Seeking funding: check out this website
Comhairle, the national agency responsible for supporting the provision
of information, advice and advocacy on social services, has a special
section for voluntary organisations in its ‘Support for Information
Providers’ part of its website.
Log on to www.comhairle.ie and you’ll
find the Resource Database for Voluntary and Community Sectors provides
a Directory of Community Organisations, information and documents on funding,
managing volunteers, establishing an organisation, and other resources.
Comhairle also run the Citizen Information Phone Service and the Citizen
Thanks to Donegal Community Workers Co-op newsletter for this tip.
- Autumn ’06, Issue 19
Communities have loan access to millions
- and can borrow even if a bank declines them
Since 2000, Clann Credo and the Western Development Commission (WDC) have
a joint working arrangement and provide social finance to community initiatives
located in the Western Region.
Community groups in counties Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon
and Sligo have benefited to the tune of €3.5 million through the
joint working arrangement.
The money - in the form of loans - has gone into childcare, community
enterprise centres, social housing, tourism,.
The organisations jointly evaluate funding applications from communities
in the region. It cuts down on the work communities - especially ones
who have difficulty raising funds from mainstream banks - have to do to
get a loan. A single evaluation process gives applicants a chance to access
finance from the two organisations in one application.
An example of one which received investment finance from Clann Credo and
the WDC is Ballybane Community Centre, a CDP in Galway City. The project
wanted to build a multi-purpose centre that would provide childcare, a
space for sports and social activities, meeting rooms and office space
for local support services. The community centre at the time was in need
of much repair and various support services operated out of local authority
houses in the area.
Ballybane CDP secured a government grant, but still needed more money.
The new centre was going to cost €1.3 million. The shortfall could
have been fundraised but that would have taken too long. Bank finance
was not an option.
So, the project approached Clann Credo and the WDC for loan finance, the
application resulted in finance being provided for a seven-year period.
If your organisation has a requirement for loan finance, contact: Tracey
Hannon, Clann Credo/Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen,
Co Roscommon. Tel: 094-986-1441. Fax: 094-986-1443. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TWO ORGANISATIONS WITH A SHARED AIM
Clann Credo Ltd is a privately set up organisation; the Western Development
Commission (WDC) was established by government. But the two work in similar
ways and are involved in the provision of social finance to the community/voluntary
Both organisations only loan out money where there will be a social as
well as a financial return and the applicant projects must be able to
demonstrate their ability to repay the loan. Clann Credo accepts applications
from community projects throughout Ireland. The WDC is specifically concerned
with the West of Ireland, where the two co-operate in allocating loans.
Clann Credo is a Social Investment Fund founded by Sr Magdalen Fogarty
and the Presentation Order in 1996. It gives loans to community groups
and projects who are unable to access traditional forms of finance. For
instance, a voluntary management committee may find it difficult to satisfy
every demand a bank makes before advancing a loan. The investment often
gives other institutions the confidence to commit more finance.
Clann Credo have financed everything from craft enterprises to organic
food, accessible transport to special needs projects, community resource
centres to social housing, and from childcare services to youth amenities.
To date in excess of €8 million has been advanced to over 120 organisations
The WDC is a statutory body established by government in 1999 to promote,
foster and encourage economic and social development in the West (comprising
counties Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo).
It engages in policy work, rural development and operates its own €34.4
million investment fund, the Western Investment Fund. The fund includes
a dedicated loan fund for the community and voluntary sector.
Speaking in 2004 at Ballybane Community Centre, Galway, Minister
Ó Cuiv said:
"This is a new departure for a state organisation to work in tandem
with a private social investment fund like Clann Credo. The arrangement
has however proved to be very effective. Conventional bank finance terms
may present difficulties for volunteers such as personal guarantees required
from voluntary members etc. Clearly, social finance works and points the
way forward for many communities."
- Autumn ’05, Issue 15