The making of the Impact Fund
At Australian Communities Foundation, we recognise collective giving as a force for change. That’s why, with the support of significant bequests, we launched the Impact Fund – to help more people give together and maximise their impact.
Key to the Fund’s success has been the strong foundations that were laid through initiatives like MacroMelbourne, which ran from 2003 until 2011.
“Our giving community has a strong history in supporting donors and NFPs to share knowledge and work together.”
“Through MacroMelbourne, our giving community has a strong history in supporting donors and NFPs to share knowledge and work together to tackle place-based disadvantage,” says Maree Sidey, CEO. “As part of our evolution to a national community foundation, we drew on the success of this history and applied a national lens.”
“We built on the momentum in the sector at the time and, with the support of globally respected leader Alison Taylor, then at Centre for Social Impact in New Zealand, developed the Impact Fund as one of the first national collective giving initiatives in Australia,” says Maree.
“We chose the Fund’s four focus areas – inequality, democracy, Indigenous self-determination, and the environment – because of the scale and entrenched nature of the challenges they present to our country.”
The Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC) was one of ACF’s early partners on the national stage with the release of $5,000 of funding to send the first lawyer to Manus Island. HRLC then became one of the first recipients of support from the Impact Fund for its work on marriage equality and abortion reform.
Hugh de Kretser, HRLC’s Executive Director, says that early support for advocacy and the subsequent emergence of the Impact Fund in 2017 was game-changing.
“What really struck me about the Impact Fund was the innovation, willingness and creativity to set something up that was able to respond to nationally significant opportunities for positive change.”