Foundation SA Turns 2

21 May 2023

Foundation SA turns 2

In the space of two short years, Foundation SA, South Australia’s only state-wide community foundation, has become home to a flourishing donor community.

With 20 funds established by families, businesses and a non-profit organisation, and many more donors involved through opportunities such as the SA Disaster Recovery Fund, Foundation SA is making philanthropy accessible and enjoyable for a diverse range of South Australians.

“We’ve had great feedback from our fund holders about how easy the process of giving is at Foundation SA,” says Philanthropy & Engagement Manager, Sophie Doyle.

“Everybody joins us with their own interest areas they wish to support, and it’s been wonderful to help develop giving strategies and do some research to help inform their giving and maximise impact.”

Being able to take a tailored, community-centric approach to philanthropy has also helped donors find new organisations that are doing vital work.

“We’ve undertaken some research for a couple of fund holders on a specific cause area they wanted to support and they’ve loved learning about some smaller grass-roots charities that they’d never heard of,” Sophie explains.

“They’re enjoying the opportunity to connect with these smaller organisations, visit their operations and start building relationships where they know they’ll truly make a difference.”

Foundation SA’s first Neighbourhood Grants round, held in May 2022, granted $10,000 to local community organisations strengthening their neighbourhoods including Hands of Hope Foundation, Marino Community Garden, Junction Australia, Kensington Residents Association and Villagehood Australia. The 2023 Flood Recovery Grant round is now underway.

Supporting local communities

Inspiring greater generosity and creating a permanent endowment to support the current and future needs of the community are core to Foundation SA’s DNA and underpin the organisation’s mission.

It was in this spirit that the Foundation identified and responded quickly to the local needs of South Australian flood-impacted communities by establishing the Disaster Recovery Fund earlier this year.

“The response to our recent flood recovery campaign has been huge,” Sophie says.

 “The Murray River peaked at Christmas time in 2022 and over 3,000 homes were inundated. We started fundraising in February and to date we have raised $85,000 which has included funds from four SA-based private foundations, Foundation SA sub-funds and the general public.”

The funds will now be distributed through an open grant round to aid recovery and build resilience for the future through on-the-ground programs.

The success of Foundation SA’s flexible giving model was used to showcase the potential for increased giving in South Australia as part of the Foundation’s recent submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Philanthropy.

The submission identified three key success factors that had enabled the Foundation’s success: an attractive giving model that reduces barriers and the administrative burden for donors; backbone support and partnerships; and the ability to leverage funding.

Looking ahead, Foundation SA will continue its work to connect with new donors and local not-for-profit organisations.

“We are only two years old,” explains Sophie, “so our focus will continue to be on raising awareness of giving through a community foundation and growing our donor community.

“Our Neighbourhood Grants will run again later this year and I’m really looking forward to meeting many new people from the Murraylands communities through our flood recovery grants which will continue until late in the year to accommodate community readiness.

“Supporting our fund holders to make the most of their giving and then hearing the stories of how the grants made through Foundation SA are making a difference in our local communities really captures the joy of philanthropic giving.”

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