“The great thing about giving circles is that they provide space for those who wish to engage in how they give, with an opportunity to come together to learn about critical community issues” – Caitriona Fay
Invitation to get involved
MWF is volunteer led and run and we encourage you to contribute to the operation of our giving circle. Perhaps you might like to join one of our committees, or contribute skills or ideas whenever you can. Whatever your forte, we are sure to have a project you might like to contribute to, be it IT, design, business, marketing, legal, media skills.
How our giving circle works
Melbourne Women’s Fund is a giving circle where members pool their annual donations of $1,000 to provide funding for grants to selected programs that address the health, wellbeing and education issues facing women and families in Melbourne.
The grants are intended to make a significant difference to projects to affect positive change. Two grants are awarded yearly – the Signature Grant and the Nurturing Grant. The annual amounts of these grants depend on the total contributions from our members by the end of the financial year.
Melbourne Women’s Fund has committees manned by volunteer MWF members.
These committees provide opportunities for members to contribute to the sustainability of our giving circle:
The Executive Committee
The members of this committee consist of: the two Co Founders, the current Chairs and Co-Chairs of each Sub Committee and a nominated MWF member.
The Sub Committees
– Grants Committee
This committee has Co-Chairs, Deputy Co-Chairs and Committee members who fulfil roles that are essential to our robust grants process.
– Events Committee
This committee has a Chair, Deputy Chair and another member/s who take responsibility for running our events in a professional and engaging manner for our members and guests.
– Membership Committee
This committee may have a single Chair or Co Chairs and a committee of up to four members. Their role is to ensure we attract, retain and develop women’s interest in becoming MWF members.
– Marketing and Communications Committee
This committee has a Chair, and up to four members who keep members up to date through our social media platforms, our quarterly e newsletter and our annual Year in Review.
Details about Sub Committees
The Grants Committee is responsible for inviting organisations operating for the benefit of Melbourne-based women and their families to apply for the MWF’s annual grants, evaluating these organisations’ grant proposals and choosing the finalist organisations/projects to be voted on by the MWF membership at its Annual Awards Event.
The Grants Committee’s annual process:
August/September – The Grants Committee forms with existing committee members and new members who have previously indicated their interest and have the time required for full involvement
October – reviews results from Member Survey done in September to select the focus areas for the coming year’s grants
November/December – compiles a list of eligible organisations, including those suggested by members and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF), and invites them to apply.
March/April – reviews full applications and chooses six finalists – three for the Signature Grant and three for the Nurturing Grant
May/June – Committee members present an overview of each of the six finalists to the MWF membership at the Grants Information Evening. Site visits to the finalists are arranged for our members.
July – The Grant Awards event is held and the six finalists present themselves to the membership for their voting. Winners are announced.
The Events Committee researches, selects events suitable for engaging and educating our members about philanthropy and the issues facing women and families in our community.
We usually hold about seven events per year and they are organised on an annual calendar. They include: Morning teas, Conversation events with speakers, Grants Information evening and the Annual Grant Awards event. We also hold an End of Year dinner and informal get togethers.
The Events Committee also liaise with our event partners (usually corporates) and sources businesses interested in hosting a function. Some of our events are for members only, however at other events members are encouraged to bring interested friends who wish to join our giving circle.
This committee is responsible for maintaining the sustainability of our giving circle by developing and implementing strategies to retain existing members and to attract new members. They are actively involved at our functions to:
- welcome old and new members attending
- provide a ‘buddy’ system to new members so they feel especially welcome
- to speak at events about the value and process of membership
The committee’s other roles are to assist with the Membership Renewal process, contact existing members throughout the year and promote MWF with other organisations.
MWF likes to keep our members fully informed about our giving circle and this is the role of the Marcomms Committee, which has several ongoing jobs to manage throughout the year.
Social media platforms are an important communication tool and our Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter feeds are regularly updated. Throughout the year the Marcomms Committee also assists with the production of the quarterly newsletters (Winter, Spring, summer and Autumn), and keeps communications about our giving circle’s activities updated on our website.
As we all work on a financial year, the “Year in Review” booklet is planned in May and June and then is available for members at the Annual Grants Awards event. This booklet provides an overview of all our activities, and is similar to an annual report.
Joining a Committee
If you are interested in joining one of the above committees please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be forwarded to the relevant Chair of the Committee nominated, they will then be in touch with you.
We welcome all members to take an active role on one of our committees as it is a great way to meet other members and gain the satisfaction of making our group dynamic and successful.