2015 January Newsletter


Melbourne Women’s Fund has a big year of ‘firsts’ ahead and we are looking forward to sharing it with our members and friends.

What’s ahead this year:

* Our first grant round (February – April) and member voting event (mid-May) when each member will cast her vote to decide the winning grant(s) we will fund

* We will hold our first after work drinks get-together in mid-February, a time to relax and get better acquainted (see below)

* In March we will be running our second ‘Conversation’ event – when some special women donors will share their giving journey with us

* In July we will celebrate our first anniversary

Throughout 2015 we hope to see the membership grow toward our goal of 100 women donors. In this inaugural 12 months of the Melbourne Women’s Fund, please encourage your friends and colleagues to join us as Founding Members before 30 June.

Grants Discovery & Research Happening Now

Members who have volunteered to research grant opportunities will be meeting on January 27th to start the process of finding eligible projects to fund in the cause areas of their passion and interest. If you are interested in helping with the research or if you have ideas for us to explore, please contact Pat on grants@melbournewomensfund.org

Our 2015 Grant Application Guidelines are now available and provide details about how the process works. Go to the MWF website Grant Criteria & Process page for more details.

Key dates in brief:

  • from next week through mid-February, we will research potential projects and organisations to fund
  • From 16 February, the grants committee will review those potential opportunities and invite a number to submit an Expression of Interest form
  • By early March, those EOI’s will be shortened to a list of finalists and invited to submit a full Application by the deadline of 27 March, 2015
  • We aim to have no more than 5 finalists to present to our members in mid-May at our decision event (date and venue TBA)

We want to fund grants in cause areas that will benefit targeted groups of women & families in greater Melbourne, and that align with our broader mission of improving their education, health & wellbeing. We would like to support cutting edge projects – from the ‘doing’ to advocacy – that move tough issues forward from addressing long term poverty and disadvantage, family violence, mental illness, women & ageing, improving children’s’ opportunity & education, and many other areas – the list is long and the needs are great.

This is our first year of granting, and as a newly formed giving circle, it will be a learning experience for us and our growing membership. Please join us for this important work. We welcome your help and ideas.

Join us at the Atrium Bar on 35

Wednesday – 11th February – 5:30 – 7:00pm

Join us at the Atrium Bar on Level 35 at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, a dazzling centerpiece with star filled vantage beneath fifteen-floor glass canopy. Come for an an after work drink to find out more about Melbourne Women’s Fund and meet some of our members! It will also be a great opportunity to network, learn more about our granting process and hear about the areas our members are keen to support.

Please book through Eventbrite so we know you will be coming! Here’s the link!

New Member Profile – Christine Darcas

I’m really excited about this organisation.

I’m a writer by trade. I have been writing to build awareness of, and support for, social and community issues since I was an aid worker in Chad back in the mid-1980s. My writing endeavours have been interspersed with large and small business experience and training, plus a fair bit of globetrotting and childrearing. All of these influences have rather strangely fused to create writing interests that range from short stories and novels to project reports and grant applications. My words may not always be the best words, but I always intend them to advance a worthwhile cause.

By the end of its launch, I knew that the Melbourne Women’s Fund was a worthwhile cause. As someone who doesn’t have the financial might of the stereotypic philanthropist, I was quite heartened by the MWF’s solution of taking an individual’s relatively small contribution and magnifying its impact through a collective. That it is run by women, and has such an inclusive and democratic approach to raising and spending funds, also struck me. Furthermore, after speaking with a fair few women that night, I had a strong sense that the MWF was attracting individuals who, together, encompassed broad skills and experience. I found that reassuring: it meant there was a good chance that different perspectives—from the front lines of service delivery to the committee rooms of strategic business management—would be considered. Finally, having worked with Gillian in the past, I already knew that the organisation’s leadership was in capable hands.

I look forward to the good work, and good fun, ahead!

Why join our Giving Circle?

There are several reasons why this is a great idea. Our Founding Patron Colleen Willoughby was quite emphatic when she advised us that Founding Members are extra special women – they have put their donations and trust in the Fund in its first year. If you join by the end of June ’15, you will always be one of Melbourne Women’s Fund Founding Members. Joining before our Decision Event in May, gives you the opportunity to vote on the finalists at our Decision event.

Other membership benefits include: knowing that the impact of your donation is greatly multiplied when added to the donations of our other members; learning and being with like minded women who want to support women and families in Melbourne. Be part of the excitement as we grow!

Visit www.melbournewomensfund.org/joining/

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