Category Archives: News

RallyRound December 2017 – Reflections on a busy year

As we hurtle towards 2018, it is important to take stock; to take a moment to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the past year.

Working with their communities, donors and partners, community foundations are uniquely positioned to drive meaningful change and impact. Our thriving GLOCAL sector unites around our shared values of inclusivity, equity, accountability – and a firm belief in the power of community. The world is a better and stronger place for having a community foundations in it.

Highlights for the year include:

  • A strong focus on our advocacy and commitment to overcoming the regulatory barriers facing community foundations.
  • Creating new opportunities for community foundation practitioners to come together to share their experiences, knowledge and expertise.
  • Building the capacity of community foundations; providing networking opportunities, tools and resources, links and connections, advice and assistance.
  • The National Community Foundations Forum in Melbourne.
  • Continuing to build strong relationships with our international colleagues, networks and peak bodies.

A heartfelt thank-you to all our members, our Board, partners and friends. Your commitment, insight and support inspires and emboldens us. We wish you a happy and safety festive season.

Sector News

  • ACP has joined others from the NFP sector in expressing concern over the appointment of Dr Gary Johns as Commissioner of the ACNC. ACP’s statement is available here.
  • The Minister for Revenue & Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, has announced a number of reforms to the oversight of organisations with DGR status. Click here to watch Philanthropy Australia’s excellent summary and analysis of the reforms.
  • Ben Rodgers has been appointed as Chair of ACP, following in the immediate footsteps of Dylan Smith. The ACP Board also welcomed elected Directors Maree Sidey and Genevieve Timmons.
  • Applications to FRRR’s REAPing Rewards program close 15th January. The program targets educational outcomes in rural and remote communities providing grants of up to $10,000.

Spotlight: NCFF17

Hosted by Australian Communities Foundation, the Inner North Community Foundation and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, this year’s Forum explored the SMIRF of community foundations, the importance of place in a world that is seemingly becoming more fragmented and how community foundations are addressing disadvantage, building wellbeing, supporting inclusion and creating opportunity.

A huge thank you to all our speakers, delegates and sponors. Read ACP’s round-up of NCFF17 here.



Newly elected ACP Board member Genevieve Timmons (pictured here with Ian Bird, President, Community Foundations of Canada) offers her reflections on our sector as part of the NCFF17 wrap-up:


We are still exploring and pioneering the role and purpose of community foundations, and while this is very exciting, it is also challenging and demanding. Hard work and heavy demands are to be expected, and while it’s a long road, it’s also a privilege.

We have the opportunity to speak truth to power about our work, and are qualified to do so. Along the way, we might hit barriers and have to decide to speak up, saying ‘this needs to be different’. Because if we don’t, there is cost to our organisations and our community organisations.

One example of this is to focus on efficient processes for granting and decision making, and ensure that donors aren’t draining resources from our communities in how they give their money. We can educate donors to build cost efficient and effective funding partnerships instead of getting people to jump through hoops to attract their grants.

We are generosity magnets, not supplicants, and offer a platform for generosity to flourish. The more we can facilitate people’s giving, and provide simple, meaningful ways for people to give to their communities, the more money and resources will come in. We can lay the table for some incredible opportunities for people to be generous. It is a mistake to think we are simply fundraisers for our foundations which can be daunting and exhausting

We need to keep building common and shared language, to strengthen our collective progress and highlight our common goals and values. This means listening deeply to each other, and recognising how our communications highlight strengths and community opportunity, rather than diminishing our communities and engaging in competitions of sorrow to promote how broken down we are. Talking about needs diminishes the people we work with, but emphasising strengths and opportunities is about unleashing potential and removing barriers. Common language also allows us to share data and map the strength of our collective activity.

…. Connecting the dots with Vital Signs

The Fremantle Foundation and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation have joined a growing number of community foundations using Vital Signs in 2017 to connect the dots between existing data and dive deep on locally meaningful issues such as poverty and disadvantage, education, food insecurity and youth unemployment.

Community foundations use Vital Signs to start conversations, identify trends, local priorities and opportunities and decide where to focus their attention and resources to have the greatest impact.

Vital Signs reports present a picture of a community and leverage stakeholder involvement at every level, from determining the report’s issues and indicators, to exploring research sources.

Read more about Vital Signs here and browse Canadian and international Community Foundation reports here.

