Activities & Impacts


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  • Ongoing: Provided specialist content and guidance to Our Community to support the introduction of gender-wise questions and tools to Smartygrants, Australia’s largest grants management system, to be rolled out in 2017.

  • Ongoing: Delivered Gender-Wise Board presentations to over 60 board representatives and Gender-Wise Workshops to grant-makers from more than 20 trusts and foundations.

  • November: The Power of Women Tour with Ann Lovell and Jacki Zehner saw 10 events in Sydney and Melbourne which engaged large audiences of philanthropists, family offices, wealth advisors, and not-for-profits, and saw several new members recruited to the global donor community Women Moving Millions and catalyzed a new women’s giving circle.

  • November: Launched the new Gender-Wise website which provides a digital version of our Gender-wise Toolkit for Grant-makers.

  • November: We were delighted to partner with The Funding Network for our first Melbourne ‘Women and Girls’ event for projects supporting women and children affected by family violence, which raised more than $110,000.

  • November: Our third year of involvement in GoodPitch2 saw Women Donors at the table for the table for the documentary film, ‘Beautiful Minds’, which celebrates and promotes women in STEM. We were also proud to announce support for the documentary film ‘Dying to Live’, acknowledging the different gendered approach to organ donation.

  • October: Initiated a round-table forum with the Victorian State Government on philanthropy and the alignment of gender equity initiatives to support the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.

  • Worked with the Australian Charities & Not-for-Profit Commission to facilitate AIS reporting on gender composition of philanthropic boards.

  • April, September: Presented sessions on gender bias for the Swinburne University of Technology’s Asia Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy Master’s Program.

  • February: Joined the DFAT delegation to Indonesia to provide a gender perspective in discussions of Australia-Indonesia philanthropy.

  • January: Established the inaugural Gender-Wise Award as part of Philanthropy Australia’s annual awards, celebrating initiatives which lead the way in advancing women and girls.

  • 2015

    Download our 2015 Annual Report

  • Gender Wise Product Suite Launched: We were proud in 2015 to launch a comprehensive set of resources to help funders integrate the gender lens into their giving, including the Gender Wise Toolkit, Gender Wise Workshop and Gender Wise Board Presentation.

  • Philanthropic sector survey: This year, with the generous assistance of our research partner, Evolve Research and Consulting, we have undertaken a significant survey canvassing attitudes and actions of philanthropic trusts and foundations and private donors in relation to our Network and the gender lens.

  • December: Annual Gender Wise event - Lieutenant General David Morrison AO (Retd), Chair, Diversity Council of Australia made a powerful call for Male Champions of Change in philanthropy to advance gender equality.

  • October: Our Network was proud to play a role again in Goodpitch2 when we pledged funds on behalf of concerned women donors for The Hunting Ground, a documentary film exploring the impact of sexual assault on U.S. university campuses, and On Richard’s Side.

  • June: Australian Women Donors Network was named as a Finalist in HESTA’s prestigious Community Sector Impact Awards for 2015.

  • May: The Funding Network & Australian Women Donors Network Women and Girls collective giving event raised more than $40,000 in philanthropic support for four charities supporting women and girls.

  • 2014

    Download our 2014 Annual Report

  • 2014 Donor connections: We continue to provide donor connections wherever possible. Among the success stories we are most proud of in 2014 are:
    Women’s Property Initiatives received a significant donation for an affordable housing project in Coburg.
    The Hunger Project: This year for the first time, MECCA Cosmetica launched a special Christmas gift pack to raise funds for The Hunger Project – Australia.
    The Stella Prize: We have been proud to make some key introductions and play a mentoring role for some new philanthropists on the Committee.

  • December: CEO Julie Reilly named in the Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 - The Not for Profit Sector’s Most Influential People in 2014, reflecting the Network’s impact and influence in bringing the gender lens into philanthropy and directing investment to women and girls.

  • November: Workshop: Medical Research - The X-Factor - Putting Sex and Gender under the Microscope in Medical Research. In what was a ground-breaking discussion in Medical Research philanthropy, Women Donors presented a thought-provoking session for donors and other interested parties on why sex and gender matter in all aspects of medical research funding.

  • October: Workshop: Indigenous Women & Girls - Funding with Gender & Cultural Wisdom. An event specifically designed to support donors to better understand and navigate funding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and projects for more than 20 donors, trusts and foundation.

  • October: Private Wealth Network Family Office Congress presentation. Chair Deanne Weir presented, sharing her passion and purpose with a new audience of high net wealth families and investment advisors. Our Guide to Gender-wise Philanthropy was also highly commended in a presentation at the Congress about The Value of Women by Steve MacDonald of Infinitas.

  • September: Julie Reilly presented a special session at this year’s conference addressing International Giving through a Gender Lens. With PA’s Louise Burton, we curated two high level sessions on the power of investing in women and girls.

