"Regrettably, the Foundation was unable to fund your project on this occasion. Please note that this was a particularly competitive grant round – having received over 230 applications."
I am sure all who work for a small charity or NFP have recieved this sort of response from a grant application.
This one was from a large Australian bank. Interesting story that goes with this one. This grant application needed a recommendation from a bank employee so off I went into my local branch with the unenviable task of asking a bank for money! I felt mildly confident as after all is was the bank I had been with for 20 years and who held the mortgage on my house. I was seen by a senior account manager and began the process of getting a recommendation. Unfortunately the AM was unaware of the banks Community Foundation giving program so we spent a little time looking it up and discussing what needed to happen. We then discussed what TIMBA does in the community regarding breaking stigma surrounding mental health. "I suffer from PTSD myself" he said and promptly offered his card to me and said he would gladly recommend TIMBA for a grant. As you can see TIMBA didn't get it.
"Thank you for your recent application on behalf of This is my Brave, Australia for a .......... Foundation Community Grant. On this occasion we regret to advise that your organisation was not selected for a Community Grant."
Another story goes with this failed application. Again the application needed a recommendation from a bank employee. This account manager was aware of the Foundation and began asking question about what TIMBA was about. Once I began my explanation you could see her composure change and an intense interest in what I was explaining. "My father took his own life 6 months ago" she told. She explained the effect this had had on her family and in particular herself and enthusiastically gave her recommendation.
According to the Black Dog Institute using figures from the Australian Bureau Of Statistics 20% of all Australians suffer from a mental illness. The combined figure of employees of both banks is 85,000 which means 17,000 suffer from a mental health issue.
"The Productivity Commission estimates mental illness and suicide is costing Australia up to $180 billion a year "
"The Future Generation survey, conducted by EY, interviewed 56 philanthropists and corporate foundations to find out why they were not doing more to support mental health."
"Despite 85 per cent of survey respondents believing Australia was in the midst of a mental health crisis, only 28 per cent consistently invested in mental health causes."
"For every $5 that cancer charities received, mental health charities received $1. This is despite the fact that mental health ranked just behind cancer in Australia’s top four burden of disease groups."
From a TIMBA perspective all we can do is tell the stories that are not being heard and give voice to those who have been forgotten and change the perception of mental illness, one story at a time and do our best with the money available to help those who reach out to us.