June 2020

SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19

At a time when our community is most in need, the power of collaboration, local leadership and funding can help charities adapt their service to cope with the increase in demand.

“This year we responded quickly to the places and partners we are deeply committed to including several national partners, and to many within the Canberra community. We increased our funding with 39 additional grants totalling over $740,000 to existing partners.  Collaboration is needed now more than ever to continue building community organisations and charities to be able to continue to operate and help those in need.” Georgina Byron, CEO.

Canberra – Our Main Place

The Snow Foundation, John James Foundation, and the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund in partnership with Hands Across Canberra awarded more than $570,000 in grant funds to 63 projects to local organisations helping vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis.   In April we called for applications and were overwhelmed with over 100 responses.  The 63 projects selected by the joint initiative support a range of charities supporting people experiencing mental health issues, domestic violence, elderly people, at-risk children and youth, people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people experiencing homelessness, and those who are facing challenges economically.  Projects include support for transitioning services online, acquiring technology and mobile outreach services. Other organisations are increasing relief services, housing support, virtual youth engagement, training, and care packages. Find the full list of recipients here

Key regions and National partners

We have been in touch with all of our partners to assure them that we are open to flexibility with existing grants and to understand their immediate needs as well as the challenges they expect to face over the coming months.

We are working closely with Sydney Women’s Fund and Be Kind Sydney to provide immediate support to some of the Sydney charities supporting women and families (food pick-up, immediate help for those in unsafe relationships, support to young mums, connection to on-line learning and care) as they adapt to providing essential services on-line whilst demand has increased.

On the NSW South Coast, we have a partnered with Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) to work with community groups and local leaders to help boost the confidence, ability and skills of Not for Profits in the Nowra, Ulladulla and Batemans Bay Regions.  To kick-start the program, each community will receive up to $175,000 in Start-Up Grants direct to local Not for Profits to improve their capacity to deliver services. This support could include initiatives like investing in community leadership, skills and training, strengthening communications and networks, human resources, mentoring or even wages for operational planning.

For Indigenous communities, we supported Take Heart to produce a series of six videos across five different communities (Maningrida, Doomadgee, Tiwi Islands, Gunbalanya, Wadeye) and one National video.  They include local people speaking in their local language across their landscapes to tell the importance of good hygiene practices and social distancing behaviour that can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and a reminder to continue with their medications, especially for rheumatic heart disease.

Larger grants were given to Global Sisters to help develop a marketplace platform for women running their own businesses and Good360 for their disaster recovery assistance to community organisations around Australia.

Related News Articles

It was kind of life or death’: A nation’s charities in crisis
Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June 2020

Canberra Recovery Appeal meets urgent need as 97% of charities are hit by COVID-19
RIOTACT, 10 June 2020

Communities Foundations in COVID-19
Philanthropy Australia, June 2020

Parentline calls increase by a third as parents, carers struggle in lockdown
Canberra Times, 8 May 2020

Australian Philanthropy’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis
Philanthropy Australia, 6 April 2020

New national platform to connect funders with NFPs
PRObono, 1 April 2020

$500,000 in rapid response COVID-19 grants from local foundations
RIOTACT, 30 March 2020

Canberra Foundations Unite Against COVID-19: $500K in grants for local charities
Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine, 30 March 2020

Be Kind Sydney: new appeal plugs the gap in giving
Sydney Morning Herald, 28 April 2020

ACT community foundations step up at speed to help our most vulnerable
RIOTACT, 23 April 2020