Frequently Asked Questions
Why a Community Foundation?
The Ballarat region has needs that are not being met from other funding sources. The Ballarat Foundation encourages individuals and corporate donors to make donations to the Foundation so that the capital they donate is retained in the Ballarat region and the income is used to meet the need of the local community. In Australia, there are now more than 40 community foundations across the country that are working to support their community and local regions, while there are over a thousand community foundations in the UK, USA and Canada.
Is the Foundation just another charitable organisation?
The Foundation is different from most other charitable organisations. The initial donation/gift you make to a sub fund becomes the capital. It is invested to grow, but in certain circumstances a portion of the capital may be coupled with the income to develop a specific project. The aim is to distribute only the Foundation income annually. Funds are invested with an emphasis on security and under the guidance of professional advisers. There is no entry fee or establishment cost.
What options do donors have?
Donors are encouraged to make their gifts in a number of ways depending on their aims. Our fund options are:
Create a fund in your family name which supports annual grant distributions to needs as identified through the Ballarat Foundation’s Vital Signs report and feedback from local experts. Donations to a Named Fund can be made one-off, annually or as a gift in will. We create an agreement which governs the fund in alignment with your passions and involvement.
Create a fund in your business name which supports annual grant distributions in response to a specific community need such as homelessness, food insecurity or mental health. Donations to a Corporate Fund can be made one-off or annually. We create an agreement which governs the fund in alignment with your passions and involvement.
Specific Purpose Fund
Create a fund which supports annual grant distributions in response to a specific community need such as homelessness, food insecurity or mental health. Donations to a Specific Purpose Fund can be made one-off, annually or as a gift in will. We create an agreement which governs the fund in alignment with your passions and involvement.
Donate to an existing fund
The Ballarat Foundation has sub funds which support positive responses to important community issues. Donations can be made to the Feed Ballarat Fund, Housing Support Fund, Ballarat Women’s Fund. Interesting in supporting mental health, environment or community leadership? The foundation can facilitate a positive impact response in these areas and more.
Make a bequest
People can make a gift as a bequest in their will. The bequest can be recognised by name if the donor wishes or it can be an anonymous gift.
Where does the Foundation operate?
Primarily in the City of Ballarat local government area, with some program outreach across regional Victoria. All donations to the Ballarat Foundation support the local community unless otherwise requested.
Who controls the Foundation?
Board members are people with demonstrated interest in the region, community service record and experience in business or welfare organisations. No directors’ fees are paid. Directors provide their time and expertise free of charge. The directors are assisted by the operational team, lead by the CEO.
What costs does the Foundation incur?
A moderate charge needs to be made against the funds being administered to supplement donations and grants. The charge is currently 4% per annum of the capital sum being administered.
How does the Foundation decide how to distribute its income?
1. Advice is sought from appropriate organisations and authorities about the greatest areas of need.
2. Donors are invited to form advisory committees to suggest how they would like the income used from their benefactions. Some funds may be formed to support specified causes.
3. Submissions are invited and an allocations committee recommends to the Board how each year’s income is to be used.
What is the legal structure?
Ballarat Foundation United Way (BFUW) Inc is an incorporated association registered with the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission. It has 11 members — the directors and has DGR1 tax status.
Ballarat Foundation Charitable Foundation (BFCF) Limited is a company limited by guarantee. It is also a charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission. It has 11 members — the directors. BFCF is the trustee of the Ballarat Foundation Trust, a DGR2 tax status trust.
How does the community know how the Foundation is progressing?
An annual report is issued, including financial statements audited by an independent registered company auditor. Copies are available on our website. The reports are also issued to donors and any interested members of the community.
Does the Foundation communicate with other community foundations?
The Foundation is represented by Community Foundations Australia, and benefits by liaising with the other community foundations in Australia and New Zealand. Administrators of successful community foundations in the USA, UK and Canada also visit Australia and pass on their knowledge and experience. The Community Foundation movement is very strong in these countries and is growing rapidly in a number of other countries. The Foundation works closely with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and also with Philanthropy Australia.
Will the Foundation be competing with other fundraising appeals?
The Foundation invites the public to contribute to many appeals, campaigns and sub funds each year and works together with other funders to increase positive community impact by working in collaboration. The Ballarat Foundation funds dozens of other charities to support this work and reduce fundraising burdens on organisations which do not have this expertise or resources.