• not-for-profit service providers;
  • bushfire recovery programs;
  • new public management

This article examines an experiment in delivering services and programs in communities that were affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. Three not-for-profit agencies received funding to develop and deliver programs over a period of three years with the aim of achieving sustainability for the programs thus created. They were not constrained by the requirements of normal government funding, which is short term, subject to competitive tendering and targeted at specific programs and client groups. The nature of the funding allowed the three agencies to introduce innovative programs tailored to the needs of the community and with the aim of building community capacity. However the question of whether the programs are sustainable when existing funding runs out remains open.