The ALIA Board has given approval to set up a Relief Fund, specifically to help Members who are experiencing a reduction in income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ALIA will seed the fund with $10,000, which will enable us to make 20 or so payments to Members who are suffering financial hardship. In order to help more people, we welcome contributions from Members who would like to make a donation to help colleagues in need. If you are interested in making a contribution, please contact us at email@example.com. There is also an option for Members who are renewing their membership to add a donation to the fund at the same time. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than is requested, we will maintain the Relief Fund for the benefit of Members going through tough times, until the full amount has been expended.
The fund will not be sufficient to cover lost income, but it can be called on for essential items – rent, insurance, groceries, and so on – up to $500 per Member.
Whilst the fund is available to full-time or part-time workers, it is most likely to benefit casual staff whose hours are reduced or lost through reductions in services or complete library closures. The fund is available to anyone who has been an ALIA Personal Member for at least 12 months at the full or reduced rate.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the application form and attach an email/letter or some other evidence of your loss of income. Don’t forget to include your name as it would appear in our Member records. Once a payment has been made the applicant cannot reapply for additional funds.
To donate, email email@example.com or, when renewing your ALIA membership, nominate an amount in the field labelled “Donation to the ALIA Relief Fund”. For whose who generously donate you have the option to have your name listed below, but donors can also be anonymous.
A sub-committee of the ALIA Board will approve payments as they come through, as we understand that Members experiencing difficulties need timely relief. Provided people fulfil the membership criteria, make a valid application and provide evidence of loss of income, the requested sum will be released on a first come, first served basis. We will not make judgements about whose need is greatest. Payments will be approved by a sub-committee of the ALIA Board of Directors, on a case by case basis, as applications are received, so that Members can get timely relief.
We have no special arrangement with the Australian Tax Office, so payments will need to be declared as income on recipients’ next tax returns. Any donations made to the fund will not be tax deductible, as we don’t have deductible gift recipient status for general operations.
Mid-year is when the majority of ALIA Members renew, and at a time when everyone is experiencing financial uncertainty, we recognise that some people may think twice about making a commitment. But this is when we need your support more than ever.
ALIA is working hard to support our Members and the library and information sector in general through the COVID-19 pandemic and to look at ways to help the recovery effort when the immediate danger is past.
You can see what we’ve been doing here: https://www.alia.org.au/australian-libraries-responding-covid-19, including launching a Relief Fund for those experiencing serious financial difficulty; negotiating a special agreement on copyright to enable virtual storytimes to happen; creating multi-lingual resources and sharing information about how individuals and organisations are responding to these difficult times.
Now is the time when we really need your commitment. Please renew your membership and if you’re able to, we would very much appreciate a donation to the Relief Fund.
If you are experiencing financial hardship yourself, though, and can’t afford to renew your ALIA membership at this time, don’t leave us. Instead drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will renew your membership but delay the payment for three months. We want you to remain part of ALIA. Together we are stronger and better able to weather these extraordinary circumstances.
Thank you for your continued support.
This page is accurate as of 3 April 2020 and will be updated as needed.