Deadline: 30 April 2020
Community organizations play a vital role in ensuring vulnerable consumers can access information, support and direct assistance to navigate the financial and economic impacts of COVID-19.
The ongoing effects of the recent Australian drought, bushfires and floods are compounded by the current pandemic crisis. This means many consumer organizations are stretched as they respond to increasingly complex and urgent community needs.
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Ecstra supports community organizations assisting Australians on a range of financial issues including debt and credit stress, job losses, small business sustainability, navigating the social security system, early access to super, essential utilities and services, scams, financial abuse, payday lending, banking, insurance, legal and tenancy issues.
Ecstra’s purpose is “to equip Australians with the support and access to resources they need to make confident money decisions now, and for their financial future.”
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The Ecstra Response and Recovery Grants focus on practical support to ensure frontline community organizations can:
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- Continue to respond to the immediate crisis, to deliver vital services and support to Australian communities facing financial issues;
- Support staff working remotely or in different environments;
- Adapt services to meet the needs of vulnerable consumers in the absence of face-to-face or direct service delivery;
- Build infrastructure and organizational capacity to address the long term social and economic recovery period that will follow the COVID-19 crisis.
The following Funding Principles apply to Ecstra’s grants program.
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- Community engagement
- Support projects, programs and organizations that engage communities in Financial Capability. Work with diverse organizations across multiple sectors. Consult with and include communities and investors to promote confident and informed participation in the financial system.
- Promote social and economic inclusion and advancement
- Support projects, programs and organizations which actively promote social and economic participation, inclusion and advancement for communities. Support a range of local, state, and nationally targeted projects which actively promote Financial Capability and confident and informed participation in the financial system.
- Equality and equity
- Support projects, programs and organizations which provide or improve equitable access and overcome barriers for participation in Financial Capability initiatives.
- Evidence based
- Require projects to demonstrate an evidence based approach. Support new and evolving approaches which build community knowledge, understanding and increase the evidence base of Financial Capability in Australia and Internationally.
- “What Works” build
- Promote and encourage a shared knowledge hub of “What Works” through funded projects and foster collaboration and encourage shared learnings.
- Qualifications and commitment
- Ensure projects can demonstrate effective project management and a positive commitment to outcomes evaluation.
- Sustainability, scalability and replication
- Consider the sustainability of projects post grant period. Priority will be given to projects that can demonstrate scalability or replicability to amplify the impact of the grant.
- Long term change
- Take a system change approach to addressing persistent social, economic and behavioural issues affecting Financial Capability, acknowledging that long term change requires a collaborative approach and there is not a single solution.
- Grant horizons
- Balance grant making between projects addressing immediate gaps and opportunity in Financial Capability and supporting organizations engaged in long term, systems change level approaches to addressing Financial Capability.
- Partnerships and collaboration
- Give priority to projects that demonstrate openness to form partnerships (whether formal or informal), and to work collaboratively with others to maximise impact. Cross sector projects are encouraged, bringing the community, government and corporate partners together to address Financial Capability.
- Right to decline
- Retain the right to decline proposals at discretion and provide feedback where appropriate.
- A total grant pool of $3,000,000 is available, with individual grants of up to $100,000 each.
- Organizations may make up to three requests for funding of up to $100,000 each.
The following are ineligible for support from Ecstra:
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- Projects that support private business and commercial activities, except for social enterprises;
- Organizations and/or activities outside Australia;
- Projects that are within the remit of Commonwealth, State or Local Government responsibilities, including ASIC’s operational work;
- Projects that directly or indirectly support religious or political purposes;
- Projects that merely duplicate an existing resource or service;
- Projects that benefit only one individual, or related parties;
- Retrospective costs for projects already completed or loan repayments;
- Fundraising activities;
- The use of funds to for an endowment to build a corpus;
- Capital works or the purchase of land.
To qualify, applicants must:
- Have DGR 1 status;
- Be registered, and up to date with their ACNC reporting;
- Be an established community organization with proven experience working with Australian consumers on issues of financial assistance, financial hardship and/or financial education;
- Proposals must aim to improve financial wellbeing by assisting people to make informed and confident decisions about their money. Proposals must do this by satisfying at least one of the following:
- Building organization capacity to better serve their communities
- Delivering an innovative approach that address the needs of a specific group of consumers
- Scaling up a proven program or approach
- Fostering collaboration
- Promoting the outcomes and impact of an evidence-based approach
- Evaluating an existing program or adding constructively to the ‘what works’ base
- Specific groups or issues with identified gaps in financial capability may include but are not limited to:
- Young people
- Older people, including in aged care or home care settings
- Financial inclusion for Indigenous Australians, people with disabilities, and people experiencing financial hardship
- Ethical decision making in a financial context
- Ecstra will give consideration to Proposals supporting specific urban, regional and remote communities as well as a range of local, state and nationally targeted Proposals.
- Proposals are assessed for quality, significance, innovation, feasibility, organization capacity, and demonstrated community need (according to the size and scope of the Proposal).
- The assessment process:
- Ensures grants meet the stated purpose of the Community Benefit Payments, namely promoting the confident and informed participation of investors and consumers in the financial system.
- Facilitates identification of Proposals that best align with Ecstra’s Funding Principles and stated purpose of equipping Australians with the resources and support they need to be confident making money decisions today, and to plan their financial future.
- Provides a framework for reviewing Proposals fairly and transparently.
For more information, visit https://www.ecstra.org.au/response-and-recovery-grants