The Tasmanian Community Fund has announced a new grant structure to give the fund greater flexibility in supporting Tasmanian communities most in need and provide a more relevant funding structure for not-for-profit and community organisations.
The change was prompted after a recent Covid specific funding round where community groups submitted applications totalling $34.5 million of applications for $3.5 million of available funds.
The new grant structure will support Tasmanian communities to shape their future with $6.5 million planned to be distributed each year to community driven projects.
Tasmanian Community Fund Chair Sally Darke has told Dave the change was based on recent work by the fund to ensure it remained able to drive positive changes and meet community needs.
“This is the first time the TCF has operated in a recession and we need to be responsive to community change,” Ms Darke said.
“Before the pandemic we knew that parts of our community were dealing with complex social issues and that for some this has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has seen a number of other issues present across the community.
“In many ways the pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to reflect on what it is we do and why we do it.
“We must evolve, so the next three years will be about community wellbeing and the people of Tasmania. By supporting projects and programs that focus on community wellbeing, we can achieve meaningful change.”
Extensive communication and engagement with individuals, community groups and peak bodies was undertaken to understand the community needs.
The four strategic priorities will be improved wellbeing, increasing workforce engagement, community infrastructure and leadership. Community infrastructure will see rural and regional areas given priority.
Within these priority areas funding will be available for a variety of focuses including improving mental wellbeing, reducing violence, improving literacy and numeracy and creating greater links between employment, education and training.
Ms Darke said grant structures would also change to ensure value for money was maintained and immediate needs could still be met.
“We will no longer classify grants as small, medium and large, instead we will have them structured as strategic initiatives and community action grants,” she said.
“Strategic initiatives will see $5 million per annum go to projects that range from $50,000 to $500,000.
“Community action grants will have $1.5 million available each year for projects from $5,000 to $50,000.”
The fund have also announced 16 small projects have received a share of just over $200,000 in the special Covid Response Round.
The response to the pandemic will see a diverse range of projects funded, including:
- The purchase and installation of a community video conference system at the Flinders Island Arts and Entertainment Centre to increase community connection and reduce social isolation.
- A platform for youth and elderly to produce podcasts exploring relevant issues and giving voice to Kentish community members further isolated by COVID-19.
- Yemaya Women’s Support Service providing education to increase women’s knowledge, skills, assertiveness and self-confidence in identifying abusive relationships and to reduce family violence impacts in the West Tamar community.
- Sexual Assault Support Service promoting physical activity in children at risk of disengagement due to the impact of family and sexual violence and isolation from COVID-19 in the Huon Valley.
The $3.5 million Covid Response Round was setup to rebuild, support and connect communities impacted by the effects of the global pandemic and these are the first monies to be distributed, with medium and large recipients to be announced in December this year.
A full list of recipients and projects can be found on the Tasmanian Community Fund website www.tascomfund.org
The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 after the sale of a community asset.
The fund has distributed more than $111 million to more than 3000 grants in the past 20 years.