Member News

The Northern Rivers Community Foundation (NRCF), like many foundations, has seen an increase in applications and grants made in 2017. NRCF Executive Officer, Emily Berry, says

‘We had a 60% increase in applications on previous year and a 75% increase in grant requests in terms of $. We tailored our promotions a little differently this year, working with our seven LGA Councils and their community officers to connect with community organisations across the region. We also received funding from Yulgilbar Foundation to increase efforts in the Clarence Valley / Grafton region. This resulted in not only an increase in applications, but also 43% of applicants were new to the grants program, having never applied since the Program began in 2005.

  • Marysville & Triangle Community Foundation has just concluded their largest grant round distributing $144,000 in community grants.
  • Buderim Foundation has awarded more than $64,000 to 17 community organisations from a record field of applicants in its 2017 Community Grants program
  • Geelong Community Foundation’s Philanthropy 500 (P500) is an exciting new giving circle program. 90 new donors joined the program in 2017 resulting in a grant of $22,500 at P500’s inaugural October event.
  • Matt Jenkins has been appointed to the position of CEO at the Ballarat Foundation

ACP membership renewal reminder and January office hours

ACP Membership fees are due 1st February 2018 and membership renewal forms will be emailed mid January or can be downloaded here.

The ACP Office will be closed from Friday 22nd December to 15th January and will be operating reduced hours for the remainder of January.

Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season.

2018 ACP calendar

Fireside Chats are an opportunity for Community Foundation practitioners to come together in an informal conversation (teleconference & online chat) to share their knowledge, experience, resources, challenges and opportunities.

The next Fireside Chat for Board Chairs/Leading Directors is on Thursday, 21st December, 4.30pm-5.30pm AEDT (and then quarterly).

The next Fireside Chat for EOs/CEOs is on Tuesday, 6th February, 11am-12pm AEDT (and then bi-monthly). to register

Keep an eye on the ACP Projects/Events web page for upcoming events.

What are your burning issues? Email your suggestions for our 2018 Webinar program to

Congratulations to our 2017 Community Foundation Award Recipients

The annual Community Foundation Awards celebrate the wonderful achievements of Community Foundations, their staff, directors and volunteers.

Award recipients are recognised as leaders who are inspiring examples of the Community Foundation sector in Australia.

Join with us in congratulating our 2017 Recipients

The 2017 Community Foundation Award 
for enabling and creating impact, positive change and
opportunities in their community 

Tomorrow Today Foundation

The 2017 Community Foundation Practitioner Award 
for making a significant contribution to the
Mirboo North & District Community Foundation
and the Community Foundation sector

Derrick Ehmke

2017 Recipient of the Sue Charlton Lifetime Achievement Award 

Andrew Lawson
Named in honour of this Award’s inaugural recipient, the Lifetime Achievement Award honours individuals who have made a significant and longstanding commitment to enriching
and growing the Community Foundation movement

Discussion Paper on Tax Deductible Gift Reform Opportunities

Discussion Paper on Tax Deductible Gift Reform Opportunities (deadline for submissions Friday, 4th August)

The government has released a Discussion Paper on Tax Deductible Gift Reform Opportunities which considers potential reforms to the Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) tax arrangements and outlines a number of proposals.

Whilst we are disappointed that the proposals contained in the Discussion Paper do not address a significant issue for community foundations, the release of the paper creates a unique opportunity for our sector to reaffirm the need for a new deductible gift recipient category for community foundations.

ACP has outlined our arguments with respect to the above in the draft submission. We are asking community foundations for their support by:

* Making their own submission
* Engaging with their local federal members / senators on this issue

Making your own submission
A copy of ACP’s draft submission is available from ACP (email

You can use this as guide for your submission. If you are able to, please include your own examples of how the current DGR framework is negatively impacting your community foundation (see ACP’s draft for the case studies we have used).

You may also wish to make local DGRs and local organisations in your catchment aware of the Discussion Paper and encourage them to make their own submissions, particularly if the current framework has created issues around them receiving funding from the community foundation.

To download the Discussion Paper and for information on making submission go here:

Please feel free to give Kate Buxton a call on 0419 350 240  if you would like to discuss the above further.

ACP’s Position

There is growing acceptance that the complex and difficult problems facing communities around Australia can only be addressed with an integrated, multi-faceted place-based response.

As a valuable and unique form of community infrastructure, community foundations empower communities to address local challenges themselves. They seek to build social capital, catalyse development and strengthen community; they engage with their constituents as donors, advisors and volunteers. Community foundations are responsive to the challenges facing their communities and leverage their deep local knowledge to respond to need through their purposeful grant-making.

