Community philanthropy groups raise their profile in Indi
The value of the work undertaken by philanthropic groups in Indi has been highlighted this week with a visit to Parliament by the executive of the Benalla-based Tomorrow Today Foundation. The visit follows a meeting in Wangaratta last month that brought together representatives of local foundations and trusts from Benalla, Corryong, Albury-Wodonga, Marysville, Wangaratta, Myrtleford and Mansfield to share their ideas.
Ms McGowan said there was a growing acceptance that the complex and difficult problems facing communities around Australia could only be addressed with an integrated, multi-faceted and place-based response.
“Community foundations and trusts empower communities to address local challenges themselves. They are responsive to the challenges facing their communities and leverage their deep local knowledge to respond to need through their purposeful grant-making,” Ms McGowan said.
“These are a valuable and unique form of community infrastructure that seeks to build social capital, catalyse development and strengthen the community. Philanthropic groups engage with their constituents as donors, advisors and volunteers.”
Ms McGowan said the ability to get taxation relief for community foundations remains an issue. Local groups are seeking to build on work undertaken by Philanthropy Australia and Community Philanthropy. The issue will be discussed by Tomorrow Today Foundation chair Ms Sally Gamble and deputy chair Ms Liz Chapman during meetings with MPs and Senators this week.
Tomorrow Today will highlight its Education Benalla Program, aimed at improving educational outcomes for Benalla’s children and young people, aged from infancy to 24 years. This program is beginning to achieve measurable positive change in terms of improved school readiness, reduced absenteeism, enhanced student wellbeing and increased school retention.
“There’s work to be done on taxation benefits and breaks, and there are a whole lot of other things that the government can do to help local giving. So I welcome the Tomorrow Today Foundation,” Ms McGowan said.