Essential Energy’s Community Choices program is open once more, allowing people across rural, regional and remote NSW and parts of Southern Queensland to vote for those grassroots causes that can do with some extra support.
A total of $175,000 will be shared by eligible groups across 20 zones in Essential Energy’s network area, with funding of up to $2,500 per successful group.
Eligible charities, registered not-for-profit groups and community groups have nominated themselves, or been nominated. Now the voting begins!
The total fund pool each nominated organisation can receive is determined by how many community votes they obtain via the online voting platform. The entire process can be completed online – from nominating to the community voting, which makes it an easily shareable and COVID-safe way to raise funds.
This year, Essential Energy has introduced an additional Small Communities category. Local groups within the organisation’s footprint who are in towns with populations of less than 20,000 people can nominate for this additional category, boosting their opportunities for funding if they are relying on a smaller voting base than groups located in large communities.
Last year, more than 120 organisations shared in the total funding, which was used for everything from local Dragon Boat Clubs to Equestrian groups supporting kids and community outreach programs like Meals on Wheels and Legacy.
The support was well received, particularly for groups who were supporting their local communities who were impacted as a result of COVID-19.
The Byron Community Centre Pantry (pictured) for example, were able to deliver food to many locals experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19. Since April 2020, they've supported more than 1,000 families, seniors and stranded international students and most say that the pantry’s deliveries are the difference between eating and going hungry. Community organisations like the Byron Community Pantry really are Community Choices champions!
Byron Community Centre Pantry member proudly displaying their Community Choices Champion sticker from 2020