What is the aim of the Community Response Fund?
The aim of the Community Response Fund, sponsored by the Community Response Coalition, is to support existing groups and individuals (once they form a team) across the Republic of Ireland to either start a new project from a selection of available projects or to expand an existing project, with the ultimate goal of welcoming and integrating refugees from Ukraine into their local communities.
Applicants choose the project they want to start based on their community’s needs, from a portfolio of ideas on the ChangeX site, or alternatively submit their own project, once it meets the criteria outlined in the following section. Once the applicant has demonstrated their commitment and ability to start or expand the chosen community project by successfully completing a 30 Day Challenge on the ChangeX website, ChangeX will provide funding, information guides and support to give the applicant the best chance of success. In addition, once the applicant has demonstrated the impact the new project is having in their community, they will receive a further instalment of funding to support the maintenance of the project. All projects should be managed in an inclusive and welcoming manner and any events organised as part of your project should comply with any relevant public health guidance.
The following criteria must be met by all applicants:
The challenge opens for applications on May 11th 2022. Registrations will close when the grant funds have been fully distributed to applicants who have successfully completed the 30 Day Challenge. Please visit our fund website to confirm whether we are still accepting entries.
Applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis.
Who can apply?
The Community Response Fund is open to existing groups and individuals (once they form a team) across the Republic of Ireland. Examples of eligible groups include schools, universities, colleges, daycares, churches or other faith-based organizations, hospitals and hospital rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, community gardens, neighbourhood groups, senior centres, community centres and recognised government entities.
What can the funding be used for?
The Community Response Fund is for new projects and can be used to cover direct costs relating to the set-up or maintenance of the new project. For example, funds can be used for space rental, insurance fees, rent, transport, tools, clothing, training fees; pretty much any materials you might need to start the new project that benefits your community.
What can the funding not be used for?
Funds may not be used to promote or engage in criminal acts of violence, terrorism, hate crimes, the destruction of any state, or discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, military and veteran status, disability, sex, age, gender identity or sexual orientation, or support of any entity that engages in these activities.
Community groups outside of the Republic of Ireland are not eligible for funding. The fund cannot be used to cover costs of work that has already been carried out and can’t be used for anything that is not related to the setup and maintenance of the new community project. It cannot be used to cover the promotion of religious causes or non- charitable activities. Funds cannot be used as payment to group members for their work on the project.
Reporting Requirements and Funding
In return for any funding you may receive, you are required to share the outcomes of your new project with ChangeX.
The funding allocated to your new project is divided into two stages. The first payment (70% of total funding amount) can be accessed upon successful completion of a 30 Day Challenge on the ChangeX website. For individuals or organizations who choose to replicate one of the available projects on ChangeX, during the 30 Day Challenge, several steps that demonstrate the commitment and ability of you or your community group to start or expand the project are taken. These include scheduling a support call with a ChangeX team member; setting up a team meeting; sharing a photo of your team meeting and providing a narrative on what you will spend the funding on, your next steps as a group, and how you hope the project will ultimately benefit your community. For individuals or organizations who are selected to receive funding to expand an existing project, the 30 Day Challenge only requires that you share a team photo and provide an update on their project after being notified of their successful grant application and before receiving the first payment.
The second payment (30% of total funding amount) will be issued to you after you have completed an impact survey demonstrating the outcomes of your project. The impact survey will be accessible to complete on your page on the ChangeX platform from three months after you applied to start the project. You will be sent email reminders about completing this survey and will have up to six months after you originally applied to complete it. You will be asked to answer questions such as the number of beneficiaries impacted by your project, as well as specific questions related to the idea you have started. At this stage, you will also be asked to share photos that show your project is up and running and having an impact. These photos should show your group in action and should ideally be taken at any significant events, for example: planting events, trainings, workshops or planning meetings and should include as many of your organizing group and beneficiaries as possible.
It is very important that you keep all receipts and records of how any funding you might receive is spent. ChangeX will perform random spot checks on these receipts. If receipts cannot be shown, or the funds are found to have been spent on costs other than those relating to the set-up or maintenance of the new community project, no further funds will be allocated to this project and ChangeX reserves the right to retrieve the funds that have already been distributed. The applicant will be indefinitely ineligible to apply for any subsequent grants through ChangeX.
Each individual is only eligible to submit one application to receive funding. Existing community groups can apply for and receive funding to start up to three different portfolio ideas (the Community Host Programme is one such idea, and there may be more ideas added to the portfolio over time), once each application and the resulting project is submitted and led by a different member of the organisation's team
Family and close contacts of ChangeX employees are not eligible to apply for funding.
How to apply
Once you have ensured that you meet all of the criteria above, you can go to https://www.changex.org/ie/funds/community-response-fund, and choose one of two routes; either select your preferred idea from the portfolio of proven ideas and register to start it; or alternatively, if you have your own project in your community that you need funding for, select the option to submit your own project. The amount of funding available for your project depends on which idea you chose to start. Funding amounts generally range from €500 to €5,000 for the proven portfolio ideas (the amount of funding available per idea can be found on the webpage of each idea; funding amounts align with the cost of starting each project). For your own, existing community project, there are three available price points, of €1,000, €2,500 and €5,000, or the ability to enter your project's specific budget, depending on need. Once you have completed the application form for either option you will be allocated funding and assigned your own page on the ChangeX platform, where you can complete a number of simple steps to access the allocated funding. You will be able to access the funding in 2 payments; the first payment (70% of your total funding) is unlocked upon completion of the 30 Day Challenge, and the second (30% of your total funding) once your project outcomes have been demonstrated. If you do not complete the 30 Day Challenge within the allocated time period (30 days from registration), your funding will be reallocated to another group and will not be accessible to you any longer.
Once you have completed your Challenge and entered your bank information ChangeX will review your application to make sure all elements of the Challenge have been completed successfully. ChangeX will reach out for any additional steps or information required and once all requirements have been satisifed, payment will then be made, and the transfer will take an average of 4 working days to reach the applicant’s bank account.
When the final impact survey has been completed (between three and six months after the original application was made) it will also be reviewed, to ensure the project is active and the second installment of funding is necessary. Payment will then be made, and the transfer will take an average of 4 working days to reach the applicant’s bank account.
In order to give you the best chance of success to get your new project active, ChangeX will provide you with a number of supports, resources, and tools. These include a 5-Step Guide relating to the idea you are starting, a general guide to starting projects in your community, a call with a member of the ChangeX team (which is a mandatory step in completing the 30 Day Challenge), email support, a local webpage to manage your team and previous starter stories to provide information and inspiration.
Where is this funding coming from?
This fund is sponsored by the Community Response Coalition, a growing group of organisations, with Deloitte it's anchor partner supported by AWS InCommunities and Communities for Ukraine. ChangeX is solely responsible for the management of the fund, including the selection of applicants, starter support, fund distribution and impact tracking.
Sharing your project with media or on social
We encourage you to share news about your community project through your local media or on social media in order to find people to join and support your project, or just to share some positive news with your wider community. When talking to media, we kindly ask you to mention the source of the funding for your project. For example, you can say: "The project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Community Response Coalition and support from ChangeX.” On social media, please use the following hashtags when announcing your project: #AWSinCommunities #CommunityResponseFund #TheOpenCommunity