Fri, Dec 8, 2023 9:14 AM
The community grants programme launched by OneFortyOne in July 2021 supports grassroot community organisations in the region, offering one-off grants of up to $5,000. Supporting projects that relate to People, Ideas, Nature, Environment (PINE), we share some tips on how local organisations can apply.
OneFortyOne is not just a timber giant but a thriving entity with a heartbeat deeply entwined with community commitment. Since its inception, OneFortyOne has been proudly dedicated to the local communities that form the backbone of its operations. At the core of this commitment lies the Grants Programme, a testament to their belief in the shared well-being of the places they call home.
“Since we launched, we have supported 55 community projects in the region, contributing over $145,000 in funding and building materials through the community grants programme,” says communications manager Kylie Reeves.
“There are a lot of people doing amazing things in the community, but funding is a real challenge for community groups, and it’s only getting harder and harder. From a OneFortyOne perspective we try and make the applications as easy as possible, it’s an online process and we keep reporting requirements to a minimum. We believe that regional communities are exciting places to live and sometimes just need a funding boost to start something incredible.”
Applications are assessed on a bi-monthly basis, giving consideration to objectives and impact. “This ensures the process is fair – but otherwise we leave it to applicants to let us know what they need most.”
The community of Rai Valley are recent recipients of one such grant which enabled them to purchase an asset not only for the school but also to help build the community’s resilience to events such as the 2022 floods. Coordinator Tania Billingsley first became aware of the OneFortyOne Grants Programme during that time. “We realised what the school needed to be able to provide a welfare centre for the local community when were cut off by natural disaster. The grant has enabled us to purchase two commercial portable ovens for the school that can be run off a generator. During an emergency we can now feed up to 200 people simply and easily from anywhere within our valley. They have also meant that during sports tournaments, and any other major community events, we now have the flexibility to easily feed a large group.” Tania’s advice to anyone interested in applying is just to do it! “Key mentions to make in a submission would be to clearly outline the need, how you have identified that need, and what the benefits will be long term.”
Jimmy van Der Calk, the General Manager for Wanderers Sports Club agrees, saying, “When applying, ensure it is for something that aligns with your organisation's strategy/purpose and OneFortyOne's PINE objectives. If this alignment is not there the application will either be declined or you will be stuck completing a project, and that does not actually help achieve goals.” As recipients, the grants have enabled the club to install a new basketball court at their base in Brightwater.
“The impact has been huge. The basketball court project would not have happened without the generous support from OneFortyOne,” says Jimmy. “We had an underutilised court next to our clubrooms. It appeared old and run down and equipment was outdated so it was no surprise people weren't using it. We wanted to turn it into a place our community would want to use. We pitched the idea of a basketball court to OneFortyOne and they saw the benefit and approved funding for the project.
The application process is very simple, but applicants should take the time to prepare supporting documents such as project costings and a cover letter explaining why the project is important and what the benefits will be.” The OneFortyOne Community Grants Programme is a breath of fresh air when it comes to fundraising, Jimmy states. “The majority of nonprofits will find the application process simple when compared to typical grant funding.”
Funding Coordinator for Kai Rescue, Joanna Pahl, has some sage advice for those seeking funding. “Keep applications to the point and ensure you convey why is it important that you receive this funding and the difference it will make. The grant enabled us to purchase a flexible conveyor trolley. The conveyor trolley is fantastic for when we get food donations of heavy items – like four tonnes of apples! - as it reduces the need to lift heavy boxes, and significantly improves health and safety for our volunteers and staff. We appreciate that OneFortyOne NZ have made the application process very straightforward and easy - which is not as common as you might think!”
For more information on how to apply visit: onefortyone.com/community/grants