Changes to Wyatt’s Direct Grants Program

12 Sep 2023

Throughout its 137-year history, The Wyatt Trust has worked to support the creation of a South Australia free from poverty.

Over the years, Wyatt’s approach to achieving this goal has evolved to include more targeted grant making while advocating for long-term systems change.

With the implementation of the Trust’s new 2023-2028 Strategic Plan, Wyatt’s grant making has been further refined to align with the strategy’s goals of deepening focus and creating the conditions for change.

Three key changes to Wyatt’s Direct Grants Program take effect this month (September 2023):

  1. A narrower focus on grants that directly impact housing and/or financial stability.
  2. Deeper impact by linking direct grants more closely with other areas of Wyatt’s work.
  3. Providing direct grants through pre-identified organisations and programs that
    • Provide an ongoing, relationship-based service to the client, rather than a one-off transaction; and
    • Provide a client led holistic or wrap around service.

Wyatt CEO, Stacey Thomas, says the Trust understands that the changes will impact a number of not-for-profit referring organisations.

“We know that change can be difficult,” Stacey says.

“Wyatt has been known for delivering particular grant programs in a particular way for a very long time. We understand and respect that making changes to that grant program may disappoint some organisations.

“Our shift in focus in no way detracts from the incredible work our valued referrers are undertaking daily with South Australians experiencing financial hardship.

“What we also know is that if we continue to follow the same grant making approach and if the sector continues to operate in the same way, we’re never going to make inroads towards the change we all want to achieve and that’s a South Australia free from poverty.”

Historically, Wyatt’s Direct Grants Program has helped South Australians experiencing acute or chronic financial stress to stabilise their housing or financial situation by providing one-off small grants that pay for a specific item, service or bill at the time it is most needed.

“Our intention is to deepen the impact of the Direct Grants by working with a smaller group of referrers that have housing and financial empowerment programs that demonstrate holistic or wrap-around services aligned with the Theory of Change Wyatt is pursuing,” Stacey explains.

Wyatt’s updated Theory of Change requires that the Trust’s grants:

  • Meet the needs and goals of people and households and reduce financial stress
  • Are made to programs and services that form part of a pathway that supports people to exit poverty and thrive.

Wyatt is in the process of working with eligible organisations to identify recognised programs and referrers and is not currently accepting new referrer registrations. Going forward, eligible organisations will nominate staff able to refer to Direct Grants. These referrers will be working closely with the grant applicant and be providing a holistic or wrap-around financial or housing-related service to them.

More information and FAQs about the Direct Grants Program is available here.

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