And yet, community foundations – which harness local resources, strengthen community and build local capacity – are fettered by a regulatory framework that creates significant barriers. The existing tax laws are inhibiting the growth and impact of community foundations.

Community foundations generally operate a ‘public ancillary fund’ (an ‘Item 2’ deductible gift recipient) – which imposes significant restrictions on their operations:

  • Community foundations cannot accept donations from one of the most common forms of private foundation, ‘private ancillary funds’, as private ancillary funds are also an ‘Item 2’ deductible gift recipient – this cuts them off from a significant source of philanthropic funding and precludes Private Ancillary Funds from leveraging the expertise and community knowledge of community foundations.
  • As an ‘Item 2’ DGR community foundations are limited to funding DGR 1 charities from their Public Ancillary Funds. This creates an obstacle for locally responsive organisations with relevant experience, particularly in rural and regional areas where there are fewer local DGR1s, undermining community resilience and creating unnecessary dependency on external organisations and government.

Australian Community Philanthropy believes that a new deductible gift recipient category within Division 30 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) specifically for community foundations is needed to remove these barriers, reduce red tape and enable community foundations to focus on generating impact in their communities.

We expect that the revenue forgone from the change would be minimal. This would be an affordable reform, which will grow community philanthropy and strengthen community resilience in Australia.

RallyRound July 2017 – Special Report from Belong 2017, Canada



Belong 2017, the spectacular Community Foundations of Canada conference, gathered more than 750 delegates from 105 Canadian communities and 34 countries, to connect and learn from each other.


Remarkable for its big thinking, diversity and scope, deep diving into themes of belonging, inclusion and reconciliation; Belong 2017 is proof – if proof were needed – that community philanthropy is a global force for good, strengthening community and shifting the power around the world.

Canada’s first community foundation was established in Winnipeg in 1921. Today, there are 191 community foundations, many of which are located in small communities in rural, regional and remote areas. Notwithstanding its larger size, the Canadian and Australian community foundation sectors are remarkably alike; our Canadian counterparts are experiencing similar opportunities and challenges, the conversations around the table are the same.

Woven throughout Belong 2017’s program were stories of how Canadian community foundations are harnessing local resources and creating impact in their communities. This special edition of RallyRound, featuring highlights from Belong 2017, demonstrates, as Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada, puts it, ‘that philanthropy is about courage, leadership and working together in common purpose.”

Watch video of the powerful plenaries and keynotes

Vital Conversation on belonging with journalist and activist Desmond Cole, Senator Ratna Omidvar and National Inuit Leader Natan Obed talking about civic engagement, inclusion and community philanthropy: Here

Plenary with Canadian award-winning philosopher, novelist and essayist John Ralston Saul: Click Here

Plenary with Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and member of the Gitksan First Nation, talking about Reconciliation, Indigenous children’s rights and building community. Here

Closing plenary featuring a conversation about leadership in action, shifting power, and changing systems in a global world with Toronto Foundation’s Sharon Avery, MATCH International Women Fund’s Jess Tomlin and Julia Sánchez form the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. Here:


Spotlight: Aron Theatre Co-operative, Campbellford, Ontario



When the Aron Theatre was threatened with closure, Campbellford, a small rural town, looked set to lose an important social and cultural hub. In response, community members came together, restructuring the theatre as a not-for-profit co-operative which leveraged a community investment model.

The Campbellford Seymour Community Foundation provided grants to renovate and purchase much needed equipment and, over and above this, made a social investment in the newly formed co-operative, purchasing ‘Aron Bonds’. By positioning this funding as an investment, the community foundation used its reputational and its financial capital to support and validate the venture, enabling the Co-op to raise additional funds and grants needed to upgrade to digital technology.

Now operating at a ‘modest surplus’, The Aron Theatre Co-operative is a terrific example of a successful rural social enterprise borne out of a commitment to finding local solutions to local challenges.

Spotlight: Edmonton Community Foundation: Give. Grow. Transform

The Edmonton Shift Lab, supported by the Edmonton Community Foundation, is stewarding an exploration to develop potential service, policy, system and community action prototypes that will help reduce racism as it contributes to poverty.

The Lab aims to to shift ideas, attitudes, systems and shift into new ways of solution finding with community by bringing people together to co-design solutions (with the emphasis on solutions in the plural), explore and develop new services, community projects and new policy.


