West Auckland Charity Funding Shortfalls At Record Levels - Data
Hundreds of West Auckland charities and community groups are struggling to meet multimillion-dollar revenue shortfalls as the impact of COVID lockdowns continue - according to new figures.
A Trusts initiative, the Your West Support Fund which offers $1m in funding to charities, groups and community organisations has had applications for over six times the amount of available funds.
Many of these groups require urgent financial support to cover operating overheads such as power, rent and insurance.
A record 259 charitable organisations and groups applied to receive a share of the million-dollar fund, a 50% increase over any previous year in the fund’s history.
Allan Pollard, CEO of The Trusts, which established the Your West Support Fund, says that many of these organisations have relied on revenue from gaming foundations and other sources which have been heavily impacted by the lockdown.
“The volumes of funding applications we have had in recent months is far in excess of what we have experienced before.
“We know many of these organisations have relied on funding from gaming machines to help them meet the needs of those in the community they support, and the extended lockdown has effectively cut off this source of revenue overnight.
“In addition, these charitable groups have been unable to operate during lockdown which has effectively cut off revenue from other sources such as membership and events. At the same time, they are still required to cover their normal fixed overhead costs.
“As a result, the shortfall between what we can offer these organisations and what they have applied for is around $5.6m - with significantly more unmet need in the wider community.
“Our understanding is one of the reasons for the unprecedented need for funding is the impact of COVID and the greater demand by our community for support from these groups,” he says.
Pollard says The Trust set up the $1 million fund, made up of profits from the business, to provide dozens of local community groups with up to $50,000 each towards projects which support those living in West Auckland.
He says while there is greater recognition of their organisation as a source of financial support in the region, the deficit among these groups this year is significantly greater than their resources can support.
“But what we are faced with is a substantial number of groups now wanting to access this resource with the total need much higher than we can meet as a single organisation.
“Along with charities which support our most vulnerable residents and sporting clubs there has been a significant increase in the number of applications from environmental and arts groups needing our support this year over previous years,” he says.
Pollard says it is concerning to see the need increase so sharply in just one year and says the ongoing effects of COVID are continuing to impact these charities and the communities they serve.
He says they expect to be able to distribute the million-dollar fund to the 130 successful applicant groups later this month and have focused on supporting local community groups that have few other funding sources.
“We have worked to allocate funding to help ensure the continuity of as many West Auckland groups as possible.
“The impact of COVID it has seen a shift away from funding capital projects, events and those organisations with access to government funding and instead, helping our essential local groups meet their immediate day-to-day expenses so they can weather the ongoing impact of lockdowns in our region,” he says.
Pollard says they are proud to be able to support 130 charitable organisations in this latest funding round with the applications considered by local Trusts representatives who know their West Auckland community.