What is the aim of the Monaincha Wind Farm Community Fund?
The aim of the Monaincha Wind Farm Community Fund is to support existing groups and individuals (once they form a team) based within a 10km radius of Monaincha Wind Farm, to either start a new project from a selection of available projects or to expand an existing project, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life for 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 an existing project, once it meets the criteria outlined in the following section.
For applicants applying to start a new project from the selection of available projects, once the applicant has demonstrated their commitment and ability to start 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 project is having in their community, they will receive a further instalment of funding to support the maintenance of the project. Funding is distributed on a first come-first serve basis (once the 30 Day Challenge steps have been completed).
For applicants applying for funding for an existing project there will be a selection process in advance of the 30 Day Challenge process. Applications will be assessed and scored based on the criteria below, and on the proposed positive impact it will have in its local community.
All projects should be managed in an inclusive and welcoming manner.
The following criteria must be met by all applicants:
The project must address at least one of the following themes: Heath & Wellbeing, Sports & Recreation, Education, Energy, Sustainability & Environment, Culture & Heritage (NOTE: the portfolio ideas on the ChangeX site all address at least one of these themes).
Projects must take place within 10km of the Monaincha Wind Farm
Projects must be able to be run in a safe manner in light of COVID-19 and resulting restrictions.
If applying for a grant greater than €5,000, the applicant must be a registered charity in Ireland (CHY and RCN numbers will need to be provided).
The challenge opens for applications on July 19th 2021. Registrations for new projects from the selection of available projects will close when the grant funds have been distributed to applicants who have successfully completed the 30 Day Challenge. Please visit our fund website (https://www.changex.org/funds/monaincha-community-fund), to confirm whether we are still accepting entries.
Registrations for existing projects will close on October 21st 2021. Applicants will be notified by November 5th 2021 as to whether they have been allocated funding and can progress with the 30 Day Challenge or whether they have been unsuccessful.
What can the funding be used for?
The Monaincha Wind Farm Community Fund can be used to cover direct costs relating to the set-up or maintenance of the new or existing project. For example, funds can be used for space rental, insurance fees, seeds and planting materials, tools, training fees; or any materials you might need for a 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.
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 set up and maintenance of the new or existing community project. It cannot be used to cover the promotion of religious causes, non- charitable activities, sponsorship or fundraising events. 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 and Monaincha Wind Farm.
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. 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.
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 if you started one of the portfolio projects on the ChangeX site (for example: number of items repaired, or number of trees planted). 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, harvesting events, trainings, workshops or planning meetings and should include as many of your organising 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 or existing community project, no further funds will be allocated to this project and ChangeX reserve 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. Multiple applications from the same individual will result in disqualification from entry. Existing community groups can apply for and receive funding to start up to two of the portfolio ideas, once each application and the resulting project is lead by a different member of the community organisation's leadership team.
Employees of ChangeX, Monaincha Wind Farm and Greencoat Renewables and their close family and 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/funds/monaincha-community-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 are already working on a project in your community that you want to expand, 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 €500, €1,000 and €2,000 depending on need. Once you have completed the application form for either option, if you are applying for funding for an existing project there will be a selection process. Applications will be assessed and scored based on the criteria below, and on the proposed positive impact it will have in its local community. If you are successful in this selection process, or if you applied to start a new project from the selection of available projects on the fund page, 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. 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 instalment 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.
If you require any additional support to complete the application process or access resources please contact [email protected] and we will do everything in our power to help.
Where is this funding coming from?
This fund is sponsored by Monaincha Wind Farm, owned by Greencoat Renewables. ChangeX is responsible for the management of the fund, including the selection of applicants, starter support, fund distribution and impact tracking, with advice from Monaincha Wind Farm.
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 received funding through the Monaincha Wind Farm Community Fund, run by ChangeX.” OR “The project has been made possible thanks to funding from Monaincha Wind Farm Community Fund.” On social media, please use the following hashtags when announcing your project: #monainchawindfarmcommunityfund
We hope your new community project will help your community to stay active, sustainable and connected as we adapt to new ways of living during the COVID-19 pandemic. However it should be noted that there is a need for your team to exercise personal responsibility and good judgement in their activities, and to stay up-to-date and adhere to any state, county or local safety laws, rules and regulations relating to COVID-19. National COVID-19 guidelines must always be followed. The 30 Day Challenge can be completed with no physical contact between team members. If adherence to COVID-19 guidelines result in unavoidable delays to the set-up of your project, an extension will be given to the impact survey deadline.