Answer: A community foundation is an independent public charitable foundation established to meet the current and future needs of local communities. A community foundation receives donations and makes grants and is typically based around a specific community or place. Using the investment earnings on endowed funds, a community foundation makes and builds capacity within the community to address needs and opportunities. It helps local individuals, families, businesses, and not-for-profits achieve their charitable and financial goals by providing resources that make giving easy, flexible, and effective. It also enables donors establish permanent endowments that will benefit the community in perpetuity.
Community Foundations engage in a range of community leadership and partnership activities, serving as catalysts, convenors, collaborators and facilitators to solve problems and develop solutions to important community issues.
Answer: Australian Communities Foundation helps donors establish a charitable fund without all the hassles often associated with a private foundation. Donors can establish a named sub-fund under Australian Communities Foundation’s legal structure and all contributions are pooled and invested. Australian Communities Foundation then works with donors to make grants to the causes, organisations and issues they want to support.
Australian Communities Foundation’s role is to encourage and make it easy for people and organisations to support charitable giving. As such, we provide all the necessary structures, systems and tax and compliance environments within which individuals, families, groups and organisations can establish named charitable funds under our structure.
We then work with our donors and funds to make sure they achieve their objectives, by matching donor interests and passions with the needs of the community. To ensure we can do this effectively, we constantly monitor what’s happening at grass-roots level across Australia – where the needs are, what the emerging trends and issues are. Collectively, we are working together to build healthy resilient communities and positive social change.
Answer: No. A sub-fund is a management account established as part of one of Australian Communities Foundation’s charitable trust funds. A sub-fund is not a legal entity. A sub-fund owner is not the Trustee. Sub-funds cannot be called a ‘foundation’ or a ‘trust’.
Answer: Australian Communities Foundation is governed by a not-for-profit company limited by Guarantee, Australian Communities Foundation Limited, which is the Trustee. It consists of a Board of Directors made up of voluntary leaders representing a broad cross section of the community.
Answer: We make it as easy as possible. Australian Communities Foundation offers a range of options from starting a named sub-fund, or a Supporting Foundation, to opening a Gumnut Account, making a general donation to the Forward Fund and leaving a bequest.
Answer: We make it as easy as possible. Australian Communities Foundation offers a range of options from starting a named sub-fund, or a Supporting Foundation, to opening a Gumnut Account, making a general donation to the Forward Fund and leaving a bequest.
Answer: Very easily and quickly. Simply fill in an establishment form and make the initial donation. There are no establishment fees, no waiting period – you can be up and running in a day. You can also start a sub-fund through a bequest.
Answer: By building an endowment, donors can support an issue or an organisation over a long period of time. The capital invested to establish the endowment earns income each year to distribute. Having a sub-fund with Australian Communities Foundation helps develop a more planned and strategic approach to giving.
Answer: Minimum entry level is $20,000. There must also be an understanding that a sub-fund will grow to at least $100,000 over time. There is no upper limit.
Answer: Australian Communities Foundation makes philanthropy accessible. You can open a Gumnut Account for as little as $5.45 per day or $2,000 per year. Regular contributions are made until your account reaches $20,000. It can be transferred into a named sub-fund and start your giving program.
Answer: Yes. A donor can request to close a sub-fund and the balance be granted to a specific project or organisation or to Australian Communities Foundation’s Forward Fund.
Answer: Grants can be made so long as the sub-fund balance does not fall below $20,000.
Answer: With a community foundation, the donor does not have to worry about the on-going compliance and administration, they can concentrate on giving. Our donors have access to Australian Communities Foundation’s extensive support and research services to help them research the projects and issues they are interested in. And they have the confidence of knowing all the due diligence and formal administration is taken care of.
Answer: Yes. Donors have the ability to donate to a tax deductible fund.
Answer: Australian Communities Foundation has a non-tax-deductible extension fund. All earnings are exempt from tax. Grants can be made for charitable purposes to both organisations and individuals. Generally bequests and corporate donations are made to an extension fund. Corporates can claim their donations against their marketing/sponsorship budgets.
Answer: What are you passionate about? The giving process may seem somewhat daunting when you think about the multitude of organisations and causes to which you can contribute. When you are deciding who, or what, will be the recipients of your giving, a great place to start is within yourself.
We all have interests. We are all passionate about something. What keeps you awake at night, makes you really mad or sad, or has you so excited that you have to tell others about it? Use these thoughts to help you to refine and focus your ideas about giving and philanthropy and become effective and strategic in your approach.
Answer: As a rule, yes. Grants are only made from sub-funds at the donor’s request. However, the Trustee has to approve all grants as part of its due diligence and formal responsibility. This gives donors the confidence of knowing their grantmaking is both effective and is fully compliant with the regulations. Please note, you cannot make grants from a Gumnut Account.
Answer: There are lots of options. If a donor knows what they want to support, they can simply make the requests when they are ready to grant. Australian Communities Foundation also undertakes bespoke research for our donors, in their areas of interest, where we will identify grant opportunities against a specific brief. Australian Communities Foundation also frequently and regularly receives a broad range of requests for funding from community organisations. Once we’ve done our due diligence, these requests are passed onto donors.
Answer: The Australian Communities Foundation trust deed allows grants to be made to charitable organisations anywhere in Australia and to Australian registered charities overseas
Answer: We keep you informed. Our grants administration process ensures that we follow up on grants and evaluation reports which can provide feedback to you about the projects you support. We also offer a broad range of education options to help you build your understanding of charitable giving. All our donors have access to Australian Communities Foundation’s significant community and grantmaking knowledge as well as the opportunity to participate in a range of thought-provoking, insightful forums, site visits and other events enabling you to deepen your knowledge and connect with other like-minded people.

Answer: ACF sends out regular donor updates and holds events throughout the year. You can view your sub-fund balance and make grant requests through the online Community Hub. ACF is active on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to provide a more interactive way for donors to be kept informed about ACF news, events and activities. Social media also provides donors with a great way to share new ideas, debates and discussion about philanthropy with ACF and other philanthropists.

ACF has contracted Computershare Fund Services (CFS) to provide sub-fund registry management. CFS and Australian Communities Foundation have established a facility called ‘Sub-funds Online’ which allows donors to login via an individual username and password to view details of their personal sub-fund investments and transaction activity and unit prices.

Annual Statements are produced at the end of the financial year. This identifies all the donations to, and grants from, the sub-fund along with investment and administration fees.

Answer: Australian Communities Foundation is obliged to grant a minimum of 4% of capital annually, based on the net assets at the end of the previous financial year. This is calculated at the consolidated trust fund level. Donors have the flexibility for sub-funds to either give away more than 4% of capital or alternatively to accumulate and grow for a period of time, without making grants. However, should this change in any given year, we may need to ask for these funds to be distributed in order to achieve the obligatory requirement.
Answer: The Australian Communities Foundation Board, through its Finance and Investment Committee is responsible for the investment policy and approach. Australian Communities Foundation has appointed investment advisers, JBWere, who work to a mandate and service agreement.
Answer: Australian Communities Foundation’s major source of income to cover operating expenses is the management fee charged to sub-funds.
Australian Communities Foundation also offers a fee-for-service option to provide grantmaking and consulting research and advice to individuals and other organisations. This includes private trusts and foundations. In addition, it relies on gifts and donations from supporters and Board members.