Developing our strategy with Social Ventures Australia

20 Nov 2015

Partnering from the outset to bring our Foundation to life

Faced with the challenge of setting up Australia’s largest private Foundation, the board of trustees decided we needed some outside help. Specifically, we wanted guidance on formulating our charter and choosing focus areas.

For this we engaged Social Ventures Australia (SVA), a not-for-profit organisation that offers funding, investment and advice to help its partners increase their social impact. We were also fortunate enough to have Greg Hutchinson, of Bain & Co, assist on a pro-bono basis.

Over a six-month period, the board of trustees and management met regularly with SVA to try and encapsulate Paul’s vision for the Foundation. Nick Elliot and Ben McAlpine, under the expert guidance of Greg Hutchinson and Rob Koczkar, helped facilitate discussion in an objective and impartial manner. Their expertise was invaluable to the development of our organisational knowledge.

Our initial vision for the process was that we would end up with a very defined set of outcomes, which would set out exactly what the Foundation would do and how. As it turned out, the end product spoke far more about the sort of organisation we wanted to become, rather than the specifics of what we would fund. But we believe that outcome is far more valuable in the long term. This is encapsulated within the Foundation’s charter.

author Simon Freeman, CEO