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5 min read

Meet Georgia Mathews, Philanthropy & Engagement Lead

Profile of Nicole Richards
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 1/6/2021

If ever a person was perfectly suited to their role, it’s Australian Communities Foundation’s Philanthropy & Engagement Lead, Georgia Mathews.

Founder of LGBTQI+ collective giving group, The Channel (now GiveOUT), social justice advocate, NEXUS Australia committee member and champion of next-generation philanthropy, Georgia has worked tirelessly for almost a decade to engage more people in giving. She has held roles at Australians Investing in Women, Social Ventures Australia and the Inner North Community Foundation and earned a Master of Social Investment and Philanthropy along the way.

“Australian Communities Foundation definitely feels like a home for me in the sense that I’m able to live my values through my work,” Georgia says.

“Community philanthropy is something that really lights me up because it brings together so many of the mechanisms that generate social change that I am excited by. It has the capacity to bring people up to operate at more ambitious, systemic change levels than they would funding alone and its collective nature means that it is democratic, accessible and empowering.”

“Giving away your private resources for public good in a society like ours is such a powerful act.”

Respected throughout the social sector for her insightfulness, deep knowledge and networks, as well as her ability to get projects off the ground and make things happen, Georgia connects donors at all levels with the organisations and community leaders that are making true impact in the social change equation.

“One of the biggest parts of my role is finding and digesting a lot of information to get a good understanding of the depth of the issues then communicating complex concepts in a way that resonates with people and inspires them to take action,” Georgia explains.

“I love that our work opens people’s eyes to the joys of structured giving in a way that empowers them to achieve awesome things.”

Working across the Philanthropic Services and Engagement teams, Georgia brings years of practical experience and grantmaking expertise that adds value to every interaction with donors, giving them confidence in their funding decisions.

“I love being able to open up the mysterious and opaque world of philanthropy and help people see there are ways they can make a difference to the issues they care about,” she says.

“Giving away your private resources for public good in a society like ours is such a powerful act. No one ever looks back at their giving and thinks ‘I wish I didn’t do that’, instead they think ‘what took me so long?’. Getting started can seem daunting, but Australian Communities Foundation can help with that. It’s what we do.

“I love that our work opens people’s eyes to the joys of structured giving in a way that empowers them to achieve awesome things.”

Georgia with her GiveOUT colleagues

“The Impact Fund was designed to bring many co-funders together to support complex, national issues that weren’t getting the resources they needed.”

On a day-to-day level, Georgia also leads the work of the Impact Fund, Australian Communities Foundation’s flagship collective giving vehicle that inspires investments in bold solutions to our country’s biggest issues.

“The Impact Fund was designed to bring many co-funders together to support complex, national issues that weren’t getting the resources they needed,” Georgia explains.

“We know that when we’re part of a collective, there is real strength in numbers. Not only does the dollar amount go up exponentially, so too does our capacity to shoot for the stars in terms of what we can do.

“The Impact Fund is now in it’s fifth year and its incredible to see some of the changes that it has helped to support its partners to achieve. The campaigns, the policy wins and the milestones towards reform are so meaningful for our donors. The connection to those doing the work on the ground is also invaluable.”

Looking ahead, Georgia is excited by the many younger donors who are getting started with their giving early in their careers rather than waiting for retirement.

“It’s always great to connect with younger givers who tell us they know they have more than they need and want to do something good with that money. Gone are the days when philanthropy was something you looked to upon retirement. Being able to help the next generation engage in an impactful way with the issues they care about and knowing they have a whole lifetime ahead of them to make a difference is incredibly inspiring.