The Social Investment Grants Program is an annual program established in 2014 and run by Community Sector Banking — a joint venture between Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Community 21, itself a consortium of not-for-profit organisations.
Funding is administered jointly between Community Sector Banking and the Community Enterprise Foundation.
In 2019, the program has a pool of $350,000 in funds available to give to worthwhile organisations and non-profit businesses, with grants to be administered in $25,000 and $50,000 allocations.
“Our Social Investment Grants Program has supported dozens of not-for-profit organisations in their quest to help excluded, marginalised and disadvantaged people,” the program website states.
“But not only does the program strengthen communities, it also strengthens the not-for-profit organisations that many people rely on to get by. We’re proud to be running the program again in 2019.”
Last year, Society Melbourne (formerly Crepes for Change) secured a grant worth $50,000, with the funding put towards a project aimed at helping Melbourne’s youth to break free of the cycle of homelessness.
“The grant was really significant to help us set up the next 12 months. It provided us with the security to continue the program and provide more opportunities for young people at risk of or experiencing homelessness,” Tenille Gilbert, the group’s co-founder and managing director, said.
“We’ve seen awesome results and have been able to expand the program and continue to grow to get more young people involved since receiving the grant last year.
“With this growth, we’ve been able to establish relations with employment partners to provide opportunities and pathways for participants to exit our program into full-time employment and education.”
Another grant recipient last year was Broken to Brilliant, which used a $16,700 grant “to provide a narrative therapy project to help rebuild the lives of people who have survived domestic abuse” (pictured).
“We had people come from all over the place for the workshop, and the benefits they received from it were enormous. Together, survivors were able to receive the support needed to progress further ahead in their lives. By the end of the program, they came a long way and you could physically see the change — they were glowing,” director Andrea Miller said.
“The grant made a huge difference for us to move ahead with confidence. We were given the resources and capacity to run the workshop, edit, publish and launch both the book, audiobook and podcast.”
Grant applications are open until 5pm on Friday, 31 May.