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The power of philanthropic partnerships

Profile of Nicole Richards
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 2/12/2021

“There is no question that philanthropic peers working in partnership creates optimal results,” says Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF) Partnerships Manager, Genevieve Timmons.

Renowned for her vast contribution to Australia’s philanthropic sector, Genevieve speaks from decades of first-hand experience. And as the world continues to be reshaped by the upheavals, restrictions and increased need for support wrought by Covid, collaboration and partnerships are proving to be more critical than ever for achieving impact.    

After a successful pilot in 2020, PRF has again partnered with Australian Communities Foundation (ACF) in 2021 to deliver $3 million worth of funding support to vulnerable communities as part of its Covid Response Surge Funding.

The key priority was to ensure PRF funds would reach the organisations and communities most severely impacted by the pandemic in a respectful, timely and cost-effective way.

“The key priority was to ensure PRF funds would reach the organisations and communities most severely impacted by the pandemic in a respectful, timely and cost-effective way,” explains Genevieve.

“ACF was able to do this with us. They provided valuable reach so our funds could be delivered to organisations and communities across Australia, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria.”

Though the impact of the funding is still unfolding as grants are distributed across the Covid-impacted communities, the partnership between the two philanthropic foundations has been built upon the unique skills and respective strengths of each organisation.

“Through the partnership, ACF opened up access to a broad sweep of funding relationships they already have in place, and knowledge of the landscape where we were hoping to provide benefit,” Genevieve says. “They also quickly took on research to build new funding opportunities to match our priorities.”

For Australian Communities Foundation CEO, Maree Sidey, the partnership demonstrates the value and deep knowledge a community foundation can bring to the funding equation.

“As part of this partnership with PRF we’re really pleased to be able to offer the expertise of our fundholders such as Koondee Woonga-gat Toor-rong and the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership to inform the grantmaking to specific communities,” Maree says.

“ACF’s flexibility and agility, our infrastructure and our connections into these communities have all helped get this funding out the door effectively and efficiently.”

These characteristics have proven to be extremely valuable in response to Covid.

The professionalism and responsiveness that the ACF team brought to our work was invaluable

“An important feature of the partnership has been relying on the specialist operational skills and technology framework that needs to be in place for any effective contemporary grantmaking program, but especially emergency response funding,” Genevieve says.

“The professionalism and responsiveness that the ACF team brought to our work was invaluable. They artfully managed a range of demands that are critical to an effective emergency response. 

“Their approach was efficient and light touch, which meant we could move as fast as possible to get funds out to where they were needed.”

Read more about the partnership’s surge funding for women’s shelters here.

Feature image: Supported by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, the National Crisis Response Fund has distributed over $630,000 to 62 organisations, including Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare and PlateitForward.