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Community Funding Goes Online

Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector Steve Maharey will launch the first truly online Internet-based government grants scheme in Christchurch this Friday.

Thanks to COGS OnLine community groups will no longer have to fill in a paper application form to apply for Community Organisation Grants Scheme (COGS) funding. They can now apply for grants online using the Internet.

COGS, which is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs Community Development Group, distributes $10 million annually to community organisations, especially those targeting disadvantaged groups.

Mr Maharey said the electronic approach will dramatically reduce the compliance costs and duplication of effort for community groups.

“And it is just the beginning of a database which will revolutionise the way grants funding is developed in this country with plans to bring lottery grants online within 18 months. Lottery grants committees, of course, award about $70 million to a wide range of community initiatives each year.

“COGS OnLine is an integral part of the government’s programme of reaching out to communities. I see it as a valuable link into government, for COGS committees as well as communities, and I expect it will become an important part of our two-way information-sharing and decision-making process.

"COGS OnLine is not just a copy of the paper application form for printing or downloading. It will be very interactive. Applicants will be on a database and see the parts of it which are relevant to them, based on the questions they will have answered. Funding advisors and COGS committee members can see different aspects of the database," Steve Maharey said.

COGS grants are decided by 40 locally elected committees around the country.

Ends

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