Sydney Water is offering $80,000 in total funding to grassroots community organisations working on initiatives in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains as part of its two community grants programs.
The water and wastewater provider is offering 50 grants of $1,000 for arts and heritage, safety, health and wellbeing, and education initiatives. A further 15 community action groups will receive $2,000 in equipment and promotional support under the Beat the Bottle program.
Sydney Water spokesperson Jennifer Whittle says the grants are part of the organisation’s commitment to supporting the local communities it works in.
“Sydney Water is committed to protecting and caring for our beaches and waterways. This is the second year that Sydney Water has provided a Local Community Support program,” Whittle says.
“This year we have also introduced a new stream of funding for our Beat the Bottle environment initiative. In the past year, we have removed over one million plastic bottles from our waterways and see the effects this has on our environment.
“With a strong focus on protecting Sydney’s waterways and oceans we wanted to encourage community clean up groups to apply for the Beat the Bottle environment grant and bring the program to life in their local area.
“In the past year we have removed over one million plastic bottles from our waterways and see the effect this has on the environment.”
The grant programs are in addition to Sydney Water’s ongoing partnerships with a range of community groups.
“The local community support program and the Beat the Bottle Environment Grants are an extension of Sydney Water’s other community partnerships, which include the Illawarra Surf Premiership, the Newtown Festival, a Hydration Partnership with Cricket NSW, Orange Sky – supporting the homeless, and Sculptures by the Sea,” Whittle says.
“These programs are in addition to Sydney Water’s long-term support of WaterAid – a charity that works in 26 countries worldwide, transforming millions of lives by helping communities to build and maintain safe water and sanitation projects.”
Applications for both programs are open until 27 July 2018, with registered associations, incorporated bodies, non-profit organisations, and K-12 schools encouraged to apply.
“We encourage all eligible groups to apply, especially those with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and those that support lower socio-economic communities,” Whittle says.
“We ask the applicants to describe their community project and outline who and how the community will benefit from funding for their initiative. We also look into how the group plans to successfully deliver their project and how they will measure its success.
“The application should only take around 60 minutes to complete and can be saved at any time, so community groups can go back and work on it up until the submission date. All local support grant projects must be completed by the 30th of June of the next calendar year and fixed timeframes apply for Beat the Bottle Grants.
“The grant recipients will be selected based off of the impact and benefit of their projects. Whether the project is big or small, we are looking to support a diverse group of community organisations from across the greater Sydney network that are working towards something great.
“Ensuring the communities benefit from the projects we fund is very important to us. We make sure to measure the impact of the grants by staying in contact with the recipients and reporting on the result of project completion. After all, this is the most exciting part, getting to see the impact these grants have on the community first hand.”
For other organisations looking to launch a similar philanthropic program, Whittle says the key to success is to align your corporate vision with that of the organisations you are supporting.
“Sydney Water provides world class water and wastewater services to our five million customers and we are committed to protecting and caring for our beaches and waterways. The majority of our philanthropic and community partnerships revolve around what we do and our vision,” Whittle says.
“Sydney Water staff are also fully engaged with our charity partners We have a robust volunteering program as well as a ‘Good 2 Give’ salary sacrifice program which is dollar matched by Sydney Water.”
Applications close 27 July 2018. To find out more go to sydneywater.com.au/communitygrants.