Charities and not-for-profits will be supported to adapt and flourish through the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a new $50 million fund. Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said community services organisations were a key part of the NSW economy, and the Social Sector Transformation Fund would help create a strong and compassionate NSW.
“Small and medium size not-for-profits are the backbone of our community services sector and play a hugely important role in the lives of vulnerable people right across our State,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Community services organisations were hit hard by the pandemic’s pressures of weaker donations, increased demand and the challenge and cost of delivering COVID-safe services.
“This fund will support these organisations, and the tens-of-thousands of people they employ, by giving them a hand up during this challenging and uncertain time.”
The fund will provide social sector organisations grants to adapt and modernise their operations, with a focus on capacity building, better digital service delivery, remote working capabilities and improving business strategies, so they remain efficient, effective and viable.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the fund would support organisations working to improve outcomes in homelessness, disability, health and child and family services, among other areas.
“The social services sector has been on the front line of this pandemic and has delivered lifesaving support to so many. Now is the time to use lessons learned to continue to build a more dynamic and responsive sector,” Mr Ward said.
“The NSW Government is committed to helping people break the cycle of disadvantage, and it is imperative that we continue to work closely with the sector to provide the most vulnerable people with the best possible care and support.”
NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) CEO Joanna Quilty said the sector has faced drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have all placed significant strain on their organisations and staff.
“Social services organisations play a vital role in supporting the most vulnerable and they have had to adapt the way they work over the past year,” Ms Quilty said.
“This fund will enable social services organisations to secure some of the positive changes they’ve made, so they can continue to transform to meet the challenges of the future.”
The NSW Government will work closely with community services organisations to design and implement the Social Sector Transformation Fund.