The Community Services Programme (CSP) currently supports community -based organisations to provide local social, economic and environmental services through a social enterprise model and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people.
It offers financial support to assist with the cost of hiring staff to community companies and co-operatives.
Funding is provided to community organisations as a fixed contribution towards the cost of employing a manager and/or an agreed number of full-time equivalent position (FTEs). The programme provides €19,033 for every FTE and €32,000 per manager working a 39-hour week. More than €47 million was allocated in 2020, supporting about 1,703 FTEs and 321 managers in 418 organisations.
As a result of the COVID-19 crisis the Department developed an additional 2020 Support Fund to assist CSP supported organisations to continue to retain their CSP supported employees. The funding was providing an additional once off payment, to assist with staffing costs, to cover a 12 week period from 26th March 2020 ensuring that they can pay their full time CSP supported employees a maximum of €350 net per week, with a proportionate amount for part time CSP supported employees.
Types of Project
Applicants must be not-for-profit social enterprises or businesses with sufficient capacity to undertake service delivery and management of staff.
They must also have sufficient financial resources and ability to generate adequate revenue and prepare a business plan.
There are three main types of projects funded under the Community Services Programme:
community services for disadvantaged people (example: home insulation, disability transport, meals-on-wheels centre based day care, social activities, personal security, visitation services, community radio and other forms of community media)
community enterprises employing people distant from the labour market including people with disabilities, Travellers, recovering drug misusers and/or ex-prisoners; the employing company or co-op must operate as a social enterprise and demonstrate some form of progression of the workers
community halls and facilities available for community use, including halls and facilities which enable the day-to-day operation of community infrastructure
To qualify under the CSP you must be a social enterprise capable to generating income from your service. 70% of employees funded under the programme must be from one of the following groups:
unemployed people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment
Travellers in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or One-Parent Family Payment
people in receipt of Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension or Blind Person’s Pension or other disability payment
stabilised and recovering drug misusers
people employed from Tús, Community Employment (CE), Job Initiative schemes, as well as Rural Social Scheme workers who are former CE participants
Further information is available on the Pobal
Community Service Programme (CSP) Review: Update
Thank you to all the organisations who took the time to submit feedback on the CSP review. Indecon International Economic Consultants were commissioned by the Department of Rural and Community Development to carry out an independent review of the CSP. The final report was received by the Department in February last with the recommendations contained being examined in the coming weeks. The report will be published following full consideration of the recommendations outlined.