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Pepper Money (Pepper) has officially introduced its collaborative not-for-profit (NFP) community funding initiative, with the non-bank lender opening the application process earlier this week (24 October).
Established in tandem with the Australian Football League’s St Kilda Football Club, the initiative, which is named the Real Life Fund, will provide $30,000 in funding to Victorian-based community groups, organisations and sporting clubs that promote a select criteria orbiting inclusivity.
These include promoting the participation of Australian rules football for commonly disadvantaged communities; promoting activity participation for underserved communities (including young girls and women, Indigenous Australians, culturally and linguistically diverse people, and LGBTQI+ communities); or initiatives that promote mental health and wellbeing, social connectivity, and physical health.
According to a statement provided by the St Kilda Football Club, the maximum amount of funding an eligible participant can apply for is $5,000, which can then only be spent on sporting club equipment, coaching fees, rent to deliver the proposed activity, or arts and crafts materials.
Those not considered eligible for this initiative are for-profit applicants; religious and political organisations; individuals; activities and initiatives that have already commenced; as well as any community group, organisation or sporting club currently experiencing financial hardship due to previous inappropriate financial management practices.
Applications for funding are expected to close at 11:59pm on 31 December 2021, with those considered successful to be notified on 17 January 2022.
Activities and initiatives that are successful in their application must occur between 18 January 2022 and 30 November 2022.
The announcement came one day before St Kilda Football Club and Pepper confirmed a two-year partnership renewal, extending the non-bank lender’s status as co-principal club and community partner until 2023.
Pepper has been the club’s principal partner since 2015, and a community partner since 2020.