After months of preparation, the Malta Social Impact Awards has once again given local changemakers – that is, people that wish to make a positive change in Malta – the support they need to make that change happen. Launched by the Gasan Foundation and Inspirasia Foundation in 2016, MSIA brings business and philanthropy together to support local projects that have a positive social impact in Malta and help social purpose organisations grow into stronger entities, while also inspiring others to give and to give well.
The initiative allows non-profit organisations or individuals to submit an application with their proposed project to be in on the chance to win financial and non-financial support to develop these projects. All shortlisted applicants are mentored by TAKEOFF in preparation for the semi-finals and those that make it through to the final round are then paired with a CEO through Vistage for further mentoring prior to the final event. The finalists then pitch their projects to a panel of judges and an audience, demonstrating their projects’ feasibility, sustainability and social impact. After the judges’ deliberation, the winners are chosen and awarded a grant as well as pro bono mentoring and advisory services. The audience is also given the opportunity to vote through the Audience Participation Award, and 100 per cent of ticket donations is awarded to their favourite project.
Through its previous two editions in 2016 and 2017, MSIA has supported seven local projects that have collectively impacted the lives of over 1,000 individuals in Malta, including children, youths, migrants, the elderly, people from disadvantaged communities and those suffering from serious illnesses.
At 2018’s final event in November, a total of €91,000 was awarded to three projects: Growing Generations Together (submitted by Ċentru Tbexbix), Step Up For Parkinson’s (submitted by Step Up For Parkinson’s VO) and Blooming Minds (submitted by BirdLife Malta). These financial awards were sponsored by the Gasan Foundation, Inspirasia Foundation, Sigma, MeDirect, Remax and Betsson Group. All the three winning projects have also been awarded further pro bono mentoring and advisory services, which were sponsored by Vistage, WH Partners, Firstbridge, PwC and Zaar. Since 2016, the Malta Social Impact Awards has given out over €350,000 in grants and support.
During the 2018 final event, MSIA announced next year’s launch of a new initiative – the Academy of Givers – which will bring together like-minded people involved in supporting good causes that have a positive social impact. By creating a platform where members can understand social issues, discuss ideas and learn from each other, the Academy will aim to recognise those making a difference, promote high-impact giving and also inspire others to give and to give well.
“The donors and the people who sponsored and supported this initiative created the fuel for the changemakers to make a change. Today we lit three fires. We created impact. Tomorrow we are going to light 100 fires,” Mark Weingard, Founder of Inspirasia Foundation, announcing the Academy of Givers at the 2018 Malta Social Impact Awards.
Applications for participation in the 2019 event will open in February. For more information or if you wish to join MSIA as a participant, a supporter, a mentor or as part of the Academy of Givers, contact the Malta Social Impact Awards on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.siamalta.org.