As the COVID-19 crisis rolls on, with no immediate end in sight, many sectors of the Australian economy are struggling. As businesses and individuals struggle to make ends meet, one area which is being hit particularly hard is the not-for-profit (NFP) or community sector. In this video Caitriona Fay, Perpetual’s Managing Partner for Community and Social Investment, sets out how Perpetual is helping Australia’s community sector, as well as Perpetual’s philanthropic clients, through this very difficult time.
There are eight main initiatives which we have put into place, in collaboration with our philanthropic clients, to start getting help to NFPs right now.
- Untying existing grants
We are identifying all currently held ‘tied’ funds that have already been distributed in previous funding years to NFPs and, where possible, we are ‘untying’ them. This means that where there are restrictions that have been put on how the funds may be spent, we are trying to be as flexible as possible so that NFPs can use the funds for their immediate needs. We are hoping that this will release between $3 million and $5 million. Over the next week our team will be reaching out to organisations that have received funds from Perpetual which may be able to be untied.
- Funding sector capacity
NFPs have a diverse range of needs right now, and many of these extend beyond additional funding. We know that particular areas of need are legal advice, organisational change, fundraising and finance. We will be working with key intermediary organisations to ensure they remain able to both support the sector and help channel support to organisations that need it.
- Providing untied funding support
We are identifying NFPs that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and are in dire need of assistance. We anticipate that over $600,000 of our clients’ philanthropic funds will be distributed by the end of April to those organisations that rely particularly heavily on volunteers as well as those that service under-supported communities. We are in the process of identifying these organisations, through conversations with our clients and through the Impact Philanthropy Application Program (IPAP) to make the process quicker, fairer and so organisations don’t need to submit more paperwork. We ask that organisations do not reach out to us regarding these grants, we will be in touch with any organisations receiving funds through this initiative in the coming weeks.
- Making funds available quickly
Organisations are in immediate need, so we are looking at the possibility of releasing some funds as quickly as we can to help NFPs keep their critical services running. If this applies to your organisation, we will be in touch.
- Free access to data and insights
The COVID-19 crisis may make some communities more vulnerable. In the coming months NFPs, local Governments, policy makers and philanthropists will face tough decisions around where to direct their resources. Efficient access to data and the ability to build a clear picture for each community can help response strategies to be developed and actioned quickly. We are working with our data platform partner, Seer Data & Analytics, to make vulnerability maps publicly available as widely as possible for NFPs, philanthropists and the broader community sector. These maps, and access to Seer’s Standard plan, will be free of charge until 31 December 2020.
- Listening to the sector
We are working with an array of community sector organisations to ensure that we are bringing the voice of the sector into the room with our philanthropic clients. We understand that enabling our clients to hear these voices directly helps them to make better decisions on how to direct their philanthropic funds.
- Encouraging granting flexibility in IPAP
Our 2020 IPAP grant process will run as normal, however we will be encouraging our clients to be as flexible as possible with the funds that they grant to organisations at this time. We understand that some projects, organisational priorities and community needs will change in the coming months. We know the philanthropic families want to ensure they are providing support in the best possible way for communities right now and that means being supportive and flexible.
- Extending grant reporting periods
For any organisation that received an IPAP grant through Perpetual in 2019, we will be extending the reporting period for an additional twelve months. We will also be extending the reporting period for 12 months for any new grants which are awarded in the 2020 IPAP round. These extensions will be automatically applied in our grant system. There is no need to contact us if you require a revision of your project completion date and it falls within this extended period.
We will be posting regular COVID-19 updates on philanthropy and NFP issues as well as business, financial markets and other essential news.
For more information contact our Philanthropy Team by email at email@example.com or call 1800 501 227.
Visit our COVID-19 Insights Hub for economic and market updates to keep you informed as the situation evolves.