Dialog Box

Ballarat Women's Fund

Creating a Ballarat community where women feel safe, equal and respected.

What is the Ballarat Women's Fund?

The Ballarat Women's Fund enables community members to participate in collective giving to influence positive responses to gender inequality.  

Using a giving circle model, each member is able to vote for projects to receive grants. It is an opportunity for all members of the community, men and women, to address the societal issue of gender inequality in Ballarat.

The Ballarat Women’s Fund has been created as a direct response to the need in our community. The fund has been established to address issues that women face such as:

  • Domestic or family violence
  • Safe, affordable rental housing for low-income earners
  • Equal opportunities in the workforce

How does it work?

The Ballarat Women's Fund uses a giving circle model, where by individuals donate to a pooled fund. Together, the group will decide how to allocate these funds at the Pick Our Project Evening on Thursday 7th March. 


It starts with gender equality

Pick Our Project Evening

The Ballarat Foundation held the inaugural Pick Our Project Evening on the eve of International Women’s Day. This was the first opportunity for members of the fund to listen to pitches and vote for one program that will create positive change for women in Ballarat.

The three shortlisted programs who pitched were:

  • Create-Respect Ballarat (cafs - Child and Family Services Ballarat)
  • Frida's Daring Voices (WRISC Family Violence Support)
  • Raven Collective Services (Raven Collective Services and Training)

Raven Collective won the most votes from members on the night and receives the $20,000 grant. The two remaining programs each receive $2,500. Congratulations to all three programs. Read more about the evening here.


International Women's Day 2024

International Women's Day takes place on Friday 8th March. It is a day to reflect upon the progress made for gender equality and to celebrate the achievements of women. 

To find out about women in leadership in Ballarat and Australia, plus information about gender inequality in Ballarat, see here.

More Information

Unfortunately, in Ballarat, family violence rates are higher than state and national averages.* Women also suffered more drastically during the Covid-19 Pandemic, with more women losing their job than men.*

Individuals will be given the opportunity to become members of the Fund by giving $500 and a $30 administration donation annually to the fund, with the aim of raising $50,000 in the first year. All contributions to the Ballarat Women's Fund are fully tax deductible.

Half of funds raised annually through memberships will be directed into an annual grant distribution. The recipients of the grant will be determined at an event in March 2024 where members will hear presentations from three final applicants and vote for their preferred project. The winner will receive a minimum of $20,000 and the two finalists $2500 each and support with project development within the supporter network.

The remaining 50% of funds will be held in perpetuity and invested in line with existing Ballarat Foundation policy. The capital funds over 10 years will amount to $250,000. From the second year, income from the capital fund will be delivered back into the annual Women’s Fund program, adding value to the immediate response while maintaining fund capital.

Essentially, over time, the grants determined by the supporters of the fund will grow and deliver greater impact and sustainability. The fund will also be open to one-off donations to be split on a 50/50 basis to current year and perpetual uses.

A $30 donation will be applied to members to support Fund administration. This donation will ensure organisations which apply to the Ballarat Women's Fund receive training and support to make a powerful and effective "pitch" at the 2024 members' event.

It also ensures all reporting and governance required by the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission are met by the Ballarat Foundation as administrator of the fund and perpetual funds invested using the expertise of JB Were Philanthropic Services.

For contributions from businesses and major gifts, please contact Sandi Murphy. 


* ballaratfoundation.org.au/news/16/vital-signs

The Vital Signs report shows rates of family violence at significantly higher than state and national averages. In 2021, the rate of family violence common assault in Ballarat was 24.2 per 10,000 persons, approximately 12% higher than Victoria with a rate of 21.5. Family violence common assault in Ballarat peaked in 2018 with a rate of 26.9 per 10,000 persons. It has since decreased but has remained higher than Victoria for the past 8 years.

* grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Womens-work-Grattan-Institute-report.pdf 

Evidence from COVID19 pandemic was that females were disproportionately disadvantaged by government policies. According to the Grattan Institute: The Covid recession hit young people, those in insecure work, and women particularly hard. Indeed, women are recovering from a ‘triple-whammy’ – they were more likely to lose their jobs, more likely to do a lot more unpaid work, and less likely to get government support. Women’s jobs were hit harder than men’s during the COVID lockdowns.