  • August: CEO Julie Reilly MC’s the two day G(irls) 20 Summit at the Sydney Opera House. This impressive initiative brings together young women delegates from each of the G20 countries plus Afghanistan, Pakistan and the MENA region, to develop them as future leaders of change in their respective countries. G(irls)20 saw one of its goals achieved this year, with gender gaining a focus in the G20 agenda for the first time.

  • July: Melbourne Women’s Fund Launch: Following the success of our 2013 International Speakers Tour with Colleen Willoughby promoting the establishment of Giving Circles, a new giving circle - the Melbourne Women’s Fund - was launched. Colleen has agreed to be the Patron for this giving circle.

  • April: Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO CBE Oration: The Community Impact of Investing in Women and Girls. Our annual Gender-Wise Event brought together a large audience of individual donors, trusts and foundations. Dame Julia was enthusiastic in her endorsement of our work, in particular our Guide to Gender-wise Philanthropy.

  • 2013

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  • April: Our Genderwise Philanthropy Guide is launched in Sydney by Her Excellency Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of NSW.

  • April: Our Genderwise Philanthropy Guide is launched in Melbourne by Elizabeth Broderick.

  • March: Our new Guide, Genderwise Philanthropy: Strengthening Society by Investing in Women and Girls, is published. The Guide was produced in response to the need for information and practical guidance about why, how and where to invest in projects supporting women and girls. It draws on a growing body of evidence demonstrating that philanthropic investment in women and girls results in high impact philanthropy.

  • February: Our website has been enhanced to include a Storybank which currently lists 8 case studies illustrating how funding women, and the application of a gender lens to philanthropic giving, is changing the world.

  • 2012

    Download our 2012 Annual Report

  • December: At the invitation of the 100 Percent Project, an organisation that works to advance gender equity in leadership roles, Women Donors joined forces to promote a significant gender event held in Melbourne in December 2012. The event featured leading international "womenomics" expert Benja Stig Fagerland as the keynote speaker, and Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick in a panel discussion, and a thought-provoking debate was held on the very topical issue of quotas for women in executive leadership.

  • November: Strategic review of Women Donors strategic focus, aims and business plans, facilitated by Greg Hutchinson, Senior Advisor Bain & Co.

  • October: Women Donors brought together the CEO’s of the major Trust companies and Community Foundations at a brainstorming lunch. The aim was for the group to share their collective wisdom, and to garner the groups active support, in communicating the business case for women and girls to decision makers who control the final funding decisions. This important consultation reinforced the need for tools and information to support those in the sector to be more "genderwise" in their giving.

  • August: Our Online Project Showcase has been updated and now lists over 70 Australian and international projects specifically supporting women and girls.

  • August: Women Donors Chair and Founder Eve Mahlab attends Leadership Victoria’s SACS Leadership Awards at the invitation of Women's Property Initiatives which builds affordable rental housing for low income women and their children. WPI CEO Jeanette Large was recognised at the Awards as an Executive Finalist in the NFP category.

  • August: Women Donors Network CEO Julie Reilly presents to Personal & Family Grantmaking students at Swinburne University of Technology’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy, The presentation introduced students to the Australian Women Donors Network, the case for funding women and girls, and the Gender Lens for inclusive philanthropy.

  • June: Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) ‘Women in Philanthropy’ event in Melbourne examining Women Donors inaugural research project ‘Mapping Australia’s Philanthropic Investment in Women and Girls’. Chair Eve Mahlab participates on panel on the gender lens to integrate women into giving. The event was well attended and included donors and sub-fund managers, as well as members of LMCF Advisory Committees.

  • June: The Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation,which has a corpus of $88.6m and in 2011 distributed $7.7m to charities, commits to integrating gender questions on their application and acquittal forms.

  • June: By invitation, Chair Eve Mahlab leads round table discussion of senior executives from Goldman Sachs Diversity Leadership Group on integrating women at senior levels. The group included staff from Sydney and Melbourne offices of Goldman Sachs.

  • May: Board, staff and sponsors of the Australian Women Donors Network are commended for their research presentation event in a Notice of Motion in NSW Parliament.

  • May: Sydney launch of Women Donors Survey at NSW Parliament House hosted by the Hon Marie Ficarra MLA.

  • April: Melbourne launch of our inaugural research Mapping Australia’s Philanthropic Investment in Women and Girls in Boardroom of Women Donors supporters GMK Partners.

  • March: International Jewish Funders Conference Israel: Women Donors Chair Eve Mahlab participates in plenary panel on Strategic Giving. The event was attended by 400 delegates.

