The Foundation has developed a set of funding principles that guide how it operates. The Foundation does not run an open grants round and similarly does not consider unsolicited requests for funding.
The Foundation does identify particular areas where it will focus its funding. These decisions are informed by knowledge of issues facing the financial counselling sector, consultation with relevant groups and the Foundation's own research.
Current priorities include: prisons, increasing access for First Nations people, increasing access for women who have experienced or are at risk of domestic and family violence and vulnerable private renters.
Grant recipients must be a fund, authority or institution which is charitable and gifts to which have DGR status (as per item 1 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 97).
In May 2023 the Financial Counselling Foundation received a donation of $7.75 million from industry. The donation, the largest single contribution of its kind, comes from a group of companies in the banking, finance, insurance, energy, telecommunications and online gambling sectors. This will enable the Foundation to support existing grants that are about to expire and to implement new projects that meet the Foundations priority areas.
Western Australia Financial Counselling Trainees July 23 – June 24
The Foundation, on rare occasions, provides limited bridging grants to enable the continuation of a financial counselling service during an identified gap, prior to being eligible for future funding. The Financial Counsellors Association of WA identified and supported a proposal to fund 5 trainee financial counsellors for a maximum of a year. The agencies needed to identify that they were delivering the service, and that future funding is highly likely from Government or other sources.
The Foundation held a select Expression of Interest process and Finucare (trading as Money Mentors), Moneycare Salvation Army, St Vincent’s de Paul Society and Jacaranda Community Centre (with two Aboriginal trainees) received bridging grants for a total of $537,942.
Grants for Domestic and Family Violence Financial Counsellors
Extension of Family Violence Financial Counselling Projects | June 2023-25
The $7.75 million industry donation has enabled the Foundation to grant $2 million to extend seven specialist family violence financial counselling services for two years until June 2025. The agencies are Justice Support Centre NSW, CARE ACT, Women’s Legal Service WA, Women’s Legal Service TAS, Central Australia Women’s Legal Service and Jacaranda Community Centre. These services will continue to provide financial counselling to women who have experienced or are at risk of economic abuse and have highly complex financial and other needs due to family violence.
A Social Impact Evaluation Report has confirmed the achievements of these services and recommended that the program continue. Click on "read more" to read the summary report.
You can also read more about the achievements of the last three years in the Completed Projects section.
Domestic and Family Violence Financial Counsellor Grant for Micah Projects | June 2022
A grant of $260,000 to Micah Projects will fund financial counselling to clients of the Brisbane Domestic Violence Service. The grant will enable the service to women who have experienced DFV to continue for another two years once current funding ends on 30 June 2022. Two years will also allow Micah Projects time to find another source of funding.
Financial Counsellor Wellbeing
Employee Assistance Program for financial counsellors I 2023-2026
The Foundation funded $38,610 to fund an employee assistance program (EPA) for the financial counselling sector over three years through the provision of up to 6 sessions per individual and prioritising nationally those financial counselling agencies that are small and do not have an EPA service.
Specialist Financial Counselling
Self-represented Debtors I March 2022
A grant of $234,000 over three years to the Financial Rights Legal Centre will fund financial counselling three days a week to people facing bankruptcy proceedings without legal representation in the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in Sydney. The financial counselling service will assist self-represented debtors to understand bankruptcy proceedings so they are better able to determine their rights and make good decisions in presenting their cases.
Grants for Private Renters
Financial Counselling for Vulnerable Private Renters | 2021 - 2024
In February 2021 the Foundation granted $1.17 million for in-house financial counselling services for private tenants to the following organisations for three years:
Tenants Queensland and
VERTO in New South Wales.
The grant provides financial counselling to help vulnerable renters in-house alongside tenancy support services to private renters who are struggling financially.
The Foundation identified an increased need for financial counselling services for private renters who in the current circumstances are faced with increased rents, a chronic shortage of available properties and tight vacancy rates.
Social Impact Evaluation
ARTD consultants were contracted for $64,500 to do a social impact evaluation of this grant. The Final Evaluation Report was received in May 2023 and the key findings were:
Most clients’ financial situation improved along with their wellbeing and an increase in their knowledge and understanding of their financial situation.
The tenancy staff increased their awareness of financial counselling, which helped streamline referrals and the sharing of professional knowledge. This holistic approach reduced stress and improved the experience for clients.
Risks around workforce issues and legal setting requirements were identified and risks were able to be mitigated.
The Social Impact Evaluation Summary report for Financial Counselling for Private Tenants can be found at "read more".
Assisting First Nations People
Financial Counselling in Remote Indigenous Communities | November 2021
The Foundation is providing a grant of $608,000 to the Earth Garden Foundation to fund financial counselling in 10 remote Indigenous communities in the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Working with local Ranger groups, the financial counselling service will be delivered face-to-face by Broome-based Bush Money Mob for two and a half years from April 2022.
The area to be covered takes in parts of the Gibb River area, Fitzroy River Valley and the Great Sandy Desert. Communities that will be visited have either very limited access or no access to face-to-face financial counselling due to their very remote locations. Face-to-face delivery is important as it builds trust and makes the service more effective. Communication is challenging in very remote communities and many processes key to resolving debt and money issues take longer.
Social impact evaluation
In May 2023, the Foundation allocated $105,125 to Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, at the University of Technology Sydney to provide a social impact evaluation of the Foundation’s financial counselling service to remote indigenous communities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The services are provided by Bush Money Mob and the communities have previously had very little assistance from financial counsellors.
The outcome of the evaluation will provide insight into the delivery of financial counselling to remote indigenous communities and the effectiveness from the communities’ perspective. A final evaluation report is due at the end of 2023.
2016 Dina Sayers
2014 Phil Powell
National Phone Financial Counselling Service | May 2020 - 2024
The Foundation is providing a grant of $465,000 to Financial Rights Legal Centre (NSW) to employ a financial counsellor for three years and promote the new part of its service to First Nations people across Australia.
Financial Rights Legal Centre (FRLC) runs Money Mob Debt Help, an established national telephone service providing legal advice and assistance to First Nations people. The addition of a financial counsellor to this service will improve access to financial counselling services in under-served areas. Funding to promote the service will support take-up and usage through building awareness and trust within local communities.
In January 2023 the Foundation granted $195,000 to FRLC to fund an additional indigenous financial counsellor position with the Mob Strong Debt Help Service to address the significant increase in demand that was experienced since the collapse of the funeral insurance company ACBF/Youpla.