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Philanthropic groups unite for impact


2 March 2022 at 11:32 pm
Maggie Coggan
“We believe that by teaming up, we will get money out to as many people as we can, as efficiently as we can.”


Maggie Coggan | 2 March 2022 at 11:32 pm


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Philanthropic groups unite for impact
2 March 2022 at 11:32 pm

“We believe that by teaming up, we will get money out to as many people as we can, as efficiently as we can.”

More than $1 million is being made available for local Canberra charities after three of the city’s largest philanthropic groups joined forces. 

The Snow Foundation, John James Foundation and Hands Across Canberra announced they had formed the Canberra Foundations Collective at the end of February, each pledging $350,000 for the project. 

It is being billed as the largest funding collaboration in the nation’s capital, with grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. Some larger projects will also be funded.

While the foundations will remain separate entities, Georgina Byron, CEO of The Snow Foundation, said it was a great way to pool funds and have a greater impact on the Canberra community. 

“We might be three different foundations with slightly different interests, but really, we want to listen to the community and make as much impact as possible,” Byron told Pro Bono News. 

It is not the first time the three organisations have come together. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 they launched a successful collective grant round in 2020. This latest project comes off the back of this.

Byron said the community sector appreciated the reduced administration required with the coordinated and collective grant round offered in 2020 in response to COVID. 

“So it makes sense to continue this way,” she said. 

“Collaboration helps strengthen communities and we want to be part of that.”

Making money easy 

Peter Gordon, the CEO of Hands Across Canberra, told Pro Bono News that a big focus of this alliance was making it as easy as possible for charities to access their grant money.

He said that instead of charities having to spend precious time and resources applying for lots of small grants, the new collaboration would act as a one-stop-shop. 

“The idea is that money should be easy to get in this really stressful time,” Gordon said. 

“We believe that by teaming up, we will get money out to as many people as we can, as efficiently as we can.” 

Practising what you preach 

Byron said that it was also important to demonstrate best practice within the community. 

“We really want for-purpose organisations working together and we will be looking for that when we go through the grant applications,” she said. 

“It’s all very well for us to say we want you to be collaborative and work together and consult one another, but it means we have to do it too. 

“It’s been wonderful to come together to show that collaborating will make delivering funding more effective and efficient.”

Just the beginning 

Now that the three foundations have officially come together, Gordon said that the road ahead was promising. 

“The idea that we would be a network of foundations was always part of our relationship, it has just taken a while for us to establish really strong systems and brandings so that we can all work together really well,” Gordon said. 

“And we don’t want to stop at three foundations, you know in 10 years time there could be 20 or 50 foundations all working together.” 

Expressions of interest in the funding are open until 17 March, with requests for grant applications sent out throughout April. 

Grant recipients are expected to be announced in early June. To find out more information, head here. 


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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