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Countdown to High Impact Grant

21 October 2014 at 10:24 am
Xavier Smerdon
Four Not for Profit organisations working on the coalface with homelessness in Melbourne are the final contenders for Impact100 Melbourne’s annual $100,000 grant.

Xavier Smerdon | 21 October 2014 at 10:24 am


Countdown to High Impact Grant
21 October 2014 at 10:24 am

Four Not for Profit organisations working on the coalface with homelessness in Melbourne are the final contenders for Impact100 Melbourne’s annual $100,000 grant.

The finalists vying for the giving circle funding are The Ladder Project Foundation, McAuley Community Service for Women, Holy Fools and Open Family Australia – organisations that have a strong focus on young people and women.

The final four will now present at the Annual Grant Awards event on 13 November at Federation Square, where the winner of the $100,000 high impact grant will be announced.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen and should we be successful, we will employ a full-time youth outreach worker to provide much-needed support for up to 40 young at-risk young people in Wyndham,” Open Family Australia CEO Mark Watt said.

“Wyndham is the fastest-growing municipality in Victoria, and there is a huge lack of social services to address the disturbing levels of youth homelessness and disconnection there.”

The Ladder Project Foundation CEO Mark Bolton said: “This is an amazing opportunity and it would provide a substantial investment not only in our work, but more importantly, in the lives of young people as they strive to reach their full potential and live independently.”

Jocelyn Bignold, CEO, McAuley Community Services for Women: “Women are often out of sight and out of mind when it comes to homelessness and yet there are 10,000 Victorian women who are homeless largely due to family violence or mental illness. Being in the final puts a spotlight on our work in a vital area that is not understood or well enough funded.”

Phil Yelland, Board Member, Holy Fools says: "The grant would benefit Yarra Ranges and surrounding areas, enabling us to run a drop-in centre which will enable other agencies to support and work more productively together."

Now in its second year, Melbourne’s first Impact100 giving circle (which comprises 100 members donating $1000 each) focused on homelessness, as part of its mandate to focus on the most under-served parts of Melbourne and increase philanthropy across Melbourne.

Committee member Rikki Andrews says it’s simple rationale.

“We recognise that while Melbourne is the ‘most liveable city in the world’, it applies to a privilege few.”

Impact100 Melbourne is a membership-style giving circle with a mission to reach under-served parts of Melbourne, raise the profile of lesser-known charities, highlight unmet needs and increase involvement in philanthropy across Melbourne.

“We use the highly-successful ‘Impact100’ model which is 100 members contributing a minimum $1000 each to create a minimum $100,000 pool for high-impact granting.

“All contributions are tax deductible and are managed as a sub-fund of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

“We are not a set and forget giving circle. We match our high impact giving with high-touch philanthropy, allowing our members access and opportunity to learn about issues, be involved in the grant-making process and be as hands on as they desire,” Andrews said.

“We take a thematic approach each year, which allows us to delve into the issue and understand the Melbourne-based organisations working at the coalface. In  2013 our theme was ‘refugees’. In 2014 we are working on homelessness.”


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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