What is a Community Foundation?

A community foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established to help philanthropic individuals and organisations support grass-root causes and initiatives. It uses charitable giving to meet the current and future needs of local communities. A community foundation provides all the tax advantages of charitable giving, the long-term benefits of endowment funding, and the ability to establish a legacy fund in the name of your family or a loved one.

A community foundation seeks to build a permanent pool of funds to support local communities. All community foundations share the same qualities.  They:

  • seek to improve the quality of life for all people within their community
  • are independent from control or influence by other organisations or government
  • are governed by a board of citizens broadly reflective of the communities they serve
  • make grants to other non-profit and community groups to address disadvantage and a wide variety of emerging and changing needs in the community
  • provide services to donors to help them achieve their philanthropic goals.

Australian Communities Foundation (formerly known as Melbourne Community Foundation) was the first independent community foundation in Australia.

How does ACF work?

ACF is a community foundation focused on making giving easy.

We combine our governance expertise, in-depth knowledge of societal trends and grass-roots connections to create an active community of engaged philanthropists.

With ACF, there are many ways you can get involved to help build healthy, happy and resilient communities. You can:

All of these giving mechanisms are designed to be flexible, cost-effective and easy. If you’re not sure which option is best for you, we can help you decide based on your needs and the impact you want to make.

Once you’ve established your giving approach, we work with you to develop your giving plan and start actioning it via grants to the community. We pride ourselves on making grantmaking impactful, effective and enjoyable. For this reason, ACF undertakes all tasks relating to grantmaking from initial due diligence to administration, payment and reporting.

Want to find out more?

Read some of our latest grant stories

Explore our giving options