Setting Up a Community Foundation

Why create a community foundation?

Community foundations and community funds are a great way for everybody to participate in philanthropy and give back to their local community.

Community foundations:

  • respond quickly to critical community issues
  • address community needs in a particular location or cause area
  • enable collaborative philanthropy by making powerful connections between donors and community organisations for the long-term benefit of the community
  • make it easy for people to give back to the community and support the causes they care about
  • provide knowledgeable and effective grants to community organisations and projects
  • provide leadership by advocating for and supporting important social issues.

How can we set up a community foundation in our town, suburb or region?

  1. Research what foundations or other philanthropic vehicles already exist in your community, and consider whether you want to create your own or contribute to one of them.
  2. Think about what vehicle might suit you best – an independent community foundation, opening  a sub-fund with a larger community foundation or trustee company, establishing a Donation Account with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)
  3. Talk to other community leaders and organisations in your community who might want to join your efforts and be part of a foundation or fund. Get in touch with your city council, and perhaps local corporate leaders to see if they would like to collaborate with you.
  4. Investigate the intricacies of the Australian Not-for-Profits taxation system, and make sure you understand what kind of entities you need to set up in order to achieve your objectives.  This can be complicated, so seek help from other established community foundations, and from specialised legal eagles.
  5. Contact with Australian Community Philanthropy. While you will need professional advice to establish a community foundation, we can assist you with preliminary questions and help you to tap into the right advisors.

Useful Resources