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Westpac Foundation gives ‘More than Money’

12 May 2016

During National Volunteering Week, Westpac Foundation is celebrating the first year anniversary of 'More than Money', its non-financial support program provided to Community Grant and Social Scale-up Grant recipients.

Through this program, depending on the needs of the grant recipient, Westpac Foundation matches a Westpac Group employee with the skills for the task - whether it's a one-off HR, finance or marketing project, or a longer-term mentoring opportunity. 

Sinclair Taylor, Westpac Foundation's Chief Executive Officer, said the 'More than Money' program recognises that not-for-profit organisations can't best prosper and grow through financial support alone.

"We believe a mix of grant funding and non-financial support is key to helping our grant recipients maximise their financial sustainability and social impact," Sinclair said.

"Westpac Foundation is fortunate to have access to the skills and talents of over 30,000 Westpac Group employees.  It's through their skills and the generosity of their time that we've seen such great results for this first year and we're confident that we can continue to grow this program," he said.

"Through the program, Westpac Group employees have already shared the equivalent of around 1,400 hours of time to grant recipients.

"Adding to this, Westpac Foundation plans to match each of the 100 Community Grant winners announced next month with a Westpac Group employee who will act as their Ambassador.  This is in addition to receiving a financial grant of up to $10,000. 

"The role of the Ambassador is to act as a local Westpac contact point to help that organisation tap into resources and networks across the Westpac Group," Sinclair said.

Benefit for both mentors and mentees
"For me, skilled volunteering via Westpac Foundation has been a professional development opportunity, as well as provided great personal satisfaction," says Jayson Bricknell, Westpac Group employee, of his mentoring experience.

Jayson, along with another Westpac Group employee Justan Kitchener - are matched with Westpac Foundation grant recipient, Green Connect, a social enterprise that works in resource recovery and growing chemical free food to create jobs for resettled refugees and young people.

"We have mentored Green Connect and worked closely with its founder and CEO, Jess Moore, for the past 12 months.

"I recently used my Westpac volunteer day to participate in their strategic planning day which we hosted here at Westpac. I acted as a sounding board for their thinking and helped by asking questions that have helped to refine their priorities for the next three years. I also recently visited their urban farm and really enjoyed getting my hands dirty, being part of their team for a day and seeing their work first hand," Jayson said.

About Westpac Foundation
Westpac Foundation is a charitable organisation with a legacy that dates back 137 years when Thomas Buckland, the President of the Bank of New South Wales (which later became Westpac), established The Buckland Fund in 1879, to help families of Westpac employees who found themselves in financial hardship.  The fund commenced with Mr Buckland's initial donation of £1,000, a bonus he received for his services to the bank.

Today, Westpac Foundation remains steadfast in its goal in giving opportunities to Australians who need it most, by backing social enterprises and charities creating jobs and stronger communities.

Since 1999, Westpac Foundation has granted more than $28 million to more than 450 not-for-profit organisations. While being independent, Westpac Foundation considers Westpac Group to be its greatest supporter.

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