Granting greater access to the Shire’s donations policy

The Shire of Ashburton has made changes to optimise the accessibility and effectiveness of its donations policy.

“The Shire’s donations program is a key component of our community support efforts,” said Shire President Kerry White. “The donations policy was last reviewed in 2008 and we’ve recently made further modifications which will help the community access funding for projects and events that benefit our Shire.”

Changes to the policy include renaming ‘Recreation and Cultural Grants’ to ‘Community Support Grants’, and offering two funding rounds instead of one.

Small Assistance Donations and Community Support Grants are both available via the policy. “Small groups or individuals needing financial assistance with small projects can easily apply for a Small Assistance Donation via a letter of request,” explained Cr White. “These funds are often used for in-kind donations such as venue hire.

“We accept more than one application per year for Small Assistance Donations, as long as the total requested annual amount does not exceed $500. Should more funding be required, applicants can apply for up to $2500 through the Community Support Grants. Applicants cannot apply for both types of grants.”

The Shire’s Community Support Grants are more detailed and require applicants to be incorporated.  An application form must be filled out detailing the type of proposed event and how it will benefit residents of the Shire.

Other modifications to the donations policy have improved how Community Support Grants are assessed and awarded. Assessment criteria have been put in place and the assessment panel must feature Councillors from at least two different wards. “We also follow up after the event to ensure that the funding was spent as anticipated,” added Cr White.

“It is important to note that large-scale, iconic events are not covered by this policy. Events such as the Nameless Festival have their own budget allocations within the Shire of Ashburton’s Annual Budget.”

To ensure funding is available to support the donations policy, the Shire has allocated $60,000 in the draft 2014-15 budget for the Community Support Grants and a further $30,000 for the Small Assistance Donations.

A copy of the revised donations policy and the Community Support Grants application form can be downloaded below. Those looking to apply for a Community Support Grant are urged to fill out and return their form to before the August 1 deadline. Late applications are unable to be considered.

Revised donations policy

Community Support Grants Application form