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6 min read

Meet Dan Brugaletta, Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Profile of Nicole Richards
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 29/1/2021

Daniel Brugaletta, or Dan as he’s known around the Australian Communities Foundation office, has all the qualities you’d hope to see in a CFO: he’s smart and experienced; analytical, measured and logical.

He’s also calm to the point of being unflappable, and brimming with kindness and compassion.

Maybe that has something to do with the fact that as a Dad to three young kids, he’s well-practiced in the art of patience and steadiness.

Dan started his career as a tax professional at PWC, working with private clients before moving into the financial advisory space, supporting high-net-worth individuals and their families at what was then the Myer Family Company (MFCo).

“Being able to work with an organisation that had philanthropic values and the aim of doing good was so refreshing”

After becoming a director at MFCo, Dan received what he calls a “wonderful opportunity” to act as adviser to The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund.

“It was just a case of right place, right time,” Dan says. “It was my entry into the world of philanthropy and I absolutely loved it. Being able to work with an organisation that had philanthropic values and the aim of doing good was so refreshing and such an eye opener for me.”

When the opportunity arose to join Australian Communities Foundation, Dan saw it as the next, logical step.

“I knew I wanted to work full-time for a purpose-driven organisation,” he explains. “An organisation whose main purpose was to do good in the community. That meant a lot to me, because I was prepared to give up the higher paying jobs in the finance sector to be able to satisfy that personal alignment of values.”

Alignment is one of Dan’s favourite characteristics of the Australian Communities Foundation team.

“We’re all passionate and committed to seeing the organisation achieve its goals,” he says, “and that’s consistent across all our teams.

“It reminds me of an analogy of asking a janitor who works at NASA what his goal is from working there and he says, ‘To get an astronaut to the moon’. For me, that’s what it feels like at ACF; we all play different roles, but we’re all driven by the same passion and that is to grow giving in Australia.”

Dan with his wife and their three young kids.

The transition of Australian Communities Foundation’s portfolio, which currently stands at more than $120 million in funds under management, to 100 per cent responsible investing is one of the achievements Dan is most proud of.

“It’s really important that we look at impact across everything we do as an organisation,” he says.

“Our granting is the obvious part of what we do, but there’s also a big opportunity in the way we manage the investment of our portfolio.

“…by being part of the ACF community you’re helping to generate positive social and environmental outcomes”

“We’ve put in a lot of work over the last couple of years to find the right investment partner and make those strategic changes while still ensuring our investments are back by strong financial returns.

“That’s the beauty of being part of our donor community,” Dan continues. “It doesn’t matter if you’re already doing a lot of granting or if you’re just getting started on your giving journey with a Gumnut Account, just by being part of the ACF community you’re helping to generate positive social and environmental outcomes.”

If there’s one thing Dan is keen to see more of, it’s the growth of philanthropy in Australia.

“I like to think that my generation and even younger generations have a really strong social awareness and a willingness to give,” he says.  

“Giving through a community foundation is such an accessible way to get involved in philanthropy and when we give together, we really can make the world a better place.”