Giving together to reimagine Australia
21 October 2020 at 11:12 am
A new funding program is looking to make philanthropy more accessible
Australian Communities Foundation is opening up its Impact Fund to members of the public, hoping to raise $600,000 for projects working towards creating a fairer and more sustainable Australia.
The foundation recently launched its Reimagining Australia program, showcasing four national initiatives that are campaigning for ambitious reform as the nation rebuilds from COVID-19.
For the first time, members of the public (as well as ACF sub funds and philanthropic funders) will be able to co-fund with the Impact Fund – ACF’s flagship collective giving fund.
ACF’s head of philanthropy and impact, Louise Kuramoto, told Pro Bono News that ACF was all about accessible philanthropy and wanted to provide an avenue for anybody from the general public to create systemic change.
She said that philanthropy or strategic giving was not for “the top end of town only”, but rather should be available to anybody in Australia who wanted to give.
She noted that ACF has multi-million dollar funds as well as funds that have only a few thousand dollars in them.
“And the individuals [with funds] that have a few thousand dollars in them still know just as much about social issues, about strategic giving, and what it takes for change to happen,” she said.
“Philanthropy should be much more accessible because it doesn’t matter how much you have to give. What matters is having the right information at your disposal to make informed choices about your giving so you can make it more strategic.”
Kuramoto added that now – amid the devastating events of 2020 – was the perfect time for Australians to drive social change.
“More so than ever in 2020, the public are informed and wanting to use their voice [to push] for ambitious reform. And we wanted to provide them with that opportunity,” she said.
The projects chosen for the Reimagining Australia program focus on investing in social and affordable housing (Everybody’s Home), diversifying the voices shaping the economic narrative (Economic Media Centre), supporting the fight to stop black deaths in custody (The Dhadjowa Foundation), and shifting the politics of the recovery towards climate and quality jobs (350.org Australia).
Money will be raised for the projects during a live giving event on 22 October, where each of the grant partners will pitch and audience members can pledge their support for the initiatives.
Kuramoto said the Reimagining Australia campaign is hoping to secure $150,000 for each initiative – with the Impact Fund already committing $20,000 for every project.
While the giving event is expected to take them partly towards that total, Kuramoto said the night also had a deeper purpose.
“Really what the event is about is allowing the general public to make informed decisions about these issues and to connect with like-minded people who also have the same vision for a fair and sustainable Australia,” Kuramoto said.
“I would classify the event a success if people came away from it feeling empowered that they can have an impact in [creating] the Australia that they want to see.”
You can find out more about the event here.