Not for profits working in key priority areas in Ballarat can now apply for financial assistance.
It is part of a Ballarat Foundation bid to break the cycle of disadvantage in Ballarat and surrounding areas.
Organisations tackling the issues of food and housing security, school readiness and youth success can apply for funding through the Ballarat Foundation’s Collective Impact Grants Program.
It is one of the philanthropic organisation’s two annual programs which distributes grants of up to $10,000 to community groups.
Funding is available to projects or programs impacting at least one of the Ballarat Foundations four key pillars – school readiness, youth success, secure housing, and food security.
In some cases it can mean the difference between the program continuing or not.
Matt Jenkins, Ballarat Foundation chief executive
Ballarat Foundation chief executive Matt Jenkins said many organisations were reliant on the grants program funding each year.
“In some cases it can mean the difference between the program continuing and not,” he said.
Almost $100,000 was granted to 16 local organisations in 2017.
Grant recipients included Uniting Care Ballarat’s Meals For Change program, the Phoenix breakfast club program, LARF youth mentoring, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring and the Wendouree West Exodus Community.
Uniting Care Ballarat’s Meals for Change program supports young people aged between 15 and 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Members can enjoy a meal up to the value of $15 in Ballarat’s nine partner cafes and only contribute $3 to the cost. Cafes are then reimbursed the difference through Uniting Care.
Uniting Ballarat executive officer Sean Duffy said the Meals for Change program did not receive regular funding, meaning every cent of community support counted.
“The support of the local community and foundations such as the Ballarat Foundation make a huge difference to the services we can provide to our clients,” he said.
“We are proud to run such a fantastic program for local people which is supported so well by the community.”
Applications close on Monday July 2.
Successful applicants will be notified in August.