Category Archives: Rally-Round

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).

kate.buxton@australiancommunityphilanthropy.org.au 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 info@australiancommunityphilanthropy.org.au

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

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.


SNAPSHOT INSIGHTS

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

  • PLAN PLAN PLAN
  • 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


2016-mapping-social-cohesion-web-banner-1

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

flagworld

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 match