Using Vital Signs to build knowledge and create impact


In 2016, thirty two communities in Canada, and another 23 around the world, participated in Vital Signs, leveraging local knowledge and accessible public data to measure the vitality of their communities.

Community foundations at Belong 2017 demonstrated that the value of Vital Signs extends well beyond the report. Vital Signs is an opportunity to build, in collaboration with the community, a consensual language around important issues, to stimulate civic engagement, empower donors, inform granting and engage in an ongoing conversation with citizens and stakeholders.

For many community foundations, Vital Signs has been a catalyst for bringing local organisations and service providers together to form knowledge hubs and networks, leading to better outcomes for the community.

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, which encompasses 8 communities with a resident population of 5,000 and a million visitors per year, has connected their Vital Signs to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) which will better enable them to track their progress and impact into the future.


The 17 SDGs are an interconnected universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They represent a shared vision whilst allowing for multiple theories of change within an integrated framework. For community foundations, the SDGs represent an opportunity to connect the impact we are already enabling locally to a broader global vision.


Spotlight: Neighbourhood Small Grants, Vancouver Foundation



Vancouver Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants program aims to help build community and strengthen connections right where people live – in their neighbourhood. Small grants of up to $500 are available for residents to develop projects that meet the needs of the community, for example a community clean-up, multicultural fashion show, street party.

Random Acts of Kindness

A growing number of Canadian community foundations are leading Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Days.

RAKs are not fundraising activities but are intended as a simple way to encourage unexpected moments of kindness in the community and grow community connectedness. RAK Days tap into the ‘Pay it Forward’ movement and encourage people, or groups of people, to do something nice for someone and then, in turn, encourage the RAK beneficiary to do something nice for someone else.

Community Foundations support the day with RAK cards and information packs, including suggestions for RAK activities, which reinforces the connection between the RAK’s aims and the foundation. Click here for information on the Guelph Community Foundation’s RAK Day.


Belong 2017’s workshop program included plenty of practical advise, inspiration and information for delegates.

How to make the Ask

  • Develop a quick reference guide for Board members and volunteers (purpose of an endowment, key organisational achievements in granting, impact, fund building)
  • Take your time to build relationships and make those relationships transformational rather than transactional
  • Look for key mutually beneficial opportunities e.g. significant anniversaries for corporate donors
  • Set targets and track your progress

The Art of Convening

  • Learn from and be responsive to success and to ‘failure’
  • Be intentional with your invitations
  • Be a linker and a matchmaker – actively bring people together who can benefit from each other’s experience and expertise
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – make use of existing resources and learn from others who are doing convening well

Join community foundation staff, trustees and directors, representatives from the broader for-purpose sector, government and philanthropy for Australia’s largest community foundation focused conference; #NCFF17 in Melbourne.

Click here for registration, program and accommodation information.

Navigating Transition – Insights from the Appalachia, USA

How creating a shared vision and harnessing the power of community can shape the process of change

The Appalachia region was the largest coal-producing region in the US. Once a large employer, the coal industry now supports few jobs and the community has been working towards a just transition to a new economy. Justin Maxson and Lisa Abbott, community organisers from the region, recently visited Australia under the auspices of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) and shared their experience at a Public Forum in the Latrobe Valley, hosted by the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation and the Morwell Neighbourhood House.

Justin and Lisa’s insights are relevant to all communities facing change and will no doubt resonate with community foundations.

In times of transition, process matters
It is vital to ensure that community has a voice in how transition unfolds and that there is a genuine, creative and inclusive process, that hears the voices of those who are often marginalised. Creating a shared vision, which starts by asking the question ‘where do we want to go together’, enables a constructive conversation to take place around difficult or, sometimes, divisive issues. Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), a social-justice organisation which is playing a key role in the Appalachian transition, hosted groups and community members from across the region as part of a 3-day conference called “Appalachia’s Bright Future” to explore strategies, innovation and to learn from the international experience of other communities experiencing transition.

Build new power: economic, political, energy #ShiftThePower
Democratising and building power at a local level is vital. In Kentucky, new finance models assisted homeowners to retrofit their homes, save energy and reduce costs. These local initiatives created new jobs and, just as importantly, the political will needed to create mechanisms that enabled them to be scaled up.

There is no silver bullet
Meeting the challenges of complex change requires a cross-sectoral, multi-industry approach which engages community, government and philanthropy. No single organisation or group can deliver a solution. It is not a lack of ideas that hampers local communities, but rather having the organisation, skills and resources to get those ideas in action. So, underpinning transformative change is the need to support local agency, empower local leaders and foster leadership development within communities by providing them with skills and resources. This, in turn, strengthens the voice and the vision of the local community.

