Empowering small nonprofits to take big steps in support of disadvantaged communities.

CCI Giving’s Communities Taking Steps program will shortly be requesting applications from known small nonprofits dedicated to making a meaningful impact in the lives of marginalised, vulnerable, or those facing difficulties. This initiative offers small grants to address current and emerging needs in local communities.

One such organisation that has greatly benefited from these grants is Saltbush, Balnarring Beach. Previously known as Presentation Family Centre, Saltbush is committed to enriching the lives of people experiencing hardship by providing a peaceful environment for rest, play, growth, and connection, be it with oneself, with others, with spirituality, or with the natural world.

Saltbush, situated only a short walk to Balnarring Beach, consists of six houses co-located on a single site. It offers respite holidays to a diverse range of individuals and families, including those recovering from violence, families seeking asylum, grandparent carer families, and families with dependent children with disabilities or long-term ill health. Many guests attest that their stay at Saltbush has rejuvenated them, providing renewed energy to cope with their challenging circumstances.

While the residences at Saltbush are simple, they are comfortable and clean, offering guests facing hardship a reprieve. For some, it may be the most luxurious space they encounter in their year. However, these houses, built in 1989, require ongoing maintenance and amenity improvements, which can be financially challenging.

Saltbush, Balnarring Beach has been fortunate to receive support from the Communities Taking Steps program on three separate occasions. These grants have enabled them to acquire new blinds and beds for all dwellings, as well as linen, washing machines, and flooring for one of the houses. Although seemingly minor, these updates have transformed the houses into brighter, cleaner, and more welcoming spaces for families and individual experiencing hardship.

“Several years ago, Saltbush developed a masterplan to guide the development of our site and houses. We consulted widely with stakeholders including with the people who use our service. From this process, we identified priority projects for upgrades. CCI Giving has been a consistent and generous partner to Saltbush, supporting us to improve houses and provide a warm and welcoming home away from home for people experiencing hardship.

Rachel Connor, Saltbush CEO

Since 2018, CCI Giving has awarded nearly 150 small grants, totalling over $850,000 in value. With round 10 about to open, CCI Giving is slightly altering the application process, approaching, and requesting applications from a shortlist of known organisations. This decision has been made in order to shorten the grant round, with funds expected to be awarded up to two months earlier than usual. With $150,000 in funding available, this round will propel the Communities Taking Steps program past the $1 million mark in grants – an achievement worth celebrating.

“It is a genuine privilege to hear from so many small nonprofits and discover the truly remarkable work they do in supporting some of our most vulnerable cohorts. If you’re part of an organisation helping young people overcome educational disadvantage, supporting refugees and people seeking asylum, or aiding families affected by mental illness or domestic violence, then we invite you to learn more and connect for a conversation.” emphasises Jeremy Yipp, Chair of CCI Giving.


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