Delivering support for Australians when they need it most, IMB Bank Community Foundation today announced grant funding for 65 grassroots groups and projects in 2021, taking the Foundation’s 22-year community grant funding total to $11m.
In a telling reflection of the state of our nation, over one-third of IMB Bank Community Foundation 2021 funded projects seek to improve mental health and wellbeing in local communities.
The new funding comes as one in five Australians report high levels of psychological distress due to COVID, which is a stark jump from 20 years ago (9.6% Australians reported psychological conditions).
Men’s Sheds, parent and families’ programs, seniors initiatives and health-and-fitness programs will all receive funding to combat isolation, disadvantage and mental strains caused by the global pandemic.
Alongside initiatives to bolster wellbeing, projects covering teen driver education and youth mentoring are set to benefit from increased funds this year, as are programs supporting refugees, those seeking shelter from domestic violence, and people with disabilities will also receive funding.
IMB Bank CEO Robert Ryan believes this year’s IMB Bank Community Foundation project funding echoes the diversity of Australia’s people and landscape, and the challenges they face during a once in a hundred-year pandemic.
“This year we have focused on the importance of volunteers and addressing local need as communities reconnect,” said Mr Ryan. “We’re supporting 65 projects, across a very diverse spectrum. It’s positive news for many parts of the community who have endured a challenging 12 months.”
IMB Bank Community Foundation’s funding announcement comes at a time when almost half of not-for-profits are reporting increased demand and reduced income. Compounding these challenges is a decline in volunteering (from 36% in 2019 to 24.2% in 2021) triggered by COVID.
Now in its 22nd year, IMB Bank Community Foundation is proud to have supported more than 800 community groups and projects across NSW, ACT and VIC, with over $11million donated since 1999.
“The IMB Bank Community Foundation recognises the hard work of everyday Australians who are tackling the struggles of their local community head-on, and making a real difference,” said Mr Ryan.
“Through grant funding, the Foundation is humbled to play a small but important role. It’s the people on the ground who make all the difference, they’re the ones helping others during these challenging times.”
IMB Bank is one of the longest-standing financial organisations in NSW and was named one of the World’s Best Banks by Forbes magazine in 2020. Its Community Foundation program is considered one of the best of its kind in Australia.
For more information about IMB Bank Community Foundation visit www.imb.com.au/community.