Be a catalyst, not a container and change the conversation
A key role for community organisations in change is, rather than take ownership, to act as catalysts and enablers; to create a space for different, sometimes conflicting voices to come together as collaborators around a shared vision. In Kentucky, this included growing effective networks, developing an ecosystem of support for local actors and innovators and asking what are the resources needed to bring good ideas to life.

Watch Justin and Lisa’s presentation at the Public Forum here
Place matters! Watch this video for more on the Appalachia context.

Lisa Abbott has over 20 years experience as an organiser with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), a social-justice organisation which plays a key role in the Appalachian Transitions Initiative. Lisa currently co-ordinates KFTC’s Empower Kentucky Project. Through a process which engaged more than 1000 people, this project is developing a state plan to achieve the community’s goals of improving health, generating good new jobs, ensuring affordable energy and addressing climate change.

Justin Maxson was, for over a decade, President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), operating in eastern Kentucky. MACED focuses on new economic opportunities, skill-building to support entrepreneurs, policy research and advocacy. Justin is currently Executive Director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, which uses philanthropy strategically to lift people out of poverty and promote opportunity in the region.


RallyRound December 2016 – Charity is good. Justice is Better

‘New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.’ (source: Harvard Business Review)

This statement from Jeremy Heimans, CEO of Purpose, and Henry Timms, executive director of 92nd Street Y and founder of #GivingTuesday, perfectly sums up the recent Global Summit on Community Philanthropy. Over 2 days, 365 delegates from 60 countries explored the opportunities, challenges, potential and growth of our sector.

There are now more than 1800 place-based foundations across the world, united by a common narrative and a shared purpose which, as Jenny Hodgson, Director of the Global Fund for Community Foundations, suggests can be visualised as a three legged stool, each leg representing a unique strength:

Assets – our resources and our knowledge
Capacity – our commitment to devolving agency to groups on the ground
Trust – we ‘meet’ people where they are, work with them, be with and not for them

A key take-away from the Summit is the premise that meaningful change is achieved when Community Foundations leverage all forms of their capital; social, moral, intellectual, reputational as well as financial – collectively referred to as their SMIRF capital. It can be tempting to see our capacity to deliver impact as relative primarily to the dollars we have at our disposal. But, to paraphrase Summit keynote speaker James A Joseph, foundations with the most impact are likely to be those that integrate all five forms of capital into their activities and strategies; building networks and connections to foster a sense of belonging, reflecting and protecting their community’s values, leveraging their deep local knowledge, and using their positions as trusted local leaders to lift-up, empower and enfranchise community organisations or population segments that are often over-looked and disadvantaged.

My most valued take-away from the Summit though, has been the opportunity see first hand how Community Foundations are responding boldly to the challenges facing their communities. From the Monteverde Community Foundation, Costa Rica, which is empowering youth as agents of change, to the Tuzla Community Foundation, Bosnia and Herzegovina, working to integrate their catchment’s growing Roma population. Posters with case studies from a number of the Summit’s participants are available here.

ACP was founded by a group of Community Foundation practitioners who recognised the value of collective effort, collaborative practices and shared resources. As we approach the end of another busy year, I would like to thank you for being a part of the surging ‘current’ that is community philanthropy in Australia. In the words of James A Joseph ‘Charity it good. Justice is Better ….we have the potential to make and remake history’.

Have a happy and safe Christmas.

Kate Buxton
December, 2016

Launch of Insurance Facility for ACP Members

ACP has been working with Imalia to establish a dedicated Community Foundation Insurance Facility.  Whilst, the project has taken longer than anticipated, we are pleased to advise that the facility has now been established and will provide ACP members with access to competitively priced:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Management Liability or Directors and Officers Insurance
  • Voluntary Workers Insurance
  • Property Insurance for office contents.

Policies will be underwritten by Lloyds of London and will be specifically tailored to Community Foundations including their fundraising, events and trustee activities. An online portal will go live early in the new year and ACP members will also be able to contact Imalia if they have questions or need clarification on any aspect of the cover. Further details on the facility will be circulated to members soon. You can contact Kate Buxton if you would like to access the facility prior to the launch of the online portal.

australia-map-clipart    Giving Australia 2016

Giving Australia 2016, an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership led by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, is the most extensive research ever conducted on giving and volunteering behaviours, attitudes and trends.

