Community Chest Durban ensures donor funding is diligently and effectively used to address critical community needs. The money donated is given to charities with the tacit agreement that the funds will be used for the intended purpose. Given the sensitive nature of public funding, Community Chest Durban has developed a model to mitigate risk and ensure that donor funding is appropriately expended with the desired result.
The Community Chest funding model focusses on empowering community based NPOs that provide services to vulnerable people with specific target areas: Child Protection Services, the Disabled, the Chronically ill, Indigent Elderly, Gender Based Violence, the Youth, Science Technology Engineering and Maths, as well as Early Childhood Development programmes.
Community Chest funding is governed by a signed Grant Agreement contract, allocations are made for 12 months and are based on a rigorous application process, which takes an in-depth look at what services are provided and to which communities. In addition to this, the applicant’s governance structure and compliance with local and national laws is verified.
The application includes verification of, or analysis of:
- The Board of Management should be connected to the community and have specific skills aligned to the achievement of the organisation’s mission.
- The staff or volunteers should have the skills required to implement the mission.
- Independently prepared or Audited Financial Statements.
- Current and valid registration with the NPO Directorate (Department of Social Development).
- An Income Tax Exemption from SARS (ensuring the applicant is exempt from paying Income Tax on donation income).
- Public Benefit Organisation registration (with or without Section 18A registration).
- Tax compliance Certificate “In Good Standing” with SARS or proof of submission of annual IT14’s to SARS.
- A compelling motivation for funding, providing reasons that the service is needed in that specific community.
- Details of other funders.
- Details of service recipients is required (age and racial breakdown).
Funding cannot be confirmed until a site visit has been conducted to verify the existence of the organisation and the services that they claim to provide in the application form. Reference checks are often done with other stakeholders operating in the same sector.
Once a grant has been awarded, continued compliance is ensured by the submission of monthly reports to the Community Chest by the funded organisations. Financial progress to the budget (submitted with the application) is monitored; both income and expenditure variances which exceed 10% from budget require explanation. Details of the organisations ongoing work as well as successes and challenges need to be reported on.
It is a well-known fact that efficient and effective organisations work smarter, optimise funding and are able to assist more people. The Community Chest believes that we need to help organisations improve their governance, compliance and effectiveness. To achieve this, a National Proficiency Index Assessment tool has been designed and all funded organisations are required to undergo this assessment. The tool aims to help organisations identify any gaps that they may have in their governance, compliance and effectiveness. This is a learning opportunity with real outputs.
The operational areas that are examined in the assessment process include:
- Executive Board / Board of Management
- Basic Business
- Work Quality and Track record
- Human Resources
- Risk Management
- Strategic Planning
- Media and Marketing
- Financial Management
The process requires the provision by the assessed organisation of 70+ documents that are analysed by the assessors to ensure that there is compliance to valid policies and procedures.
At the end of the assessment a gap report is produced and shared with the organisation enabling them to work towards “closing the gaps”. Wherever gaps are identified, suggested sample policies and documents are made available to the assessed organisation, which can be adapted for their own use and implementation.
After 24 months, the organisation will again be required to undergo the Proficiency Index Assessment for Community Chest Durban to evaluate the impact of the monitoring process.
Should a number of organisations in the same sector all score low in one operational or impact area, this indicates categories where capacity building training is required, which will be provided via training sessions hosted by Community Chest Durban.
Giving money to an organisation is not enough. Donors need to be assured that everything possible is being done to empower community impact partners to be successful in the achievement of their mission, thereby assisting people who need vital services the most. The Community Chest Durban model works towards ensuring that funded organisations get the help they need to be effective, efficient, and sustainable. This gives our donors peace of mind that their donated funds are being optimised to empower and enhance communities who need support.