The Hong Kong Jockey Club announced today (7 May 2020) a new HK$150 million Community Sustainability Fund. The Fund will provide grants to small-to-medium size community service agencies and sports organisations to design and deliver services targeting the physical and mental well-being of underprivileged and vulnerable groups impacted by COVID-19. Funding will be available for between six and nine months.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our community as never before. We hope the Community Sustainability Fund will help small and medium size community organisations in their important work providing essential services to the most vulnerable members of society. In doing so we also hope to support the diversity and vitality of the community service ecosystem,” said Club CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.
Applications to the Community Sustainability Fund will open tomorrow (8 May 2020) and close on 15 July 2020. The Club’s Charities Trust welcomes applications from any of the eligible organisations detailed below whose annual operating expenses in the 2018/19 financial year were below HK$50 million and whose total financial reserves are lower than one year of their expenses.
Eligible organisations are non-subvented community service agencies which are either current or past grantees of the Club’s Charities Trust and have Inland Revenue Department Section 88 status; non-subvented members of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service with Inland Revenue Department Section 88 status; sports organisations which are either current or past grantees of the Club’s Charities Trust; and National Sports Associations.
In addition to the above, the Fund will support Social Career Limited, a non-profit technology organisation, to develop an online platform to share resources developed under Club-supported COVID-19 initiatives. Other NGOs and educational institutes will be invited to publish learning materials, health-related information and virtual arts and culture experiences. The platform, which will run for three years, is intended to serve as a useful resource hub even after the pandemic subsides.
Other Club initiatives
Since mid-February, the Club has launched a range of initiatives to support the community in tackling the impact of COVID-19.
A HK$100 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund is providing fast-track grants to NGOs providing essential services to those hard-hit by the crisis, including low-income families, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. To date, more than 200 organisations have received grants to implement over 220 projects. It is anticipated that most of the funds will have been allocated by the application deadline of 30 June 2020.
The Club has also funded the distribution of care packs containing essential food and hygiene supplies to the homebound elderly, disabled and low-income groups. It has supported the provision of free mobile internet data bandwidth to 100,000 underprivileged students, facilitating their online learning. And it has sourced or funded the purchase of more than 14 million face masks, including 1.68 million masks donated to the Hospital Authority and to vulnerable groups.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2018/19, the Club made a record return to the Government of HK$23.3 billion in duty and profits tax and contributed HK$1.3 billion to the Lotteries Fund. Approved charity and community donations were HK$4.3 billion. The Club is Hong Kong’s largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world’s top ten charity donors. The Club is always “riding high together for a better future” with the people of Hong Kong.