The 2010s will be remembered as one of the most incredible and transformative decades for the Foundation. With the appointment of Dr Catherine Brown OAM as CEO in 2011, the Foundation embarked on a series of important projects. These included creating a strategic grants program based on the priority challenges of the day facing Melbourne. Impact Areas were put in place with program managers who were knowledge experts in homelessness and affordable housing, environment and sustainability, education and employment, and healthy and resilient communities. Dr Brown also introduced a new model of philanthropy that would move the Foundation towards a more catalytic approach, where the Foundation was often an early funder to enable a solution to a tough problem to be tested and later scaled up. This systems change approach to grantmaking also included using all the ‘philanthropy toolbox’ including research, strategic communications, collaborations, influencing policy, and impact investment and social enterprise support. Initiatives such as the Affordable Housing Challenge, where the Foundation led collaborations, would receive Philanthropy Australia’s award for Better Philanthropy in 2020.
The Foundation’s brand identity was updated with a new logo and positioning to better reflect the work of the Foundation as the community foundation for Greater Melbourne and the Act of Parliament was replaced in 2017. Collective giving in the form of giving circles launched in Australia with the Foundation becoming the host foundation in 2014 to Impact100 Melbourne and Melbourne Women’s Fund. The Foundation’s reputation as a trusted and well-governed community foundation continued to grow and attracted donors to its charitable fund accounts and gift in wills through its bequest program Swanson Society. The student program Youth in Philanthropy reached capacity with 20 schools from across Melbourne enrolled.
One of the most important additions to the Foundation’s grants program was to increase its funding of environmental projects in response to the emerging health impacts and other adverse effects of climate change on people and communities. From 2016 onwards, he Foundation’s entire grants program would be viewed through a climate change lens to ensure all aspects of impact due to a changing climate would be addressed.
Throughout the decade the Foundation undertakes critical research projects including Greater Melbourne Vital Signs which helps the Foundation to identify emerging issues and two research projects to understand the life events that can lead women to retire in poverty. These research projects, and others, help the Foundation to become proactive in its grantmaking by providing funding to projects early to tackle the issue.
By the end of the decade, the Foundation has a reputation as one of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations. It now boasts an innovative and award-winning grants program and a diverse range of philanthropic services for donors with individual, collective and community giving options.
IMAGE: Foundation CEO Dr Catherine Brown OAM with artist Deborah Halpern at the launch of 'Mali in the City', Melbourne Zoo's 150th anniversary project supporting the conservation of endangered species. IMAGE SOURCE: Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation Archives
Foundation CEO Dr Catherine Brown OAM with artist Deborah Halpern at the launch of 'Mali in the City', Melbourne Zoo's 150th anniversary project supporting the conservation of endangered species.
Lady Mayoress’ Committee celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Established Melbourne’s Road Home Alliance with the aim to reduce homelessness in the community, provide insight and information to the community, build a network of members and encourage collaboration to refine and improve the practices and policies needed to end homelessness. This was one of the Foundation’s first Strategic Initiatives.
Winter Days of Giving was launched, a community grant making project which provided 23 $5,000 grants to charities nominated by members of the community.
The cities of Hume and Kingston made their first round of charitable grants to local community groups and charities in their respective municipalities.
Feed Melbourne was launched with Leader Community Newspapers and FareShare
In response to the Queensland Floods the Foundation granted out $240,000 to the Queensland Division of Australian Red Cross for two programs aimed at helping children and young people.
Dr Catherine Brown OAM is appointed as the Foundation’s first female CEO.
10th Anniversary of Youth in Philanthropy celebrated. Around 200 young people took part in the program.
The Foundation provided funding to the Melbourne Zoo in support of its 150th anniversary project ‘Mali in the city’. This anniversary project supported the conservation of endangered species. Environment granting was introduced, reflecting the area of interest in the Foote gift.
Winter Days of Giving grant was launched in August. The Foundation with assistance of 3AW called upon the community to nominate their favourite charity to receive one of 22 $5,000 grants
Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation celebrates its 90th Anniversary at Swanson Room, Town Hall.
Launched a new branding identity to better represent the Foundation and a new brand positioning was adopted, inspiring philanthropy. This represented both encouraging community giving and undertaking catalytic grantmaking.
In recognition of our history the Flower Day Appeal was relaunched with the Lady Mayoress’ Committee at a Hight Tea event at Myer Mural Hall.
Estate administration of Eldon Foote’s bequest continues. Funds distributed from 2013 onward are held by the Foundation as trustee of the Eldon & Anne Foote Trust.
The Lady Mayoress’ Committee Bazaar was brought back.
Hosted the Foundation’s first philanthropy sector event, Social Investment and High Impact Philanthropy Conversation with the Skoll Foundation (US) as our guest philanthropy experts and colleagues.