Key findings from the research show that compared to 10 years ago:

  • Fewer people are giving more
  • More people are volunteering more hours
  • Planned giving delivers six times more donations than spontaneous giving
  • Philanthropists are most influenced by culture, family and the ability to make positive change.

Giving Australia 2016 fact sheets, a background paper and literature review summary report can be found here. The Philanthropy Fact Sheet, available to download now, identifies that many philanthropists prioritise the value of meeting relevant people, building personal relationships and seeing the impact organisations are having – which is good news for Community Foundations.

Further reports from Giving Australia will be released progressively throughout 2017


Australian Society Remains Stable and Highly Cohesive – Scanlon Foundation Report Findings

‘May you live in interesting times’, or so goes the ancient curse, and lately it’s been very ‘interesting’ indeed. So, it is reassuring that the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion 2016 report, authored by Professor Andrew Markus, finds ‘more evidence of stability and social cohesion than of deterioration’ in Australia with 91% of Australians reporting a sense of belonging and 83% of Australians agreeing that ‘multiculturalism has been good for the country.

There are some negative indicators identified in the research findings; for example, the proportion of respondents indicating experience of discrimination on the basis of skin colour, ethnicity or religion increased from 15% in 2015 to 20% in 2016. There is also evidence of the public’s growing disengagement with the current political system – seemingly a growing global trend.

Social cohesion is at the very heart of the Community Foundation model. Wellbeing, a sense of belonging and trust are among the shared values in any socially cohesive community; much of the work undertaken by Community Foundations is aimed at strengthening and supporting these values. Community Foundations are also perfectly placed to understand that social cohesion is a process, it cannot be imposed and must be constantly created and supported from within.

Beyond Bushfires – Study Confirms Significant Long Term Impacts of Disaster

The 2016 National Community Foundations Forum reflected on the devastating impact of loss of networks, connections and structures following a disaster. So, it comes as no surprise that the recently published study on the impact of the Black Saturday fires showed, that whilst there was progressive recovery at community level over time, there was also strong evidence of the significant and long term impacts on, for example, individual mental health.

Beyond Bushfires: Community Resilience and Recovery brings together the findings from the six year study – conducted by the University of Melbourne in partnership with community members and a range of community, academic, government, emergency, and health agencies.

The results underscore the influence of community structures in response to and recovery from disasters, and serves as a powerful reminder of the pivotal role played by community powered organisations in building and sustaining resilience.

Following the Black Saturday fires, VBAF contributed funds to five Community Foundations and Trusts. Community Foundations are for-ever organisations; they are woven into the fabric of a community, and are trusted providers of ongoing support, funding and leadership.  They empower communities, leveraging local resources to create local solutions.  It is this aspect of the Community Foundation model which has particularly resonance for communities impacted by disaster or crisis.

magnifyingglass    Resource Roundup

Australia’s Social Pulse, from the Centre for Social Impact, is a web-based resource providing accessible, ongoing measurement of Australia’s social progress in key domains (education, employment, health, disability, social cohesion, living standards etc) using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, including the census and labour force survey, the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey and other sources.

‘Nine Steps to Successful Bequest Programs’, an information leaflet from Wendy Brooks Consulting, is now available from the ACP website and is an overview of the thinking and activities necessary to build and grow an effective bequest program.

Issue Lab, a service of the Foundation Centre, has launched a Risk and Philanthropy special collection which gathers reports, analysis and information on this issue as part of its searchable, browsable website.

Grantcraft has launched it’s annual Blueprint forecast. Blueprint 2017is an overview of the current landscape including major trends. This year’s edition also explores why it is increasingly important to ask the questions ‘What is political? and What is philanthropic?’

Have you developed a resource (leaflet, website, video) that you would like to share with the Community Foundation network? Please let us know.

ACP Membership Subs – Due 1st February 2017

In 2017 ACP will continue to advocate on behalf of our sector, encourage collaboration and collective learning between Community Foundations across Australia; represent, strengthen and build the capacity of our sector through regular newsletters, webinars, networkings, the National Community Foundations Forum and other offerings. We need your support to do this. The ACP membership year runs from 1st February to the 31st January. Membership renewal forms will be circulated in the new year and we look forward to working with you in 2017.

RallyRound InBrief #ShiftThePower


Global Summit to advance a collective and linked up framework for people-led development.

It’s been 12 years since the inaugural Global Summit on Community Philanthropy. During this time, the growth in the number of Community Foundations (1,175 to 1,838) has been more than matched by a growth in the impact delivered by our thriving global sector.

