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Telstra Foundation announces a new community grants program


The Telstra Foundation announced today that it will be giving away $400,000 in grants to Australian community organisations in an employee-directed giving program it is piloting with Telstra staff.

The Community Connection Program will see the Telstra Foundation provide $1000 grants to community organisations that have a Telstra employee on the board or committee of management, and $250 grants to community organisations to which Telstra employees volunteer their services.

This giving is on top of the close to $26 million provided to community organisations by the Telstra Foundation since its inception in 2002.

“We know anecdotally that Telstra employees volunteer their time and services to community organisations,” said David Quilty, Telstra Foundation Director and Group Managing Director, Public Policy & Communications, Telstra.

"When you consider that Telstra has around 34,000 employees nationwide, the amount of personal time Telstra people donate to the community is potentially enormous.

“Telstra applauds these people and we are very proud of their commitment to the community. The Community Connection Program recognises their contribution by directing $400,000 of Telstra’s community investment funding, through the Telstra Foundation, to those organisations our employees are most passionate about.”

Applications for the pilot program will be sought from Telstra staff over a four week period, with the grants distributed in early December 2008.

Telstra also announced today that it would be continuing its successful Community Leadership Program. The Program, developed and piloted by the Telstra Foundation, links Telstra executives to leaders in community organisations, facilitating a mentoring relationship where Telstra participants provide business advice and guidance.

“The program has been incredibly successful,” David Quilty said. “In the first round, we had six of our executives matched up with leaders from a range of organisations including: Inspire Foundation, St Lucy’s School, Novita Children’s Services, Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (QLD), Charles Darwin University and Murdoch University.”

Participants in the program have been full of praise.

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity and really wonderful to get an insight into a not-for-profit organisation. It opens your eyes up to an entirely different world - the similar and different challenges. I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to work with a non-profit, adding some value through co-coaching,” said Kate Christie, Director Risk and Compliance at Telstra who was partnered with Karenlee Spillane, CEO Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation (QLD).

Participant Kerry Graham, CEO of Inspire Foundation, agreed. “I’ve really enjoyed the program and feel really fortunate to be a part of it. The time with the Telstra executives has been illuminating and the content has been incredibly relevant. The best parts were in the group settings; learning about other organisations in the field and their approaches. I gained a whole lot of contacts, resources and strategic tools.”

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