Melbourne Women’s Fund

Melbourne Women’s Fund has a simple aim: to engage Melbourne women in philanthropy which benefits our community.

This aim is achieved by women pooling their financial, intellectual, professional and personal resources in a ‘Giving Circle’ to benefit organisations in Melbourne that are dealing with issues that undermine the quality of life and futures of women and their families.

Melbourne Women’s Fund was established (2014) as a Collective Giving Account, under the auspices of the 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 women’s giving circle.

Their Vision

A better life and future for women and families of Melbourne.

Their Mission

Promoting giving, raising awareness, investing in changes and empowering futures.

Their Values

Melbourne Women’s Fund engages women in the power of giving collectively – rather than individually – within a group of like-minded women.

Members are encouraged to participate in philanthropy through learning about needs in Melbourne’s greater community, by their grants process and annual funding and in their involvement with organisations, the Fund choose to fund through a Signature Grant, a Nurturing Grant or as a Merit Award. Since launching, it has been evident that members are energised by the spirit of collaborative giving and excited about the way their grants are transformational for the organisations they support.

How They Operate

Melbourne Women’s Fund’s organisation structure is run entirely by members who volunteer their time to serve on either the Executive Committee or one of the sub-committees: Events, Grants, Marketing & Communications, Membership, Sponsorship and Strategic Planning. One of the Co-Founders functions as an Executive Officer (pro bono) catalysing the giving circle.

Every committee operates under a Term of Reference which provides clarity to the roles and sustainability.

Members can choose to be as involved as they wish; the Fund has a ‘no guilt’ membership as they understand that many members do not have time to serve on committees.

Their Impact

Since 2014, Melbourne Women’s Fund has generated $581,000 in grant funding as well as facilitating a $20,000 donation by the Private Ancillary Fund of one of their members. All membership donations are aggregated throughout the financial year and then granted each July to organisations chosen democratically by members at the Annual Awards event held each year.

How to Join

Membership is open to all women, of any age, interest or background – they only ask that members add value by contributing their $1,000 donation (plus the Admin Fee of $132) so they can grow the fund and make a real difference. Men are also welcome to join the Fund; they are our champions of giving to women and children.

The Fund offers three types of membership via a donation: Annual, three-yearly or a Life Membership. Annual membership period is 1 July – 30 June each year, with members joining at any time during that period. The three-year membership (three year’s total donation made at one time) can also begin at any time during the financial year. Life Membership is a $25,000 donation which is directed into an Endowment Account at Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (called MWF2 account). At present, the Melbourne Women’s fund has five Life Members.

More Information

For further details, visit their website or email at

Gillian Hund and Patricia Burke, Co-Founders

0402 268 330 (Gillian)

Suite 205, 122 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141


Visit their Facebook page for upcoming events.

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