Community Grants – Additional Information

Application Referees

You are required to include two references for your project from people who can comment on (1) the capacity of your organisation to deliver the project; (2) the proposed impact of the project; and (3) the need for your project.

These people must be willing to have a telephone conversation with a representative from Mary MacKillop Today should your project be shortlisted. If your project is working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, at least one referee must be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who has cultural authority to discuss your organisation and proposed project.


What is a public benevolent institution?

Characteristics of a public benevolent institution:

A public benevolent institution (PBI) is a type of charitable institution whose main purpose is to relieve poverty or distress.

Public benevolent institutions are recognised by the ACNC and Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a subtype of charity.

What is a ‘main purpose of benevolent relief’?

Benevolent relief includes working for the relief of poverty or distress (such as sickness, disability, destitution, suffering, misfortune or helplessness). The degree (level) of distress is also important and your charity only meets the definition if its purposes try to meet a need that is:

  • significant enough (and the circumstances difficult enough) to arouse compassion in people in the community
  • beyond the suffering experienced as part of ordinary daily life, and
  • concrete enough – aimed at helping people who are recognisably in need of benevolence (see below)

The purpose does not have to be to relieve financial hardship or need caused by poverty but can relieve other needs. For example, a charity that provides counselling services to people traumatised by a natural disaster, or one that provides education and activities to disadvantaged young people to help them gain skills in life may be a public benevolent institution.

As long as a charity’s main purpose is benevolent, it can also have other non-benevolent purposes that are incidental.

Who does my charity have to provide benevolent relief to?

The relief provided must only be for people. Your charity must also show that it works for a section of the community that clearly needs help, in other words ‘people in need’. General or abstract purposes such as benefiting the whole community are not enough.

An example may be a charity that provides assistance to homeless people within a certain community.

If it can show that the community it works for needs assistance, it can be a public benevolent institution.

This information was retrieved from the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, 13 April 2017.


Grantee Compliance Requirements

Grantees are expected to deliver their projects in a way that reflects good practice regarding safeguarding and child protection, financial management, the management of complaints and feedback, and the principles of non-discrimination. We do not require Grantees to have all these policies in place but should be able to demonstrate how they can work within these principles.

As such, there are several policies that will be extended to Grantees through our Grant Agreements. Before applying for a Grant, we encourage organisations to view these policies and ensure that they feel comfortable they can comply with these requirements.

Safeguarding

This includes the steps we take to ensure children, vulnerable adults, staff, volunteers and partners are kept safe in the delivery of community projects. For Grantees, we have the following requirements:

  1. Policy & Code of Conduct: Grantees have a Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct that lists behavioural standards for all staff, volunteers and others working on their projects which includes the requirement to report any concerning behaviour or alleged incidents. If the project is working with children or contact with children and the organisation does not have a Code of Conduct, all project staff and volunteers will be required to adhere to Mary MacKillop Today’s Code of Conduct in the delivery of project activities.
  2. Recruitment Screening: Any staff, volunteer or other representative working directly with children should undergo adequate recruitment screening including behaviour-based interview questions, verbal referee checks and working with children check or equivalent.
  3. Reporting: Grantees have a reporting procedure that outlines how reports of misconduct are investigated and escalated within their organisation. This must include procedures for reporting to law enforcement for criminal offences.
  4. Reporting to Mary MacKillop Today: Grantees are required to immediately report any safeguarding incidents to Mary MacKillop Today (within 2 working days) if these occur or are reported to the organisation in the delivery of the funded project.

Applicants submitting projects that involve working with children or contact with children may be requested to provide copies of their policies and procedures during the shortlisting process.

If your organisation does not have any of the above policies or procedures, they must be willing to comply with the requirements of Mary MacKillop Today in the delivery of the funded activity.

Complaints & Feedback

This provides all people with the opportunity to provide feedback or make a complaint about the work of Mary MacKillop Today or any of our partners. This ensures our programs are responsive, meet the needs and priorities of communities, and identify any negative impacts of our work. Grantees should:

  1. Regularly provide opportunities for participants and others in the community to provide feedback or make a complaint about their organisations.
  2. Ensure participants in the project are aware that the project has received funding from Mary MacKillop Today and understand that they can make a complaint directly to Mary MacKillop Today at [email protected]

Financial Wrongdoing

This requires the accountable, transparent and ethical use of project funds and requires partners to ensure that project funds are used only for approved purposes. This includes ensuring project funds are protected from fraud, and that funds are managed and acquitted in line with good practice financial management standards.


Non-Development Policy

Mary MacKillop Today is a community development organisation. Our purpose is to enable individuals and communities to build skills for self-sufficiency, regardless of their faith tradition, gender, age, political beliefs or any other factors. Mary MacKillop Today is therefore not able to provide funds for any projects that:

  1. Promote a particular religious adherence: Mary MacKillop Today defines the promotion of particular religious adherence as preferencing community members who adhere to the Catholic/Christian faith at the exclusion of others or using our projects as a tool for the evangelisation of the Catholic/Christian or any other faith. This includes scripture or religious education programs, church infrastructure or resourcing, or any projects that explicitly target a particular faith group at the exclusion of others.
  2. Support a particular political party or candidate: Mary MacKillop Today defines the support or promotion of a particular political party as any explicit or implied alignment between Mary MacKillop Today, our partners or our projects with a particular political candidate, party or ideology. This includes using Mary MacKillop Today funds, partner personnel or resources (such as cars, stationary or office space) to aid in a political campaign.
  3. Adopt primarily welfare or charity-model approaches: Welfare or charity-model activities are those that may provide relief from poverty or distress but address the symptoms rather than the underlying causes of poverty or inequality. Mary MacKillop Today does support a small number of Welfare projects, however prioritises projects that address the causes of poverty and inequality through activities that build skills for self-sufficiency and independence.