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5 min read

Getting involved in the Impact Fund in 2024

Profile of Australian Communities Foundation
Written by Australian Communities FoundationPosted on 24/4/2024

Image: Laura Mannix (Philanthropy Lead) and Camille Furtado (Director of Philanthropy), who drive the work of the ACF Impact Fund.

Over the past few months, the Australian Communities Foundation (ACF) team has had many meetings with fundholders across the country. And one question we keep hearing from you is ‘What is the Impact Fund and how can I get involved?’

If you are one of those people, this update is for you…

Established in 2017 as ACF’s flagship fund, the Impact Fund is a way for you to get involved in best-practice collective giving. And it’s back for 2024.

How the Impact Fund works

Step One. Identifying opportunities for impact: Each year, the ACF team works on your behalf to identify changemakers working on critical issues of national significance across four Impact Areas: Tackling Inequality, Safeguarding the Environment, Supporting First Nations Self-Determination, and Strengthening Democracy.

Step Two. Showcasing the work: The shortlisted organisations are showcased at our annual Impact Fund event in October. The Foundation commits funding from the Impact Fund, which is then pooled with generous contributions from our giving community (this is where you come in).  

Step Three. Supporting the work: The Fund usually awards four Large Grants annually (one in each Impact Area), as well as smaller grants across the year through the Agile stream, designed to provide rapid funding in response to urgent needs.

Step Four. Amplifying our impact: Finally, we leverage our community’s support by inviting other foundations to co-fund with us, and together, we maximise our impact.

Where are we now? The Impact Fund in 2024

Our Philanthropy Team has been busy meeting with dozens of community organisations and has identified four priority issues for the 2024 Large Grants program:

  • Housing (Tackling Inequality)
    Supporting access to safe, affordable and sustainable housing to tackle the cost-of-living crisis

  • Climate Justice (Safeguarding the Environment)
    Building the power of those most affected by climate change

  • First Nations Justice (Supporting First Nations Self-Determination)
    Supporting First Nations-led movements for justice

  • Disinformation (Strengthening Democracy)
    Combatting disinformation which threatens every pathway to a fairer and more sustainable Australia

The Impact Fund commits approximately $400,000 every year across the four Impact Areas, and when we invite our giving community to give alongside the Fund this often results in six to seven times as much being granted overall. This year, a group of donors, including the Eastbourne Fund and Ewan Ogilvy, have generously helped grow our initial pledge, meaning we are starting with a grants pool of more than half a million dollars.

Brad Fresia of the Eastbourne Fund says he and partner Allister “believe strongly in the work of the Impact Fund building a fairer and more sustainable Australia.”

“The talented ACF team has the expertise to maximise impact by directing funding and guidance to organisations doing amazing work. These are organisations we most likely would not have identified on our own. This leaves us confident that our support is being deployed in a smart way aligned with our goals.”

You don’t need to wait to get involved…

There are lots of ways you can get involved this year:

  • Help grow the Impact Fund’s 2024 grants pool: Join the group of generous donors who have donated into the Fund to help grow our initial pledge for the year. Contact Laura Mannix, Philanthropy Lead, to learn more or indicate your support. Contact details below.

  • Attend one of our online Learning Circles: Learn more about the Impact Fund’s issue areas for 2024 at an upcoming Learning Circle event. Register now for our ‘Tackling Housing Inequity’ Learning Circle on 15 August.

  • Co-fund a current Agile Grant: We have seen a strong response in co-funding for Agile Grants to Common Threads ($58,000 raised; $27,000 to go) and Media Diversity Australia ($14,500 raised; $11,500 to go), and have just announced two more Agile Grants for Our Islands, Our Home ($10,000 raised; $33,000 to go) and Fair Agenda ($10,000 raised; $70,000 to go).

  • Mark your calendar for the annual Impact Fund Showcase in October: Can’t make the Melbourne event? We’re currently exploring hosting Watching Parties across the country – register your interest here. Stay tuned for more details.

If you have any queries or suggestions relating to the Fund’s focus areas this year, please contact Laura Mannix on 03 9412 0412 or email