Communication difficulties – ‘top down’ AS WELL as ‘bottom up’
At the recent Warrandyte (Vic) Community Bank’s ‘Sponsorship Night of the Year’ it was great to hear about the grassroots projects benefiting from Bendigo Bank‘s philosophy of giving up to 80% of all profits – after costs – back to the community eg helping out with:
BUT the problem of ‘communicating with the grassroots’ surfaced.
It seems many government departments – across all three levels – acknowledge difficulties in this area.
One ‘awful’ reality of this problem is that funds tagged for the community lie idle! As a one time writer of grassroots ‘bottom up’ applications for grants to meet community needs I find this situation unbelievable and quite soul destroying.
What can be done?
Bill van Hartog is a Bendigo Bank Community Enterprise Manager – a role new this year. He tells me that he and his offsiders are listening to community requests and then actively figuring out which departments/organisations/ individuals/businesses might be able to help, individually or collaboratively. Local government and Area Consultative Committees are usually two early ‘ports of call’.
Warrandyte Community Bank’s Sponsorship Application Form doesn’t appear too challenging but I am informed by one of the directors that each year some of the funds available from other branches are not given out. I also hear that large amounts of the National Heritage Trust funds are not ‘dispensed’. (FYI the form is at the end of this article.)
Grant application writing is clearly an art. You hear of consultants who will contract to write applications in return for a percentage of the grant if successful.
Something is just not right here….what are your experiences?
Another area of poor communication.
Warrandyte’s Community Bank is definitely a success, meeting all its goals, BUT, although the organisations receiving grants bank with the Community Bank, only a small percentage of the sixty or so people at the function personally banked with Bendigo.
Why is this important? Because a percentage of the year’s profits go back to the community!
On the night the community board members asked the difficult questions to try and shed some light on the problem and convince people benefitting from grants they should consider ‘moving over’.
You REALLY have to wonder WHY people don’t know profits go back to the community?
Some Problems & Responses on the night:
Community banking: How it works
Bendigo’s Community Bank franchise allows local publicly-owned companies to own the rights to operate community branches, with Bendigo providing all the banking infrastructure and support. The community company and Bendigo Bank share all branch revenue with whatever is left over after the company pays its branch running costs remaining as profit.
About $500,000 is required to establish a branch. Bendigo supplies support and banking infrastructure and the community and the bank share revenue.
For a local community to be considered for Community Bank franchise, the following steps must be taken:
Some Bendigo Community Bank Stats:
WARRANDYTE COMMUNITY FINANCIAL SERVICES LTD
SPONSORSHIP APPLICATION FORM FY2006/07
Please tick box Amount sought
Category 1 Major Sponsorship (up to $1,500)
Category 2 Minor Sponsorship (up to $250.00)
Please complete the following:
Name of Group/Organisation
Mailing Address of Organisation
(48.4% of monies must be withheld if this is not supplied)
Name of contact person
Tel/fax/email (if different from above)
Full description of activity/event (please include dates/times/numbers of people anticipated/target audience/venue details etc. Please attach any information that supports your claim))
Do you have a budget for the activity/event?
(if yes please attach a copy)
What would this sponsorship money be used for?
How does the group/organisation intend to publicise the event?
How will the group/organisation acknowledge the bank’s sponsorship? Please include details of any website, newsletters, press opportunities, promotional opportunities to members, opportunity for the bank to participate in presentation of prizes, etc.
Has the group/organisation received any other sponsorship? If so from whom?
No. of members/pupils
Signed on behalf of:
Name of organisation
Position in organisation
Please return to: Sponsorship Subcommittee
Warrandyte Community Bank
144 Yarra Street
Warrandyte Vic 3113 If you have any queries please phone:
03 9844 2233