Despite the challenges of 2020, the annual Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) Student Impact Report showcases remarkable growth in many areas thanks to the amazing efforts of their volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Across the 44 local foundations in five states and territories, the support provided to young adults continues to increase. This year more than 650 youth from the rural and regional communities in the CEF footprint received financial grants to access post school education and training.
A massive $1,755,640 has been awarded to students for educational items such as textbooks, laptops, uniforms and associated travel. The total figure comprises $1,302,462 in local foundation grants and scholarships and $453,178 in education partner funding.
In 27 years of existence, the national education charity has made contributions to improving pathways, outcomes and opportunities for young rural and regional Australians through the distribution of $12,693,534 and 6000-plus individual grants and scholarships.
CEF provides a lot more than grants. They support and mentor grant recipients throughout their studies. For most of the students, it is about knowing their community is behind them.
CEF CEO, Juliet Petersen explains, “From every dollar raised at a community fundraiser to the crucial relationships with philanthropists and universities, we are confident that all the funds raised are going where they are needed most. With every dollar invested in the work of CEF, a social return of $4.99 is generated.”
Drought, bushfires and COVID-19 have all had an enormous impact on local foundations’ abilities to fundraise in the last few years, so to support their communities, CEF has engaged generous donors to match local funds, thereby doubling the impact of community fundraising.
From 1 October to 30 November 2020, CEF’s national target is to match $200,000. In other words, for each dollar donated to a local CEF foundation, CEF Australia will match this to a capped amount.
The CEF community-based model relies on the activity and dedication of volunteers in rural and regional towns to create educational opportunities and provide financial assistance for their youth.
Full details of the matched giving campaign can be found at www.cef.org.au/matched-giving-2020
CEF supports rural and regional students (16-25) access further education. Providing additional assistance, CEF has released a series of free, online resources; the More Than Your ATAR series, Make It Possible Inspiration Hub and 2021 Scholarships Guide.