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Thought Starter: Community foundations: If you haven’t got one, get one

Julia Keady,
03 February 2018

The recent Global Philanthropy report pays homage to the incredible work of Community Foundations and noting they are becoming beacons of philanthropy everywhere.  

This is music to our ears! 

In our work, we have been fortunate to speak at the Australian national conference for Community Foundations, and also worked alongside a couple of outstanding Australian community foundations notably Mirboo North & District Community Foundation and Northern Rivers Community Foundation. 

As a donor, I have also had the benefit of seeing how Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (Melbourne-based) works, having been involved in steering the Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni sub-fund.  

Over recent years, Australian Community Philanthropy (the peak body) have been doing a great job to drive more interest in catalysing community foundations, particularly in regional and rural areas.  

Alongside them stands Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and also Australian Communities Foundation (formerly Melbourne Community Foundation). The three have been the driving force behind building the profile here in Australia.  

So what is a community foundation? The best description is that they are an independent, community-owned philanthropic organisation that operates in a specific region. They enable local people to “live local and give local”. 

To me, they are the absolute most logical place to begin your philanthropy journey. Most community foundations have either a Donor Services division, or they are lead by an Executive Officer with strong skills to help you get started on setting up a sub-fund for your family or your business. 

But if you haven’t got a Community Foundation in your region - you don’t know what you are missing out on. And that catalyst for a foundation in your area might just be YOU. We all have a role to play in social change, and we need the people with big vision who will advocate for new ideas and help bring them fruition.  

Can you imagine what you could do in, or for your region, if you had your own philanthropic trust that was built up by the people who lived and loved their region?  2018 might be your year, and the climate has never been better to get one set up in your community.  

(This is not a sponsored blog post. We are just damn passionate about CF’s!)

The Xfactor Collective is a community of pre-vetted specialist consultants who help social change makers achieve their social mission. We have a diverse range of specialists across 300+ areas of specialisation, and this article was written by our Specialist Consultant Julia Keady. To find out more about working with Julia, or how the Collective can help you, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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