Overhaul for accessing funding from city council

April 20, 2018

CITY of Greater Bendigo Council has adopted a new policy that will improve the way it distributes grants to the community.

The policy changes are in response to an extensive review involving significant community feedback.

The new policy will come into effect on July 1.

Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said community granting is one way council works with residents and other partners in ‘‘creating the world’s most liveable community’’.

“The review has provided an opportunity to consider how council and community goals can best be supported through community granting,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“It has also provided an opportunity to consider how the principles of transparency, equity and sustainability can best be embedded into our community granting processes.”

Some of the key messages from the community through the review were:

■Grants should be linked to community plan goals, not categories.

■Grants are needed for items that are essential for effective community group or project functioning, as well as for social innovation.

■The scale of grant application, approval and reporting requirements should reflect the size of the grant being sought i.e. the smaller grant amount, the fewer the requirements should be.

■The emphasis should be on what outcomes and community benefits a grant can support, rather than having restrictions on the types of applicant.

■The involvement of community assessment panels contributes to community confidence in the integrity of who grants are awarded to.

■Council’s grants support many great community outcomes and we need to share and celebrate these success stories more.

“Council is very appreciative of the community feedback we received and believes the new policy reflects the key messages we heard,’’ Cr O’Rourke said.

‘‘For example, two new grant types have been added and the requirements have been scaled to the grant sizes.

‘‘These changes will also allow some grant types to be offered more frequently and some maximum grant amounts have been increased.”

Each year the City provides approximately $1million in grants linked to this policy. From the new financial year the following grant types will be available.

Small grants up to $3000. Medium grants up to $10,000. Large grants up to $50,000 with a maximum of $25,000 in any financial year.

New Community Group Essentials grants of up to $3000, Social Innovation/Transformation grants and Bendigo Town Hall Community Use Subsidy program.

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