The second Global Summit will take place next month (1st-2nd December) in Johannesburg. Much of the progress in community philanthropy has been underpinned by constantly evolving practices and emerging models such as collective impact, community-level decision-making and innovative financing and investment models. New actors and new networks, including Australian Community Philanthropy, have furthered strengthened this dynamic movement made up of organisations that are living examples of empowerment in action, democratise philanthropy and are ‘of’ rather than just ‘for’ community.

A key aim for the 2016 Summit is to build connections and encourage dialogue between participants leading to a collective and linked up framework for people-led development. Community philanthropy – with its emphasis on local assets, strengthening communities and building trust – is one set of tools and principles that can help achieve this.

Framing the Summit is its hashtag #ShiftThePower. The programme will revolve around 8 Pillars of “good development”:

  1. Participation & mobilising people – people-based development is central to shifting the power.
  2. Added value – we need to strengthen the link between processes (how development programmes are delivered) and outcomes (what is delivered).
  3. Resources – we need to use resources in different ways, test new models and assumptions.
  4. Evidence & data – we need to build evidence for the work and use data to grow and drive it.
  5. Governance – we can enhance the work of other institutions (including public) by demonstrating alternative forms of governance and decision-making.
  6. Effective interventions – our methods can bring better results (emergent practice).
  7. Narrative & communications – words and meanings matter and we need new and better descriptions.
  8. Architecture & hybridity – structure matters and we need to encourage new and emerging forms while reforming existing institutions looking to go local.

The Summit will gather speakers and delegates from across the world. ACP’s EO, Kate Buxton, will be representing Australian Community Philanthropy. She is very much looking forward to sharing the journey that the Australian Community Foundation movement has been on over the last twelve years and, equally importantly, sharing her take-aways and learnings from this unique and important event with our network.

As always, ACP welcomes your input. We encourage you to peruse the Summit’s website, have a look at the programme and please do Contact Us if there is anyone or anything you would like Kate to follow-up on.

RallyRound October 2016 – Be Brave and Think Big

A key take away from this year’s National Community Foundations Forum was, for me, framed by opening keynote speaker Ruth Jones who noted that thriving, resilient communities are unlikely to happen without the same commitment to making our own Community Foundations thriving, resilient organisations. Ruth summed it up thus: ‘Investing in your own organisations’s capacity will unleash your foundation’s potential and that of the ecosystem in which you operate. It’s a precondition to making a dent in the social issues you are focused upon’. The corollary of this is bravery, underpinned by great leadership which is unafraid to think ‘big’ when it comes to making a difference. An inspiring example of big and brave thinking was illustrated by Upper Murray Innovation Foundation’s Sara Jenkins and Michael Leonhard, who re-imagined a local bakery as a successful social enterprise, creating jobs, training opportunities (and fantastic pies) in Corryong, a remote, rural township in North East Victoria.

Collaboration was another major theme considered over the three days. Community foundations are by nature collaborative – we understand that meaningful change is predicated on an inclusive approach which engages with the community not just as beneficiaries of the change, but as catalysts, activists and participants. However, effective collaboration doesn’t just happen; ten20 Foundation along with a number of community foundations furnished us with great insight into the opportunities and challenges of harnessing collective effort to achieve effective collaboration in order to addresses the complex needs of our communities.

On behalf of ACP thank you to all those who presented and attended our workshops, sessions and networking events. Thanks also to our supporters. The National Community Foundations Forum is a huge undertaking and everyone involved did a wonderful job. The Forum is part of a continuum of learning and sharing opportunities and we are looking forward to continuing the conversation over the coming months.

Congratulations also to this year’s Community Foundations Awards Recipients. Australian Community Philanthropy is proud to honour: Sue Charlton; INAUGURAL LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD, Georgie McKay; AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT in the development of Australian community foundations, Andrea Heffernan; INSPIRATIONAL AWARD for remarkable innovation and action to strengthen a community foundation and Rob Kiddell for his many years of outstanding philanthropic and community service to Mirboo North & District.

