CERT may make grants for authorised purposes as
- any charitable purpose;
- any non-commercial purpose that is beneficial to the whole or a section of the community; and
- promoting, controlling, and conducting race meetings under the Racing Act 2003, including the payment of stakes.
The above authorised purpose includes, but is not limited to grants for:
- recognised appeal funds for the purpose of assisting with the recovery from the Christchurch earthquakes;
- general public education;
- education scholarships (provided the students are selected in a fair and open manner after public advertising, and are overseen by a recognised educational authority or school board, and provided that they are limited to primary and secondary level);
- the promotion of public amenities such as parks or museums;
- supporting non-commercial emergency rescue services;
- public sports facilities (e.g. a stadium) provided that the facilities are not used primarily for professional sport;
- amateur sport; and
- ground maintenance for amateur sporting facilities.
Thanks to CERT’s great disclosure, we can look at their funding history funding fairly rapidly after financial year end. I’ve copied their disclosure from their website, put through my top secret categorisation, run some pivot tables and whipped up some charts.
This Gaming Trust is, quite possibly, the simplest grant maker I have ever applied to. The forms are easy, the documentation is pretty simple (although all paper based), and the decisions are made quickly. And they are fairly generous in terms of amounts given, I suspect because those seeking funds still have not quite caught onto the fact they are operating.
Unlike many gaming trusts, they do provide funding for organisations across the range of the Third Sector. However, like most within the gaming trust space the majority goes into Sport – over 50% in all years under review). We can see some good amounts going into education (although, to be fair, that’s often to support sports within school).
In 2019 they gave away 427 grants, averaging just under $6,300 each. The biggest single grant went to the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust for $35,741, and the smallest to the National Railway Museum for $425.
However, multiple grants per year do go to the same organisation. The Canterbury Regional Basketball Foundation got 8 grants last year (totalling $66k), and five each to Coringa Golf Club ($42k) and Marist Albion Rugby Club ($56k). The lucky recipients of four grants were Belfast Sports and Community Centre ($52k), Tennis Otago ($13k), Christchurch Football Club ($24k), and Kaiapoi Rugby Football Club ($25.7k). Now, of course, a Gaming Trust doesn’t know how much it has to give away until the numbers are in, which could well explain why multiple grants are made.
Another interesting element is around where the grants go location-wise. Now CERT has machines in Waimakariri, Dunedin and Christchurch City. There are five venues in Christchurch, two venues in Waimakariri, and one venue with 18 machines in Dunedin. Third sector organisations in Christchurch got just over 80% of the money, Waimakariri 10%, and Dunedin snuck in with almost 6% of funding. The heavy Christchurch skew is possibly driven by the fact many Canterbury organisations are based in the city and service the region. However, to be honest Otago looks light.
I have had a gander at those organisations that were declined, as CERT publish who they have declined, and why. Very few Otago group fail to get funding from this organisation. If I were a third sector Dunedin based group looking for support, I’d have a look at this. Another tip: in January this year only one organisation was declined. If I was doing funding applications I do think I’d throw it in the mail just before Christmas – although the amounts given in January can be lighter than in other months.
Now, I was about to post this blog when this story came out. Christchurch Casino has to give $250,000 or 2.5% of net profit (whichever is greater) as their license to operate. I think this suggests that in 2017 they would have given $402k off a net profit of $16.1m (plus another $100k which they have chose to do). In 2018 CERT’s surplus before grants was $2.6m. 2.5% of that profit is just over TEN average grants. Clearly, they give a bit more than this. This is of course mandated by the NZ Government. Now, I’m steering well clear of debates about the morality of gambling, but if I actually enjoyed playing the pokies, then perhaps I’d pick a provider whose profits are directed back into the community.
I write about this stuff as believe that as need to understand where Third Sector funding comes from, where it goes, and how it gets there. This money is gathered to be spent on behalf of the community, but we have little oversight into where it goes. Love to talk with you if you think this is at all interesting, and if you want to dive into the data a bit more then happy to do so. Check out my website http://www.delfi.co.nz/