A policy developed in to ensure robust and transparent administration and distribution of the new $1.81 million Community Grant Fund is being approved by Tauranga City Council.
The Community Funding Policy was approved at Monday’s Council meeting and aims to see better guidance on Council’s expectations and decision-making for supporting community organisations.
The new fund is in addition to the existing $150,000 allocated to Match Fund.
It will support community organisations for one-off projects through a contestable grant fund or enable longer-term partnerships through multi-year partnership agreements.
Consultation on the draft policy took place, alongside consultation of the draft Long-Term Plan, with a total of 45 different feedback points raised in submissions, says a statement from Tauranga City Council today.
Overall, there was support for proceeding with a grant fund on the basis that grants were subject to a robust and transparent process.
"We are delighted to get this new fund in place to demonstrate Council’s commitment to supporting community organisations and recognise their significant contribution to the social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being of Tauranga." says commission Chair Anne Tolley/
"The policy ensures consistency, fairness and transparency in how community organisations are supported and reduces the risk of impromptu decision-making via the Annual Plan or Long-Term Plan process."
The policy replaces the previous Community Investment Policy and has been designed to potentially serve as an ‘umbrella’ policy in the future.
It will provide general guidance on how Council supports community organisations in other ways, such as lease arrangements.
The policy and amount of the grant fund will be reviewed by staff in the next 18 months to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the community.
The Community Grant Fund and Match Fund are contestable and provide one-off support for specific projects like the two pou recently installed at Gate Pā School.
Partnership agreements are intended to be multi-year and are reserved for community organisations where Council wants to build and maintain relationships that support community well-beings.
The first Community Grant Fund applications will be considered with the next Match Fund round in September.
The assessment panel’s decision on funding recipients will be provided to Council and published on Tauranga City Council’s website.