Frequently Asked Questions
About the Foundation
The Sisters of Charity Foundation was founded in March 2000 by the Sisters of Charity of Australia Congregation to promote their mission, specifically in the service of the poor and those who have ‘fallen through the cracks’. Today, with its partners, the Sisters of Charity Foundation endeavors to respond as the founder of the Sisters of Charity, Mary Aikenhead, did to the emerging needs of the poor and marginalised.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation relies on the generous support of its donors. One-off donations, as well as partnerships with individuals, families and organisations who donate on a regular basis enables the Foundation to deliver its many life-changing programs.
The Foundation also welcomes bequests and workplace giving commitments to help better plan for the future. With guaranteed funds in place the Foundation can expand its program and develop its charitable activities with confidence. As with all charitable foundations, gifts of two dollars or more to the Sisters of Charity Foundation are tax deductible.
More information and to donate visit here.
There are three ways that the Sisters of Charity Foundation responds to the emerging needs of the poor and marginalised.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation grants funds to hundreds of small organisations nationally that provide valuable community services to break down social isolation and alleviate the impact of poverty on individuals and families.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation also provides a unique tertiary scholarships program specifically for young women and men who have lived in out-of- home care situations such as foster care or group homes, and are financially disadvantaged. It is the only scholarship that targets this growing group of young people, now estimated to be more than 40,000 nationally.
And the Foundation has invested in the purchase and renovation of a residential building now known as Providence House, that provides a safe place for displaced asylum seekers until they can access more formal channels of assistance. The home also provides food, basic healthcare, help learning English and employment opportunities (for those allowed to work). The Foundation takes care of the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of Providence House.
Across Australia the Sisters of Charity Foundation aims to help community service organisations that are unlikely to receive government funding or large amounts of funding from other sources but still offer invaluable hands on support to the elderly, the poor, those experiencing social isolation, the disabled, refugees and indigenous groups.
One hundred percent of donations are used directly to fund Sisters of Charity Foundation projects and scholarships to improve the lives of people who are marginalised and isolated in our communities.
There are costs associated with running an effective organisation but the Sisters of Charity’s low administration cost means we are able to self-fund our admin because of a grant by the Sisters of Charity Australia. This means we are able to direct 100% of all donations to the projects for which they were donated.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation will provide financial support for programs selected according to strict funding guidelines. All applications go through a due diligence process which confirms ABN, ITE and DGR Item 1 status, levels of other funding and reputations of applicant organisation.
The programs are also assessed Once support is given to an organisation, the Sisters of Charity Foundation maintains dialogue with them, undertakes site visits, receives regular progress reports, testimonials and photos to ensure funds are used as designated and that positive results are achieved.
The Board is made up of a range of experienced men and women who are passionate about the mission of the Sisters of Charity Foundation and who volunteer their time and skill to the organisation. More information on each current member of the Board of the Sisters of Charity Foundation click here
The Board of Trustees of the Sisters of Charity Foundation is responsible for governance of the Foundation, making sure it is doing what it was set up to do and helping it achieve its aims.
Each year the Sisters of Charity Foundation is able to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate supporters.
We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community, no matter what their gender, ethnicity, age or ability. Eligibility is not determined by religion.
Every person deserves dignity and hope – and to believe that their life matters because simply put, it does.
How Sisters of Charity Foundation Helps
Community Grants Program
While there are many government-funded initiatives and large charity organisations to help many people in our society, many others are forgotten and overlooked. They don’t fit the right criteria for existing funding, so we do what we can to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks.
Our Community Projects reach out to a wide range of people across the nation, encompassing:
- Youth at Risk
- Poor and Disadvantaged
- Substance abuse - affected
Over the years the Foundation has provided over $6million for community based programs. In the financial year 2014-2015 the Sisters of Charity Foundation funded 75 projects and distributed $540,000 to various community organisations that benefited these groups.