The Foundation commissioned a research project to investigate ways in which food service agencies could combine their transport logistics to better serve the needs of our community
Partnered with the Women’s Donor Network to welcome Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE to Melbourne and presented an oration about Philanthropic Investment in Women and Girls to underscore the Foundation’s commitment to applying a gender lens across its work i.e. asking how an issue particularly affected women and girls.
Partnered with Reichstein Foundation to present Julia Unwin CBE, CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in the UK. to deliver an oration on philanthropy about The Next 100 Years, drawing on her expertise on delivering affordable housing.
The Foundation welcomed two new collective giving circles within the Lord Mayor’s Fund Melbourne Women’s Fund and Impact100 Melbourne
A signature grant of $600,000 was awarded to Vincent Care for the redevelopment of Ozanam House to increase accommodation for people transitioning out of homelessness.
Undertook the Melbourne Vital Signs project with Community Indicators Victoria and Community Foundations of Canada to map the things to celebrate and the things to improve in our city. Began granting more closely linked to research into community needs.
Provided a grant to YEAH! (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) to fund the AIDS2014 street art project
The Foundation launched a new grants program ‘Youth Employment Seed Challenge’ to seek out innovative new solutions to address ongoing issues and provide funding opportunity to test ideas. The Seed Challenge focused on creating employment for your people with disability and included a Pitch session focused on providing major funding for testing of new solutions.
The Foundation Initiated and launched a working group to research the issue of older women living in income poverty and identify solutions
The Swanson Society is launched to celebrate bequestors during their lives.
A signature grant of $1 million was awarded to Collingwood Arts Precinct for the redevelopment of Collingwood TAFE, in partnership with other foundations and the State Governments. This was funded from the Eldon & Anne Foote Trust within the Lord Mayor’s Fund.
Co-funded the introduction of a LED light system in St Paul's Cathedral, to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 per cent. Environment & Sustainability Impact Area developing strongly.
Due to growing funds, Frontier was appointed as asset allocation advisors and Dr Raphael Arndt joined the Board and became Chair of the Investment Committee.
The Foundation began work on an grant and impact reporting CRM project, a digital transformation project.
The Foundation placed a climate lens across its work acknowledging the impact of climate change on all of its Impact Areas including housing, jobs, health and the environment.
The Foundation started including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals icons for each Impact Area and connecting our work with those goals. Following global philanthropy trends, the Foundation launched its first social impact investment program with social investments made to Yume, Hire Up and Habitat for Humanity .
‘Time of Our Lives?’, a report commissioned by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, exploring the key risk factors that often contribute to the feminisation of poverty and disadvantage was launched. This was an example of the gender lens in action.
The Love Locks Project, initiated by the City of Melbourne in partnership with Craft Victoria saw local artists transform the padlocks removed from the Southbank Footbridge into works of art and jewellery. A lottery was held for the chance to win one of the pieces with the proceeds donated to the foundation
The Foundation funded the Climate of the Nation 2016 report as part of the Sustainable Melbourne Impact Area and many other forward-looking projects.
Affordable Housing for All report launched by The University of Melbourne’s Transforming Housing Partnership of which the Foundation was an active member.
Launch of Affordable Housing Challenge where the Foundation donated $1 million to a project aimed at unlocking underutilised land owned by local government for affordable housing. Led to the Townhall Avenue, Preston project for 40 units.
Launch of Changing Melbourne for Good campaign to engage Melburnians in community philanthropy.
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Act 2017 was passed by the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament reflecting contemporary governance, purposes and powers.
Greater Melbourne Vital Signs 2017 report was released
Inspiring Philanthropy Oration was held in July, with guest orator Michael Northrop, Program Director for Sustainable Development at Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Sustainable cities became a focus for the Foundation.
The Hot Spots initiative began, working with community health organisations supporting vulnerable older people during heatwaves. This was the start of the Foundation’s work in climate resilience.
The Foundation celebrates its 95th anniversary
Asian-Australian Diaspora Philanthropy research report commissioned by the Foundation investigating the giving traditions and philanthropy of Asia-Australian donors in Melbourne was released
The Foundations Affordable Housing challenge was launched. Partnering with Housing Choices Australia and City of Darebin.
Reached $10 million in distributions for the Foundations annual grants program
Hot Spots Initiative continued and further funding for Climate and Health Alliance and other climate change focused organisations.
Affordable housing projects were required to be energy efficient. The notion of climate safe housing began to influence the Foundation’s work. Jobs in lo or zero carbon industries were also supported.
The work of FoodPrint on Melbourne’s resilient foodbowl continued.
Support of social enterprises from start up to scaling up continued.
Vital Conversations with Older Women Living in Greater Melbourne report was launched as part of research conducted by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
Celebrated with Collier Charitable Fund their remarkable milestone of providing $102 million in grants to charities and not-for-profit organisations