Kate Buxton, Executive Officer
October 2016

Board News

As the peak membership organisation for Community Foundations, ACP aims to be a representative voice for the Australian Community Foundation movement empowered by a national network of members. Our focus is to create the optimum operating environment for the growth of Community Foundations in Australia and to support Community Foundations in meeting the challenges of an ever changing philanthropic sector. This work is driven and supported by the ACP Board which includes community foundation practitioners from across Australia. We are delighted to welcome new Board members:


Sally Gamble – Tomorrow: Today Foundation
Ann Lansberry – Community Foundation for Central Victoria
Georgie McKay – Stand Like Stone
Ben Rodgers – Inner North Community Foundation
Heinz Seeberg – Buderim Foundation


On behalf of all our members we thank our departing Board members Paul Clark, Derrick Ehmke, Bill Mithen, Julianne Sanders and Sue Charlton. Sue is a founding Director of ACP; her dedication and hard work has grown and shaped not just our organisation but the whole Community Foundation movement in Australia.

img_6331sml    From Marketing to Community Engagement

As part of Xfactor Strategic Development’s support of the Forum, Julia Keady-Blanch has offered a limited number of complimentary consultations (one hour duration) which can be used for picking Julia’s brain and/or clarifying ideas presented in her workshop. For more information about Xfactors’ wide-ranging skills, visit their website. If you are interested in a follow-up consult with Julia please contact

CPPWLogo    Countdown to CPPW (5th-11th December)

Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week (CPPW) 2016 will be held between the 5th and 11th of December. It is a fantastic opportunity for Community Foundations to showcase and promote the great work they are doing across Australia.

Community Foundation for Central Victoria is one of a number of organisations who have received a CPPW grant. The foundation will develop a digital story on their first ever Big Give event which raised over $83,000 for local community organisations.

There are many ways Community Foundations can participate in CPPW. From hosting a tour for partners, media and other key stakeholders of local projects, to bringing together supporters, volunteers and grant recipients to share their stories and highlight what has been achieved. For more information and ideas on how to celebrate CPPW go here.

Planning a CPPW event or activity? Let us know.

redtape    #Fixfundraising Campaign

Not-for-profit Law is is spearheading a campaign to improve the state of fundraising regulation in Australia. #Fixfundraising is seeking:

  • Clarification and minor amendments to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to ensure application to fundraising activities is clear and broad
  • Repeal of fragmented state and territory fundraising laws
  • Work with regulators and self-regulatory bodies to provide guidance to fundraisers to continue to improve fundraiser conduct.

Individuals and organisations can indicate their support the campaign here:

frrrthumbnail    FRRR

Following a meeting of The Rural and Regional Funders group at the 2016 Philanthropy Australia Conference, FRRR is keen to hear from rural, regional and remote funders (especially Community Foundations) about your practice and how you think we can work together as a sector to be future ready. Complete the short online survey here.

FRRR’s website has a range of free resources, many of which are relevant to Community Foundation’s and the groups they work with. The Community Resources page is updated regularly with new topics, including a series of webinars on alternate funding options for community groups, links to guides for working with children, as well as other general tools and tips.

magnifyingglass    Resource Roundup

  • GEO is a US based community of over 550 grantmakers. Their report ‘Strengthening NonProfit Capacity‘ offers practical guidance and considerations aimed at helping grantmakers design an effective approach.
  • Trust and confidence in our organisations is critical to our existence. Fulbright Professional Scholar in Non-profit Leadership, Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine’s report into ‘Sustaining Trust and Confidence in Australia’s Charities’ identifies key recommendations which our sector should take note of. These include the observation that charities must embrace the digital age, the need to use data more effectively and the need to lead their own transparency and accountability efforts, rather than be overtaken by them.
  • The ACNC offers a wide range of useful publications including free fact sheets which are relevant to Community Foundations.

tractor    Cultivate Farms

Cultivate Farms is a social enterprise in the early stages of development which is dedicated to making it possible for young families to own a farm by connecting them with investors. After match making a young farming family with a retiring family and investors, Cultivate Farms then provides ongoing management support for each farm.

The idea is the brainchild of Tegan Hicks, Tim Hicks and Sam Marwood who have been encouraged by the strong interest from young farmers, community groups and private investors. They are now ready to buy their first farm around Albury in order to test and prove the model. Ultimately, says Sam ‘A range of farm sizes could be managed under the model with returns under-pinned by Cultivate Farm’s commitment to developing local “value-added” markets for farm produce’. The enterprise is eager to discuss the opportunity with community groups who are looking for ways to attract young people and supporting retiring families to transition. To find out more click here.

ACP is the peak organisation for community foundations in Australia,
assisting them to establish, grow and achieve their goals.


Empowerment is the process of enhancing the capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes. Community foundations empower local philanthropists and communities.