A million reasons to be proud of giving

A million reasons to be proud of giving

CCI Giving is celebrating the achievement of a significant milestone. This year marks the distribution of more than $1 million in grants to support a range of grassroots initiatives helping communities around the country.

The foundation was established in 2017, with first grants awarded 2018. CCI’s history of ‘giving back’ to the community naturally led to the creation of a charitable foundation to connect with those directly engaged with vulnerable, at risk, or marginalised individuals and families.

I feel glad mostly because each dollar donated touches the lives of people who will benefit and supports those who are doing the real work.” Reverend Dr Phillip Marshall, CCI Giving Director.

The cornerstone of the grants program is our link to groups whose daily work gives practical assistance that stretches across many cohorts of Australians, new arrivals and people seeking refugee status. Targeted philanthropic aid is often used to fill a void in funding for many organisations, while grants to social enterprises can be seen as an investment empowering local initiatives to meet vital community needs.

Support for grassroots projects has been provided to Australia’s Catholic community as well as non-Catholic organisations who share our ethos of compassion for all.

Our Small Grants Program has reached initiatives in all states and territories in Australia, assisting in excess of 90 projects from funds approaching $550,000. Seven rounds of grants have been distributed to date and in 2020 CCI Giving released special ‘Bushfire Grants’ to assist communities devastated by fires.

CCI Giving Chair Jeremy Yipp is delighted by the work of grant recipients so far and recognises that pressure on charitable organisations had intensified during the pandemic.

“The demand for various support services increased in 2020 and through 2021 when it was hardest for charities to carry out the programs they requested funding for because of COVID restrictions,” he says. “Nevertheless, small actionable initiatives have been supported so that people experiencing mental health issues, domestic violence and financial hardship can still get help.”

Of all grants given to programs in the past four years, 22 programs have supported young people experiencing educational disadvantage and 33 have helped refugees and people seeking asylum. 20 have assisted the support of people affected by domestic violence and 16 supported families affected by mental illness.

The latest program launched earlier this year, Matched Grants has already distributed in excess of $39,000.

“An effective way to boost giving is by matching funds contributed by others,” explains Jeremy Yipp.

“We’ve seen enthusiastic participation from individual CCI staff members and company-wide fund-raising. Launching Collective Kindness has enabled workplace giving to thrive, with CCI Giving matching these donations up to $60,000 annually.”

Additionally, the Impact Grants Program, In A Good Place, has helped 42 projects with funds totalling $600,000 in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRR).

“Our inaugural Impact Grants partner, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has been part of the national grant-making initiative for four years. We are very grateful for their expertise and experience and for engaging in such a fruitful endeavour.”

Jeremy anticipates more interest in grants that strengthen efforts of groups working with rural, regional and remote communities.

There are unique challenges that these communities experience in relation to mental health and feelings of isolation. Rural communities are recovering from events such as drought and flooding. Their priorities differ to communities in metropolitan places.

“Having the FRRR as part of the team ensured we could support local initiatives to meet challenges around social disadvantage and isolation. I think it’s important to get behind programs that foster social connectedness and mental health training and education for communities in rural and regional Australia.”

CCI Giving grants are all about empowering initiatives to expand community support. Grants breathe life into programs that build resilience in ways that are far-reaching and not always visible.

“Success lies in building work opportunities for migrant women, respite for families experiencing domestic violence, crisis accommodation, youth vocational programs, foodbank facilities, and many more tangible outcomes,” explains Jeremy Yipp.

“Recognising this significant milestone in our grants program gives me enormous faith in what we can achieve going forward.”