APS Bank has recently announced an open call for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding applications for 2024. This exciting development is a strategic approach to shaping and endorsing projects that will form part of the Bank’s 2024 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme. Liana DeBattista, Chief Strategy Officer at APS Bank provides us with deeper insights into this progressive stride.
What prompted this decision to open the call for funding applications?
We believe that this step is essential to accommodate the ever-growing number of CSR sponsorship requests the Bank receives all year-round. By issuing the call for applications, we are ensuring that a wider range of initiatives receive the support they deserve. We recognised the need to provide an opportunity for a diverse set of projects to come to light. Many important and impactful ideas may go unnoticed without this encouragement. We aim to inspire individuals with innovative ideas to step forward and collaborate with us, to create a positive impact on the community through meaningful projects and events in 2024.
Why is involving the community important for the Bank?
Ever since the Bank’s inception back in 1910, community engagement has always been at the forefront of our business. APS Bank was established by the Gozitan Jesuit Fr Michael Vella who brought together a group of people, mainly professionals and merchants, motivated in part by a desire to help the working classes that lacked a viable welfare state at the time. Our philosophy is to create partnerships that are just, sustainable, and of mutual value. Our preference lies in working with umbrella organisations to ascertain a bigger impact. APS Bank gives substantial support to charitable, voluntary, and community projects that resonate with its purpose and values.
Could you elaborate on the specific areas that the CSR Programme will focus on in 2024?
Our CSR Programme revolves around three main pillars: Arts including Heritage and Culture, Education encompassing Sport and Wellbeing, and Sustainability comprising also of Community and Volunteer Organisations. We are keen to support, collaborate and co-create on projects which align with these CSR pillars, as they serve us with another opportunity to deliver our vision.
How can potential applicants get involved in this opportunity?
We have created a dedicated page on our website with the necessary information and a CSR Funding Request Form, available on: apsbank.com.mt/csr-sponsorship. The form should be submitted no later than 15 October 2023. We encourage everyone with a passion for being a force for good to submit their proposals and join us in making a difference.
How will the submitted proposals be evaluated?
An evaluation panel will assess all proposals submitted through the CSR Funding Request Form. The evaluation panel will need to carefully consider how the Bank’s CSR budget will be allocated to maximise impact across a broad spectrum of initiatives. While regrettably, we may not be able to accommodate every request, we strongly urge applicants to put forward their proposals, clearly outlining how these are aligned with the Bank’s CSR pillars and will bring about positive change in the community. We understand the importance of timely communication, and our goal is to inform all applicants about the evaluation panel’s decisions by 30 November 2023.
Are there any other points you would like share?
I’d like to highlight that APS Bank is deeply committed to nurturing a culture of collaboration and social responsibility. Our open call for funding applications is a tangible expression of this dedication, demonstrating our support for meaningful initiatives that contribute to the enhancement of our community.
Throughout the years, we have actively engaged in a multitude of projects and activities, both initiated by the Bank and by external parties, aimed at benefiting the community. These include notable events like KampuSajf, currently underway this month and originating from the APS Summer Festival held over previous years, as well as our role as organisers of the Malta Sustainability Forum and the APS Talks series. Our contributions extend to diverse areas such as publications, restorations, exhibitions, concerts, conferences, seminars, and philanthropic donations.
Looking ahead, we are eager to receive innovative and impactful project proposals through this open call and look forward with anticipation to new opportunities to meaningfully engage with the community.