Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) has announced its "Compassionate Grants" program to help Australians in need.
As a result of a second $1,000,000 donation to Rotary by Dick Smith, grants will be assessed by the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS) and funds distributed to disadvantaged Australians identified by local Rotary Clubs or Rotary Districts, as being in need within their local or wider community.
Projects granted funding must meet RABS criteria for registration available on the RAWCS website – click on Register New Project.
They must provide direct relief to people in need. If the intended recipients are disadvantaged, the relief should target that disadvantage. The concept of disadvantage is unlimited and could have arisen from sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, disability, destitution, helplessness or poverty. In fact, any aspect of the negative side of the human condition.
In addition to meeting RABS criteria, Compassionate Grants are only approved where the project funds are to be directed to people in need, or to benefit a section of a community rather than the community as a whole. A project should arouse compassion within the community.
Priority for grants will be given to those whose disadvantage has arisen from an “ad hoc” event over which the disadvantaged had no control, such as an accident, assault, medical condition, drought, flood or fire etc.
Grants will match club’s fundraising on a dollar for dollar basis, subject to the following:
  1. Qualifying projects must have a minimum value of $2,000 (ie a minimum grant of $1,000)
  2. Each Club or District is limited to two grants in any calendar year, subject to a maximum grant total of $15,000.
Sample projects where a person or group was potentially disadvantaged under the above criteria include:
  • Provision of a modified family motor vehicle for a 6 year old with cerebral palsy
  • Modifications to a home to assist access and functionality for a quadriplegic
  • Financial assistance for a seriously injured sportsman’s family
  • Ongoing support for non-PBS medicines for a sufferer of Lymes disease
  • Provision of a specialised bed for a person with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Supply insulin pumps to three children with juvenile diabetes
  • Provision of improved prosthetics for an amputee
  • Assistance to a family who lost everything in a fire
  • Provision of financial assistance to a young family whose mother drowned
Note: Grants are not available as a contribution to other community groups for discretionary expenditure, or to assist in running their programs.
Dick Smith and Rotary
Dick has previously given a significant amount through Rotary toward the eradication of the once widespread disease polio. This project has run for thirty years and is nearing completion, polio is now isolated to a few small enclaves in remote regions.
Dick joins the likes of world-renowned philanthropist Bill Gates as a major supporter of Rotary and its various programs worldwide. On this occasion, the donation by Dick and Pip will be administered by the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society, for the benefit of local individuals and communities. He highlighted the fact many Australians suffer personal hardship, whether through accident, illness or misadventure.
Dick considers Rotary one of the most trusted and respected charities in the world.