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COGS elections let communities set priorities

12 March 2008

COGS elections let communities set their priorities

Community organisations are being urged to nominate a candidate and register to vote in this year’s election of Community Organisation Grant Scheme (COGS) local distribution committees.

“COGS provides vital support to a wide variety of groups across New Zealand,” said Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Ruth Dyson.

“By nominating a leader in their community to serve on a distribution committee, and by voting in the coming election, community organisations have a chance to directly contribute to establishing their local funding priorities.”

There are 37 COGS volunteer local distribution committees that represent communities throughout New Zealand.

Elections for new committee members are held every three years and registered community organisations can vote for candidates within their area.

“COGS is a very well known and valuable source of funding, and it is important that community organisations play an active and enthusiastic role in the distribution committee elections,” said Ruth Dyson.

“Serving on a COGS distribution committee enables community representatives to identify those in need of assistance, consider applications for funding, allocate grants, and really help address the issues that are affecting their communities.”

Funding is available for non-profit organisation that delivers community services or runs community based projects and the average grant is $3000.

“Last year, COGS distributed $11.5 million to grass roots community and voluntary organisations across the country,” said Ruth Dyson.

“Being part of a committee provides an opportunity to make a big difference for a large number of people. In 2007, COGS committees considered almost 4000 applications. Of those organisations considered for funding, 91 per cent received a grant.”

Since its inception in 1986 COGS has allocated $225 million of grants to community and voluntary organisations.

More information on COGS and the local distribution committee elections is available at www.dia.govt.nz or by freephone 0800 824 824, 8am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

ENDS

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