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 is a robust program which helps community foundations engage with citizens and stakeholders around the issues facing their communities.

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.

Vital Signs reports

Vital Signs reports present a picture of a community using relevant national data and local research on an identified range of issues. Successful reports leverage stakeholder involvement at every level, from determining the report’s issues and indicators, to exploring research sources.

Vital Signs reports help communities make connections between issues and trends in different areas. The findings are presented in a reader-friendly format that provides a snapshot of quality of life and community vitality. They are also an important touchstone for community leaders, service organizations and funders.

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

Kate Buxton
0419 350 340
kate.buxton@australiancommunityphilanthropy.org.au

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

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Melbourne Vital Signs  

Vital Signs – Community Foundations of Canada