Melbourne Women’s Fund

Melbourne Women’s Fund (MWF) is a Giving Circle that brings together members’ financial, intellectual, professional and personal resources to support non-profit organisations in Melbourne that deal with issues undermining the quality of life and futures of women and their families.

MWF was established in 2014 as a Charitable Fund Account of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Patricia Burke and Gillian Hund, friends and philanthropy colleagues, co-founded the Fund when they recognised a need in Melbourne for the establishment of a more financially accessible and democratised model – a giving circle – to encourage, inform and amplify individuals’ support for vulnerable women and families.

Their Vision

A future where vulnerable women and families in Melbourne thrive.

Their Mission

To enable members to be part of informed, democratised giving where their power is amplified through the collective benefit they provide to vulnerable women and families in Melbourne.

Their Values

Collaboration, Integrity, Respect, Transparency, Responsibility, Compassion and Learning.

How They Operate

MWF, through Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, aggregates all membership donations throughout the financial year and then grants the entire amount to organisations chosen democratically—via members voting—at their Grant Awards Celebration held each year.

The annual membership period is 1 July - 30 June. Members can join any time during that period.

An Executive Committee steers MWF in alignment with its mission. The MWF Executive Committee is comprised of the chairs of MWF’s seven subcommittees­—Events, Grants, Marketing & Communications, Membership, Next Gen, Strategic Planning and Partnerships and Sponsorships—plus the Executive Officer, two Co-Founders and Treasurer. The Executive Officer (pro bono) oversees and manages the coordination of the many activities that MWF undertakes.

Their Impact

Since 2014, MWF has generated $707,000 in grant funding to 36 non-profits collectively addressing the areas of Crime and Justice; Homelessness; Family Violence; Sexual Exploitation; Education; Employment and Economic Empowerment; Immigrant, Asylum Seeker and Refugee needs; and Indigenous needs.

Spark! Grants

MWF has developed a well-deserved reputation for conducting in-depth assessment and due diligence of non-profit organisations throughout its grants process. MWF grant finalists are also approved by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. Consequently, MWF is confident each of its annual grant finalists deserves philanthropic support, whether or not they are awarded a Signature or Nurturing grant. 

MWF welcomes other funders, such as Private Ancillary Funds, to use its grant research to inform their own granting. Spark! Grants are when such donations are made to MWF finalists. Thanks to the generosity of an MWF member with a Private Ancillary Fund, MWF has facilitated $60,000 in Spark! Grants to date.

Spark! Grants can be made any time throughout the financial year. Because these grants are decisions made by individual or family donors, they are not part of MWF members’ collective giving.

How to Join

Members are a variety of ages, backgrounds and interests, united by a desire to make a valuable philanthropic contribution to support vulnerable women and families in Melbourne.

The Fund offers three types of membership:

1/ Next Gen: for people 18-30 years old. $500 donation (tax deductible) and $65 administration fee (not tax deductible) each financial year

2/ Standard: $1,000 (tax deductible) and $132 administration fee (not tax deductible)

3/ Life: one-off $25,000 (tax deductible). These funds go to MWF’s Endowment Fund to support its work in perpetuity. This Fund is held with Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

More Information

For further details, visit their website or email at

Phone: 0407 755 481 (Christine Darcas – Executive Officer, Pro Bono)

Post: PO Box 244, Camberwell VIC 3124

Visit their Facebook and LinkedIn page for upcoming events.

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