A cornerstone of Foresters' work is to develop strategies to enable non-profit organisations reach their objectives. Often excluded from mainstream financial institutions, non-profit organisations need access to capital to grow and develop. Foresters assists these organisations to realise their potential. To date this has been achieved through our Community Asset Building program.
Community Asset Building workshops, with support of state governments are conducted across Queensland and Victoria. Workshops raise awareness of and promote asset building both as a concept and a distinct strategy for community and non-profit organisations, specifically in terms of property ownership. Foresters assists community organisations to strengthen their financial and social sustainability, which in turn facilitates many diverse positive social and community outcomes.
To do this, we undertake an organisational appraisal in the form of a written report concentrating on the five areas of governance, operations, strategy, financial management and place and space. This helps to determine the organisation’s capacity to service debt and any areas of capacity building that may be required. Foresters will work alongside the organisation as it plans for property ownership.
The final step in the process is a loan application to Social Investment Australia Ltd (a subsidiary of Foresters Community Finance Ltd) which ultimately sets up the mortgage trust.
Governance of the program, expert advice and guidance from the community is provided by means of a stakeholder reference group that meets quarterly in each state.