Our 2020 grant round started under the cloud of COVID-19.
This was due to be held in March at the Goods Shed in Claremont. Sadly it was cancelled as lockdown took effect but we would have heard from Earbus on how their project for the Metro area bus was progressing and we’d have been able to check out the amazing recycled plastic artworks in the Goods Shed gallery.
Grant Round opened
After some careful but speedy consideration, we managed to open the grant round in April with a revised application form and timeline for activities.
- all past Primary Grant recipients were included in the invitation to apply as they are the organisations we already knew and loved;
- we allowed for Covid recovery funding through either operational activities or new projects;
- we aimed to get the money where it was needed much faster by only having one application form to submit and by bringing the grant date forward from October to August; and
- we decided to make the Primary Grant amount $50,000 so that we could support more organisations.
97 Applications received across our 5 Focus Areas
Assessment was a BIG DEAL this year, with so many applications to be reviewed.
The Financials Review committee were the first to check them out – assessing for valid DGR status and satisfactory financial situation. This process did eliminate a few.
Next came the Preliminary Assessments for each focus area. We were able to convene in person for the most part, but some donors were very grateful to be able to join from the security of their own homes. We send a huge thank you to the Focus Area co-chairs who hosted these events and made sure we kept moving in order to finish on time.
16 Site Visits
For the 16 applications that made it to the long list, we fitted 16 site visits into two weeks, which really tested our scheduling skills! They were as powerful as ever and each one inspired us with their dedication, ingenuity and ability to create positive change.
Our Focus Area co-chairs did a great job of keeping to a tight time limit while presenting the 16 applications along with the findings from the site visits to a room full of donors at the Beehive Montessori School in Mosman Park. Voting then took place to determine the top 9 that would present at the Grant Awards Dinner. A tie for 9th place had us thinking we’d need to allow for 10 finalists but, fortunately, a proxy vote that had come in by email while we were underway made the decision for us.
Grant Awards Dinner 2020
At the beginning of the year the whole process was up in the air. By the end of July we were crossing our fingers that we’d be able to hold our Annual Grant Awards Dinner at the magnificent venue of Fraser’s Kings Park. The sense of community, the warmth in the room, the level of expectation – none of these can be replicated online.
Our luck held! Although slightly chillier outside with its mid-year setting, plenty of heat was generated on the night as over 220 donors and friends and the finalists with their ‘crews’ gathered for the climax of the year.
Again, the schedule had to be tweaked with 3 sets of three presentations to fit in but nothing was lost – the power of those speeches still left us all struggling to choose who our precious pebbles would go to.
As the result of a strong re-recruitment drive and the generosity of donors in what was a tough year and because one of last year’s grants had been returned, we had 6 grants of $50,000 to make and all the finalists were worthy of winning one.
So, the winners and their proposed projects can be viewed here but as a summary, in alphabetical order, they are:
- Zonta House Refuge Association
Another year of teaching the next generation about how giving back can be fun as well as fulfilling. This year 23 youngsters carried out various fundraising activities to collect up over $3,000. They then personally visited the two recipients that they had chosen: Kalparrin and Darling Range Wildlife Shelter, to see how their funds help to make a difference.
Generous Australians 2020 – Annie and Caitlyn Fogarty
With the granting process completed for the year, we then turned to keeping our donors engaged with the wider philanthropic landscape. The Grove Library very kindly hosted a large group of us so that we could run a Q&A session with Perth philanthropists and mother and daughter team, Annie and Caitlyn Fogarty.
They were extremely generous in sharing their motivations, what they aim to achieve with the Fogarty Foundation and their challenges and celebrations throughout the process, as well as their opinions on the bigger picture for education.
Our final event for 2020 was the Wrap-Up, at the clubrooms of the Claremont Tigers footy club. This was a much more informal affair where we gave a rundown of the year’s activities and then opened the floor to questions and comments on our process in this unusual year. We also took on board suggestions for improvement in coming years.
The general consensus was that together we managed to achieve outstanding results despite the Covid restrictions and we were all delighted to be part of such an welcoming, diligent, effective and important organisation that highlights and supports the smaller not-for-profits doing powerful work in our community.