  • March: Women Donors Network CEO Julie Reilly presents to Effective Grantmaking students at Swinburne University of Technology’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy, The presentation introduced students to the Australian Women Donors Network, the case for funding women and girls, and the Gender Lens for inclusive philanthropy.

  • March: Chair participates in mission to Israel with Australian Jewish Funders Conference and calls for gender inclusiveness in giving.

  • March: Chair and CEO attend boardroom lunch with the Minister for the Status of Women The Hon Julie Collins MP, and promote the gender lens in giving. The Our Community event, hosted by women’s advocate Carol Schwartz, promoted Women on Boards and brought together leading women in business and NFP sectors.

  • February: Women Donors Network CEO Julie Reilly meets with Penny Williams, Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls.

  • February: Women Donors Network commended in NSW Parliament for hosting the Abigail Disney Tour.

  • 2011

    Download our 2011 Annual Report

  • November/December International Speaker – Abigail E Disney tour delivered Keynote addresses at Women Donors Network Gala Dinners and Philanthropy Masterclasses in Melbourne and Sydney. More than 1000 people attended across these inspirational public and private donor and sponsor events and more than $450,000 of media value was achieved in publicity for the tour.

  • December: Abigail E. Disney - Sydney Philanthropy Masterclass and Gala dinner.

  • December: Sydney meeting between Abigail Disney and ANZ Private Clients.

  • November: Abigail E Disney speaks at special session for Management and staff of Women Donors Network sponsors - Mecca Cosmetica.

  • November: Abigail E Disney - Melbourne Philanthropy Masterclass and Gala Dinner.

  • 2010

    Download our 2010 Annual Report

  • November: Launch of the Online Project Showcase; The Network was delighted to launch its Online Project Showcase in November, in an effort to connect the growing community of philanthropic funders to the many wonderful organisations whose projects benefit women and girls. This free service is one of the Network's initiatives to bring to life the enormous need required in the community, and we hope that you find an organisation here that may benefit from your "time, talent or treasure".

  • October: Tracy Gary "Inspired Living & Giving Tour"; The Network was delighted to host internationally-regarded donor activist and philanthropist Tracy Gary as a special guest in October 2010. Together, Tracy and Women Donors Network ran workshops, community events and private consultations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with more than 700 attending events and learning how to create a legacy through giving.

  • February: Launch of the Women Mobilising Millions Campaign; In February 2010, US philanthropist Helen La Kelly Hunt and Women's Funding Network President and CEO Christine Grumm visited Sydney and Melbourne to help build the philanthropy of Australian women and make the case for investing in women and girls. A series of events involving 500 people kick started the Australian Women Mobilising Millions campaign.

  • 2009

  • December: Launch of "A Gender Lens for Inclusive Philanthropy"; In conjunction with the Women Donors Network, the Victorian Women's Trust (VWT) proudly launched the ground-breaking "A Gender Lens for Inclusive Philanthropy", an important new tool for injecting gender awareness into philanthropic giving.

  • December: Launch of the Network's website; To help spread the message about giving to women and girls, the Network developed this website – full of informative articles, research and reasons why this initiative is so important.

  • August: Women in Management Dinner; Co-founder Jill Reichstein addressed 400 guests at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne about the Reichstein Foundation.

  • August: Yakety Yak Series; Hosted by the Centre for Social Impact. Peter Thompson interviewed Eve Mahlab about the Women Donors Network. Footage available on YouTube.

  • 2008

  • Summer: At the request of the Australian Women Donors Network, Philanthropy Australia devoted an entire issue of its magazine to "Women and Philanthropy: Giving by and for Women and Girls".

  • November: Journalists Lena Bell and Madeleine Heffernan interviewed Eve Mahlab for an article in the "Business Spectator" regarding the global recession and the Australian government's stimulus package and the effect of both on women.

  • November: Co Founder and Convenor of the Network Eve Mahlab talked to an audience of more than 300 people at Melbourne's BMW Edge on the topic "Does Gender Still Matter" as part of the City of Melbourne's Melbourne Conversations series.

  • October: Sydney Launch of the Women Donors Network; Freehills and Philanthropy Australia hosted the Australian Women Donors Network launch in Sydney at the MLC Centre. Dr. Barbara Lemon gave the audience of 80 a presentation entitled "Women Moving Millions".

  • August: Hosted by the Sherman Galleries and Dr Gene Sherman, founder of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF), Wendy McCarthy AO and Imelda Roche AO. The Sydney launch of the Network brought 50 women donors together.

  • April: Launch of the Australian Women Donors Network; The ANZ Banking Group, together with Philanthropy Australia, hosted the official launch of the Australian Women Donors Network. Dr Barbara Lemon, spoke on Women and Philanthropy.

  • 2007

  • September Introductory Event; Ellen gave an inspiring presentation to an audience of around 50 people at the home of Eve Mahlab in Melbourne

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