New Community Foundation Network established in South Gippsland and Bass Coast

The three Community Foundations located in the South Gippsland / Bass Coast region have come together to form a network with the aim of sharing knowledge and increasing the impact of charitable giving in their communities.

The Bass Coast Community Foundation, the Leongatha Community Foundation and the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation met earlier this week to discuss the value of a network.  It was acknowledged that while each organisation was quite unique in terms of its age, geographic area and funds under management, their objectives were very similar.

Rob Kiddell, Chair of MNDCF, Christian Stefani (BCCF), Wendy Major (MNDCF), Sophie Dixon (Leongatha CF), Ruth Rogan, EO of MNDCF, Matt Bacon (LCF), Gerlinde Scholz (CFAus), Phil Friedlos, Chair of BCCF, Nina McCauley Smith (BCCF), Paul Pratt (MNDCF), Kathy Hawke (BCCF), Ned Dennis (MNDCF) and Amy Dynes (BCCF).

“Community Foundations are place based organisations that give grants and channel donations to strengthen a particular geographic area in accordance with its particular needs,” explains Ruth Rogan, Executive Officer of the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation.  “We are about enabling local communities to tackle their challenges or seize opportunities.” 

Community Foundations are often perpetual, distributing annual earnings while maintaining the donated funds or endowment for the future.  “They are almost like a community superannuation fund, giving out funds every year, but continuing as a community asset forever,” added Ruth.

The Executive Officer from Community Foundations Australia, Gerlinde Scholz, came from Melbourne to join the meeting.  She outlined how the peak body is there to support the development of community foundations and to advocate for improved legislation to channel tax deductible donations into rural and regional areas.  She congratulated the group for the work they have been doing within their local communities.

“Some of the key projects that our Community Foundations have brought to life in these last few years include the Bass Coast Kids as Catalyst Program, back to school vouchers for families in need, a medical centre facility for Mirboo North, along with annual grant giving and partnerships to support key community initiatives,” concluded Sarah Bourke, Executive Officer of Bass Coast Community Foundation.

To find out more about these organisations and what they are up to at the moment, see or   Or if you have an idea for a project that will benefit your community, the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation’s annual Community Grants Program is open now for the month of September.