Pick my Project? Pick mine! No, pick mine!

Many of you will be have been contacted by friends, families and neighbours to register and vote in the state government initiative, Pick my Project, where local people have pitched ideas to make their communities better.

There are lots of good projects: Fitzroy Learning Network have New Technology for New Arrivals; CERES are Growing our Community Garden Future; the Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network are Fostering Youth Entrepreneurship for Better Futures; Loconomics have a Loconomics web platform.

The density of projects reflects what people in the local area have always done: roll up their sleeves and get involved in community life. Here’s what’s great about the process:

  1. Nothin’ about us without us:  Local people and groups are best placed say what works for their community.
  2. Community life doesn’t just happen: sustaining all the great aspects of the places we live requires people to roll up their sleeved and get involved. Encouraging more people to have skin in the game shares the load.
  3. Great ideas need resources: $20,000 to $200,000 is significant. People working collectivley can go a long way, but having money and connections can mean people and ideas go futher, faster.

If the process seems like a popularity contest, let’s make sure that we’re elevating the voices that reflect  community values that make us all stronger: inclusion, diversity, equality etc.

At the Foundation, we think about how to create public good from public resources daily. Some of the questions we ask include:

  1. Who get’s to speak?  Is the project led by local people, responding to an identified need?
  2. Who’s it about? Does it have broad, public benefit, creating equitable access to opportunity and choice?
  3. What’s next? Can the project be completed with the funding requested, or get an idea to the next stage of maturity and impact?

So Vote. Encourage others to vote. Talk with your children and neighbours about what is needed. Have a look through and reflect on the amazing ways people are being generous creating communities where we all have the necessary resources to thrive.

There are lots of ways people contribute. If you’re inspired, think about how you give time, money and connections to support the things you’re passionate about.

And if you don’t know where to start with your philanthropy, we’re always happy to be in touch to discuss what might work for you.