Community benefit projects encouraged to seek IMB funding

Connecting community: Green Connection general manager Jess Moore Green Connect Farm staff member Su Mae and IMB Bank chief executive Robert Ryan.

Connecting community: Green Connection general manager Jess Moore Green Connect Farm staff member Su Mae and IMB Bank chief executive Robert Ryan.

Applications are open for community organisations interested in funding from the IMB Bank Community Foundation in 2017.

Chief executive Robert Ryan said IMB Bank had pledged $500,000 to support local projects in the areas in which it operates and is keen to hear now from the potential funding recipients. Over the last 16 years the foundation has donated more than $8.1m to 550 projects including 207 in the Illawarra region. The goal is for funding projects to have long-term social benefits in local communities.

Applications close on February 24 2017.

Further information at http://www.imb.com.au/community-community-foundation-how-to-apply-applying-for-funding.html to download the form

Mr Ryan said in 2016 one of the recipients was Green Connect which wanted to expand its services in the Illawarra.

With financial assistance from the foundation it was able to employ six refugees and young people and received help from 200 volunteers in cultivating 4000 square metres of land at Warrawong High School.

The result was a new food production area that allowed produce to be grown on an urban farm and be sold to families in the Illawarra region.

Funds raised from the sale of produce then goes back into the project.

Mr Ryan said the Green Connect project was an excellent example of an initiative support by the IMB Bank Community Foundation that delivers significant long-term social gains.

“We are looking for projects to fund that have flow-on benefits to the local community which are sustainable into the future,” he said.

“Another good example is the Men’s Shed movement and the Foundation has funded a number of different Men’s Shed initiatives. We know the community benefit of Men’s Sheds is widespread and of immense value with positive outcomes for the mental health of retired men. I would urge all new or existing community groups and social cause organisations that want to establish new programs to apply to the IMB Bank Community Foundation”.

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