Vital Signs

Vital Signs uses community knowledge to measure the vitality of communities – gathering data and publishing accessible reports on significant social and economic trends to tell the story of how communities are faring in key quality-of-life areas.

Vital Signs connects the dots between existing data to 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

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.

They help communities better understand issues and trends and are an important touchstone for community leaders, service organisations and funders.

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Fremantle Foundation have joined community foundations from around the world who are shining a light on local priorities using Vital Sign


Vital Signs in Australia

Vital Signs was developed by the Toronto Community Foundation in 2001, after a group of civic leaders came up with a new way to engage their community in understanding and monitoring the health and vitality of Toronto on an ongoing basis. In 2006, Vital Signs became a national program of Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and it continues to grow every year, both across Canada and internationally.

Australian Community Philanthropy is the ‘parent’ of Vital Signs within Australia and manages the licensing of Vital Signs for Community Foundations within our region. We are committed to developing Vital Signs as a national program for community foundations and have established the Vital Signs Working Group to ensure a collaborative, cohesive approach and an informed relationship between ACP, as the peak organisation, and community foundations.

For more information on Vital Signs download our Vital Signs Backgrounder or contact:

Kate Buxton
0419 350 340

Would you like to support the development of Vital Signs in Australia?

Enabling Sustainable Regional Community Philanthropy (ESRCP) is a new initiative from ACP which will build the capacity of Australia’s 26 active rural and regional community foundations to deliver Vital Signs in their communities.

ESRCP is an approved project of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). Donations, grant funding and other financial contributions to this project will be accepted into the FRRR Public Fund and used solely for the purposes of this project. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

For more information on ESRCP click here

Useful Links

Fremantle’s Vital Signs

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Melbourne Vital Signs  

Vital Signs – Community Foundations of Canada