Community Underwriting Grants

Community Underwriting Announces 2020 Grant Recipients

Community Underwriting is an award-winning underwriting agency providing insurance solutions for the Not for Profit Sector. The foundation of Community Underwriting is giving back to their clients and Berkley Insurance Australia is proud of the continued facilities partnership supporting many amazing charity organisations.

Operating under a unique business model Executive Director Graeme Berwick said “We donate 70% of our surplus each year to our NFP shareholders but we also wanted to be able to provide funds to the smaller organisations that we insure that are not able to become shareholders. So, we set aside another 5% of our surplus for this small grant pool to allow clients to apply for funding of specific projects. Our insurer partners also contribute to the pool. Since the first modest grants pool in 2014 we have now awarded a total of 198 grants worth almost $500,000.”

Each year Community Underwriting offers a small grants program for their Not for Profit clients to assist with new and ongoing projects to keep them flourishing. “Our clients apply for grants based on the annual criteria. All of our staff are then given the opportunity to review the applications and then we meet in the office (last year by zoom) and debate the merits of each application against the criteria. It is always a tough process as we always have many more grants than available funds and there are so many wonderful causes and projects. It makes for some very spirited and passionate debates amongst the team as we try and stretch the grants pool to match the needs.”

This year COVID threw them more challenges than in the past however through persistence they were still able to deliver on 33 small grants towards many fantastic projects for a variety of worthy recipients.  Some of these great causes include the Reef Restoration Foundation who are establishing a series of ocean-based coral nurseries as part of the solution for a healthy Great Barrier Reef. This grant contributed to The ‘Corals of Opportunity Outplanting Blitz’ project which collects, cuts and plants up to 10,000 coral fragments around Fitzroy Island, that have been disturbed by natural or physical means and thus unable to naturally recover.

Another recipient Beyond the Orphanage who provide sign language teaching to hearing impaired or deaf children in Southern Nepal, received small financial relief packages with the aim to remove the risk of homelessness to 24 vulnerable families. 

They also contributed to laptops for Tomaree Public School providing valuable resources to families who were remote learning during lockdown and assisted in the purchase of uniforms, shoes, school supplies and book-lists for 70 children for Dalby Family Support.

“The Community Underwriting team are passionate about growing the available funds every year so that we have more grants to provide to our clients. Our continued success in the NFP sector will help us achieve a further doubling of the pool over the next 5 years.”

Berkley Insurance Australia is delighted to be part of this journey CEO Tony Wheatley stating There are some great causes in there and it is good that Community Underwriting has been able to maintain its original premise of giving something back to the NFP sector. I am glad that Berkley Insurance Australia can continue to be a part of it.”

The Small Grants Program is now open for 2021 applications and for the complete list of the 2020 grant recipients view the brochure here.