For more information on the community projects funded by the Sisters of Charity Foundation please visit here.
For eligibility, please take a look at our guidelines here: Eligibility for Grants
There are two grant rounds each year. Applications need to be submitted by 31 March or 30 September. For more information on the application process and forms please go to applying for grants.
The Foundation provides grants up to $10,000 for community based projects. However, each application is assessed by a Grants Allocation Committee that can make a decision based on the details and purpose of the project.
Tertiary Scholarships Program
The Sisters of Charity Tertiary Scholarship Program which started in 2012, offers opportunities specifically, for young people who live in out-of home arrangements such as foster care or group homes, and because through no fault of their own they are unable to live safely with their birth families. The vast majority of these young people do not have the emotional or financial support that most of us take for granted. They are amongst the most disadvantaged in our community.
The scholarships are designed to be very flexible and support students in their chosen field of study.
Less than 3% of young people who live in foster care, group homes, or who may be homeless, have the opportunity to attend university compared to around 40% of youth from more stable home environments. The Sisters of Charity Foundation offers the only scholarships that particularly target this growing group of young people.
Recipients are obligated to complete the course for which they sought the scholarship and must maintain satisfactory academic progress. This means that the recipient must pass all courses and maintain a reasonable workload in each semester of study. The recipient may also be required to submit a progress report at the end of each academic year, outlining the progress of study undertaken during the tenure of the scholarship.
Currently the Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarships are helping students who are studying at The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, The Australian Catholic University, The University of Notre Dame in Sydney, The University of Western Sydney and The University of NSW.
The National Sisters of Charity Tertiary Scholarship Program is a unique program that targets a growing group of young people, now estimated to be more than 40,000 nationally.
Unfortunately, less than three per cent of young people who live in foster care, group homes or other out-of- home arrangements have the opportunity to attend university, compared with approximately 40% of young people in their early twenties. Many become caught in a cycle of disadvantage and lose access to both education and much needed learning support.
The national Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship program is the only scholarship program that targets the growing group of young people who live in out of home care.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation is determined to turn that around by continually developing and expanding its tertiary scholarship program. The Foundation believes this particular group of young people deserves a second chance in life. Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty as it enables a young person to build a fulfilling career and make a contribution to the community in which they live.
Asylum Seeker Housing Project
Many asylum seekers have fled from highly unstable and traumatic circumstances. Most arrive with little more than the clothes on their back; they don’t know anyone and don’t know where to find the help they need.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation invested in the purchase and renovation of a residential building now known as Providence House, that provides a safe place for displaced asylum seekers until they can access more formal channels of assistance. In addition to a roof over their heads, the home provides food, basic healthcare, help learning English and employment opportunities (for those allowed to work).
The Foundation is pleased to have the opportunity to work in partnership with the Asylum Seekers Centre to provide essential transitional support to some of the most disadvantaged people in the community who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Access to safe, quality housing is a basic human need and fundamental to helping traumatised people make a new start. The Sisters of Charity Foundation decided to provide a real and lasting benefit to a group of people who are some of the most disadvantaged living amongst us. Safe and secure accommodation for asylum seekers who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless is crucial to helping this group build a new life. The Foundation believes that to invest in such a life changing legacy project was an appropriate and fitting way to mark the 175-year anniversary of the Sisters of Charity in Australia.
After extensive consultation with Homelessness NSW, the Foundation decided to approach the Asylum Seekers Centre and develop a housing partnership that will provide relief to a great many people over the years.
Every year thousands of asylum seekers obtain refuge in Australia. Most arrive with nothing, know no one and are deeply traumatised by the circumstances of their displacement. In the last year alone, the Asylum Seeker Centre provided over 16,654 accommodation nights. With 80% of its clients arriving homeless or about to become homeless, demand is much greater than the Asylum Seeker Centre can currently meet.
The Foundation's gift enables the Centre to meet that demand and provide safe, high quality accommodation.