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Impact Investing Discovery Grants Awarded

June 16th, 2017

The Grants Selection Committee received 65 application for Discovery Grants from not-for-profits across Australia seeking funds to build their capacity in Impact Investing. The Selection Committee awarded grant to 6 organisations for a total of $280,500, namely:

Capital Idea!  A Regional Social Impact Initiative
University of Canberra

Capital Idea! will train and deploy a network of skilled business advisors and administer a small grants program to assist social entrepreneurs in the Capital Region to develop sustainable and impactful social business models that will attract social impact investment, including venture philanthropy.


Total Environment Centre Inc

TEC was established in 1972 and among other environment protection work manages and directs the Boomerang Alliance campaign of 47 groups which is seeking to reduce dangerous marine plastic pollution (see:  The impact investment project seeks to develop a non-profit business for collection infrastructure for donated containers and transport logistics.  Having internally undertaken a research and investigation phase we are now moving into developing a business case and a pitch to potential investors, as well improving Board skills for the new enterprise.  


SisterWorks Creative Enterprises
SisterWorks Inc

SisterWorks is a non-profit social enterprise that supports women of migrant, asylum seeker or refugee backgrounds to become financially independent and happily settled in Australia. SisterWorks focuses on sustaining the charity aspect (i.e. the training and mentoring of the women) and developing the business aspect of the organisation.  The SisterWorks Creative Enterprises Project focuses on the latter and involves: boosting the organisation’s capacity to support more women to support themselves; achieving 50% self-sustainability; and becoming impact investor ready to achieve scale.


Governance and Strategy Capacity Building to Support Impact Growth and Enterprise Sustainability
Green Collect

Green Collect generates social benefit through the creation of new employment and training opportunities for communities facing significant disadvantage. The enterprise creates jobs by working with businesses to achieve the highest possible environmental outcomes for a wide range of discarded office resources. We deal with ‘hard to recycle’ office items and create new solutions that keep harmful materials out of landfill by finding the best reuse, upcycling or recycling pathways. This project will enable Green Collect to undertake critical capacity building work in areas of governance and strategic planning to guide business growth and identify financing required to achieve overall enterprise profitability to grow its impact.


Investment Ready for Ear Health
Telethon Speech & Hearing Ltd

Telethon Speech & Hearing Ltd (TSH) is a charitable organisation that helps children with hearing or speech and language impairments learn how to communicate, socialise and learn.  Recognising how difficult it is for families to navigate the complex and costly system of supports (particularly for disadvantaged families), TSH delivers ear health services for children and adults.  In a competitive charity market, TSH is looking to improve its impact, sustainability and support for Western Australians through social investment for the acquisition and running of ear health/audiology clinics throughout WA.


BikeRescue Social Franchise Model

Dismantle supports at-risk young people in Western Australia to achieve their potential.  The social enterprise engages youth, aged 12-17 through BikeRescue, a 10 week bike engagement program that uses hands-on learning to facilitate engagement, mentoring and transitions to further education and employment pathways. Dismantle delivers BikeRescue in partnership with youth service providers, ensuring appropriate wrap around support is available before, during and after the program.  To date, Dismantle has supported over 500 young people in Western Australia through over 60 WA based partners. Dismantle is facing increasing demand for BikeRescue and is exploring delivering their BikeRescue program through a social franchise model, which will enable them to scale up in a more sustainable and effective way, increasing the impact that they are having with young people across Australia.



Philanthropy Australia wishes to thank all Discovery Grant applicants for their interest in impact investing, Impact Investing Australia, the Discovery Grant Selection Committee and all of our funding supporters:

National Australia Bank

English Family Foundation

Snow Foundation

Rowley Foundation

CAGES Foundation

Equity Trustees:
C. F. W. Taylor Trust; C. L. Forrest Estate; A. & S. Rosenthal Fund; VCF Claire Susan Gardiner Trust and C. H. & C. E. Waddell Trust.
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation

Anonymous Foundation x1

A Second Grant Round will commence at the end of July - further details to be announced.

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