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).
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 | February 2021
The Foundation has provided $1.17 million in grants to fund in-house financial counselling services for three years at:
Tenants Queensland and
VERTO in New South Wales.
With temporary government income and rental support measures ending and sectors such as tourism and hospitality yet to recover from COVID impacts, the Financial Counselling Foundation has identified increased need for financial counselling services for vulnerable private renters.
Social Impact Evaluation | August 2022
A grant of $ 64,500 has been allocated to fund the social impact evaluation of the financial counselling services established in three tenancy agencies - Tenancy Victoria, Tenancy Queensland and VERTO in NSW. The evaluation is being done by ARTD Consultants and will evaluate if the financial counselling services located within the tenancy agencies has helped the wellbeing and financial situation of private tenants. The evaluation will include client surveys, tenant’s case studies and in depth interviews with agency staff including lawyers, tenancy workers and financial counsellors.
Grants for Domestic and Family Violence Financial Counsellors
2016 Dina Sayers
2014 Phil Powell
Domestic and Family Violence Financial Counsellors around Australia | May 2020
The Financial Counselling Foundation is providing grants totalling $3.9million over three years to fund 10 specialist Financial Counsellors trained to deal with clients experiencing Domestic and Family Violence.
Impacts of COVID-19 including a rise in unemployment and ‘stay at home’ measures have led to a reported increase in domestic and family violence (DFV) and financial stress. Financial counselling is a key support for women who experience DFV as financial stress and economic dependency can keep women in, or cause them to return to, abusive relationships. In cases where a relationship has been exited, women may be left with debt or may experience ongoing economic abuse.
Reflecting the Foundation’s approach of identifying clear needs or gaps in funding, one position will be funded in each of South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT and two positions will be funded in each of New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The Victorian Government is already funding 21 specialist family violence financial counsellors and the Foundation commends them on this. The Foundation hopes that these 10 one-off grants in other jurisdictions, will encourage those other Governments to make these new positions permanent after the Foundation’s funding ceases.
Funding is from the Foundation and a donation from ANZ of $250,000.
The Foundation conducted an Expression of Interest process with the objective of making specialist financial counselling more accessible to women who have experienced or are experiencing DFV. Following that process, the grant recipients are: Women’s Legal Service NSW, South West Sydney Legal Centre, Care Financial Counselling Service, Women’s Legal Service Queensland, Central Australian Women’s Legal Service, Lutheran Community Care NT, Women’s Legal Service WA, Jacaranda Community Centre, Women’s Legal Service SA and Women’s Legal Service Tasmania.
Adding DFV Financial Counselling to the services available through women’s legal services - where up to 95 percent of clients experience domestic family violence - and to organisations in WA and NT with predominantly Aboriginal clients, will make financial counselling more accessible to women who have experienced or are experiencing DFV.
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.
Social Impact Evaluation I June 2022
A grant of $72,273 to the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW will fund a social impact evaluation of the financial counselling services established in five agencies around Australia with grants from the Financial Counselling Foundation. The evaluation will assess the impacts of the financial counselling service on clients’ financial stability and wellbeing, whether clients benefitted from working with other professionals such as lawyers within the service and the impacts on the organisation of including financial counselling services.
Funding comprises a $60,000 grant from the Ecstra Foundation and $12,273 from the Financial Counselling Foundation.
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.
A social impact evaluation of the financial counselling service will be undertaken.
National Phone Financial Counselling Service | May 2020
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 (NSW) 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.