By Mick Jensen
Ashburton Licensing Trust (ALT) will return grants of $100,000 per year for the next five years to the community, and thereafter will allocate 4 per cent of its net assets as grants.
The new granting policy and its objectives have been outlined in letters sent recently to past grant recipients.
The initial annual allocation of $100,000 is split across four categories: quick response; annual, multi-year grants; and big projects.
Quick response grants relate to smaller, more immediate needs and will total $10,000 each year and be given every two months. Annual and multi year grants will total $30,000 each, and will be given twice and once a year, respectively. Multi year grants will be capped at a maximum of $10,000 per application.
Some $30,000 is allocated for big projects, which have no fund application limits, and may be accrued for several years before being allocated.
ALT president Fay Watson said the new granting mechanism related to ALT only and not the distribution of gaming grants that were given in partnership with the Lion Foundation.
She said it was likely that the ALT grant funding total would increase as investment income grew over time.
“The board is being careful not to erode its capital base and only give grants from its income so that the trust remains secure as an intergenerational community asset, here for the benefit of our ‘grandchildren’s grandchildren’ into the future.”
ALT would also be asking for future feedback from grant recipients, in order “to see how effective trust funding has been”.
Mrs Watson said ALT would be commissioning a “funding needs-gap” study over the coming months. Recognising that with the best endeavours it cannot meet all funding needs within the community, it will use the study to identify areas it may choose to focus on, and then develop a five year strategic framework to guide future granting.
Mrs Watson urged all community groups and organisations to plan well ahead to ensure applications were received by defined closing dates.
She said the new granting policy was more appropriate in the environment where the majority of ALT’s income is from rents and investments.