The Innovation for Community Impact Program (I4CI) brings together the collective resources of the NSW government, the philanthropic sector and local community groups to address pressing and persistent social issues facing communities in ten regional NSW Local Government Areas across the Hunter New England, Mid-North and Central Coast districts.
Facilitated by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), the program provides grants of up to $100,000 to support innovation and sustainable social change in areas such as family and domestic violence, education disengagement, criminal behaviour and unemployment.
With assistance from Philanthropy Australia, seven philanthropic donors (Snow Foundation, nib Foundation, Flannery Foundation, Katz Family Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Sally Foundation and CAGES Foundation) have contributed $270,000 towards a $500,000 philanthropic sector target, to match the NSW Department of Families & Community Services $500,000 contribution.
The collaboration will invest $1 million in innovative projects in regional and rural communities. Recipients of the first grant round were announced in early April 2015 with $479,000 awarded across 13 projects.
The Program is underpinned by a belief in the power of the collective over individual or isolated action and by an aspiration for communities to lead the change they wish to see.
“One of VFFF’s goals is to contribute to the growth and development of Australian philanthropy and closer collaboration with all levels of government is key to augmenting the impact of the philanthropic sector. We were also keen to support the call to action that I4CI offered to philanthropic organisations to work together. Collaboration is a challenge for a sector that is built on the varied passions of individuals. Maturing as a sector requires recognition (and action) that using our collective resources is better for the communities we seek to support.”
Emily Fuller, Foundation Manager, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF)
“There’s great value in collaborating with like-minded funders. In addition to the added value and efficiency of a collective approach, we’ve gained valuable insights into how other funders think and operate. These learnings will inform our own grant making practice which we are always working to improve.”
Amy Tribe, Executive Officer, nib Foundation
“You can fund in an area for years and have done so much research but there is still always something valuable to learn or something to share which is valuable to someone else. Obviously there is great efficiency in collaborative funding in terms of the multiplier effect of the funds but there is even greater value in collaborating on information and experiences.”
Rachel Kerry, Executive Officer, CAGES Foundation