People are often confused about how Sydney Community Services is funded. Some think we are part of Council, others that we are part of NSW Government, others that we are a business– or a mixture of the above.
Our funding comes from several places – in most cases is tied to one of the services or activities we offer. We are a not-for-profit (aka for purpose) organisation, registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and have deductible gift recipient status.
Our biggest funder, the Federal Department of Health, supplies about half of our income as subsidy for services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) which supports seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes.
These services include Home Modifications and Maintenance, Home-delivered Meals, Podiatry, Community Nursing, Transport and Day Centre Activities. To access these programs, seniors register with My Aged Care and, after assessment, can be referred to us for support. People accessing supports pay a small fee for services because funding does not cover the cost.
Our second major funder, providing about 10% of our money, is the National Disability Insurance Scheme which funds people living with a disability who are under 65 years old. Fees paid by clients are about 20% of our income and cover the cost of meals, ramps and rails installed, disposables used by our nurses or a contribution towards the cost of podiatrists making home visits.
We’re fortunate to get substantial funding and in-kind support from Lane Cove Council. We pay a peppercorn rent for our Lane Cove office and receive more than $250,000 through the Council’s Financial Assistance Grants. This money helps us enhance our nursing service, fund an information service for seniors, support disability social programs (including Different Degrees, our amazing drama ensemble). The Council also supports the many SCS social activities for which we receive no other money apart from a small fee from participants. Hunters Hill Council is also supportive with funding and low rents on our office there. And we’re also lucky to get generous financial support from City of Ryde council, too.
We apply for small grants which are tied to projects, eg NSW FACS funds our program to mentor students at Hunters Hill High School, clubs like North Ryde RSL, Ryde Eastwood Leagues and Gladesville RSL fund small projects including bus driver training, the Gladesville Art Show or an expansion of nursing program. And of course, we rely on hundreds of wonderful volunteers – without whom we could not run many of our services.
We also get donations from the public and we’re a longstanding beneficiary of the wonderful Hunters Hill Food and Wine Festival. Any donations are tax deductable, so please consider us when you are thinking of making a charitable donations. We benefit from community connections when organisers wish to donate to a community charity – as we have with the 2019 Lane Cove Fun Run whose very generous organisers made SCS a beneficiary.
Readers of The Village Observer, too, indirectly fund SCS because magazine profits flow through to SCS via the Lane Cove Community Aid Foundation, the magazine’s owner and publisher.
All this funding means we can move into our 59th year, continuing to support residents on the lower north shore and developing new programs to address problems faced by local people.