Dana presenting.

Dana presenting.

On Friday night Dana Shen, Director of TACSI’s Family by Family program, stood up to present our work to a ballroom filled with 250 people. It’s fair to say this isn’t our usual kind of audience, but that was the point. Friday night was the culmination of Impact100 SA‘s year-long investigation into projects that support families in South Australia, and the winning organisation of the four presenting was to receive a $100,000, as determined by a vote on the night.

It wasn’t to be us. But we couldn’t have been more thrilled at the opportunity to present, excited by the new relationships and connections that are forming and deeply grateful to be selected as a finalist and to present on the night, and for the $20,000 in funding provided to the three runners-up. These funds will help us bring more families into our peer-mentoring program, and empower them to make the changes they need in their lives.

We also couldn’t be more impressed with the winning organisation, the Zahra Foundation, and their important work to support women and their children to live a life free of violence and attain economic independence. Read more about them and the other finalists here.

The Impact100 SA is a great example of a small but growing movement in philanthropy, Giving Circles. A Giving Circle is a group of people (ie. at least 100, but actually quite a few more than that in the case of Impact100 SA) who agree to give an equal contribution (in this case $1,000 each) on a set schedule (annually here) to a cause they select together. This allows them to give a really meaningful grant (eg. the Impact100 formula of giving a main grant of $100,000) which can create an impact well beyond what any individual can do.

Here’s Sharon Nathani at OzPhilanthropy explaining the history of Giving Circles in Australia:

Collective giving through giving circles has been growing in Australia over the last four years. Since James Boyd introduced the Impact100 model to Western Australia in 2012, four more Impact100 groups have sprung up in Australia –Impact100 Melbourne, Impact100 SA, Impact100 Fremantle, and launched just this year, Impact100 SydneyWomen & Change in Queensland is also based on a similar model.

This is a really exciting trend in philanthropy. It’s not just that it pools funding together,  it’s that it does so in a way that also builds social capital and connects potential funders and advocates to some great organisations. In some ways the greatest value of a giving circle is the shared curation of potential investments. There’s a lot of great projects, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Working together, potentially with the help of a host organisation, members get to meet a curated set of credible and exciting organisations, and many go on to follow up independently with those they like best.

So if you’re an Impact100 SA member feel free to get in touch! 😉