hireup team member, written project plan, video submission or otherwise. Whatever method allows the applicant to present their idea in the best possible way. 

The second way Hireup’s impact grants are different relates to the outcomes they are designed to achieve. 

“Hireup’s approach is about supporting individuals to invest into something for them that moves the dial on community connection,” O’Reilly said. 

“There aren’t a lot of capacity building grants, which are all about supporting an individual to invest into themselves, into their skills or to have a good experience.

“I’d describe our approach as investing in our community and supporting our community to live their best life, which is what we’re all here to do. It’s a very Hireup approach – and I’m proud of that.”  

Hireup Impact Grant applications are open from Wednesday 1 June 2022 to Tuesday 12 July 2022 and are available to the whole disability community, right across Australia, not just Hireup clients. 

Learn more about the program, eligibility criteria and how to apply on the Hireup Impact Grants page

Apply now

About Hireup

Hireup is Australia’s largest NDIS registered online platform. While our core business is as a modern disability support provider, our broader mission is to enable the pursuit of a good life for everyone. That means building a world in which everyone is respected, valued and included. We do this by amplifying the voices of the disability community in everything we do. Whether it’s how we design our platform through to our award winning news and communications. At Hireup, we invest in technology and our community to bring together as many Australians as possible, to share in our vision and to change the way that people with disability find, hire and manage their support workers. Together we are redefining what it means to be connected. To be supported. To build a world in which everyone can pursue their best life on their terms.

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