Key findings from the Community Grants survey:
- Ninety-three percent of panellists think the DCC should continue to provide grants to community organisations and five percent do not.
- Most panellists (91%) agree that Council should define its priorities for grants every three years; 11% are neutral and three percent disagree.
- Most panellists (85%) agree that Council should review the total amount allocated for grants every three years; nine percent are neutral and three percent disagree.
- Three quarters of panellists (75%) agree with the proposed criteria that an organisation’s work in the city significantly contributes to achieving the priorities of one or more of the Council’s key strategies. Ten percent are neutral on this and 14% disagree.
- Three quarters of panellists (75%) agree with the proposed criteria that, as an organisation, they are critical to Dunedin’s sense of place and longer term sustainability. Thirteen percent are neutral and 11% disagree.
- Most panellists (92%) agree with the proposed criteria that the organisation provides evidence of community support. Six percent are neutral and two percent disagree.
- Almost two thirds of panellists (68%) agree with the proposed criteria that the organisation is well-established and operates effectively and sustainably and is known in Dunedin for the contribution it makes. 15% are neutral and 17% disagree.
- Other factors panellists think are important for organisations receiving grants are for them to provide value to the community and the city; to have robust financial and planning processes; and be a priority for groups with limited funding options. Although 68% of respondents agree that the organisation is well-established and operates effectively and sustainably and is known in Dunedin for the contribution it makes, 19 respondents comment that organisations do not need to be established to receive a grant so long as they are serving the community.
- Two thirds of respondents (66%) think that a grants committee of some Councillors and community representatives should decide on which organisations receive grants of large and small grants. For large grants 26% of respondents think that all Councillors should decide compared with 5% for small grants. For small grants 19% of respondents think a grants committee should decide compared with 7% for large grants.
- Most respondents (81%) support the concept of a matching fund that supports small community and neighbourhood projects of up to $500.
- Thirty-four respondents commented in support of Council grants. Several were non-supportive, commenting that the Council focus should be on repaying debt rather than giving grants. Examples given of organisations in need of grants were those serving the elderly, homeless, young people, healthy communities and minor sports groups.
- Themes in the comments about a grants committee were: no conflicts of interest; a set term; and a mix of community and council representation.
Findings from this People’s Panel survey have formed part of a wider public consultation into the Dunedin City Council (DCC) Review of Grants. There have also been public meetings, meetings with previous grants’ recipients, and the opportunity for written submissions. Feedback from this consultation has been used to report to Council with a new proposed Draft DCC Grants Policy . This draft policy was approved for consultation by the Community and Environment Committee.
The second phase of consultation on the draft policy opens on 2 August 2014 and closes at 1 September 2014 at 5.00 pm. The proposed Draft DCC Grants Policy looks in detail at the criteria for the proposed new grants and some of the existing grants. If you wish to submit on this draft policy, please click on the link in the above paragraph. Submitters will have the opportunity to be heard by a panel of Councillors before the Grants Policy is finalised by Council later this year.
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