Community Foundation Concept Development Workshop held Sept 1, 2011

Community Foundation Concept Development Workshop held Sept 1, 2011

Twenty three community members attended the workshop that was supported by VBAF, the Department of Planning and Community Development and facilitated by the Regional Development Company. It was a successful workshop that explored some of the opportunities in establishing a community foundation, with an introduction discussing the purpose of philanthropy being that of ‘goodwill to all mankind’ and endeavouring to set the scene for the purpose of a locally-run foundation.

Much discussion took place with regards to what vision a community foundation would have. These included:

  • Providing flexible funding opportunities for community projects, scholarships and programs that will assist and stimulate local community activities and resilience (and sense of community).
  • Nurturing local ideas and developing them into well structured programs
  • Empowering local communities to strengthen partnerships and connections between communities, local government, agencies, service providers, local business and organisations.
  • Supporting existing community infrastructure eg. Halls
  • Achieving the ‘Into Our Hands” vision
  • Taking responsibility for our own future and being responsive to change

Principles governing a Community Foundation could include:

  • Promoting social responsibility and building community capacity
  • Developing community knowledge and skill base and strong communication within and outside communities
  • Supporting environmental sustainability and stewardship
  • Altruism – thinking of others and fostering empathy
  • Encouraging savvy good business sense whilst keeping in mind integrity
  • Respecting and encouraging ideas
  • Encouraging a common sense approach to opportunities
  • Promoting a sharing and giving culture, generosity of spirit and broad mindedness.
  • Supporting economic development that encourages retention of population and youth.

Jan Mock, Community Building Facilitator at the Alpine Shire gave a presentation on Alpine’s Resilience Committee and Joan Simms, Board Member, Border Trust Community Foundation gave us an overview of her Foundation.

The workshop concluded with a possible vision statement for a foundation:

“A Community Foundation that supports projects that enhance community strength, cohesiveness and wellbeing.”

Our next step, subject to funding approval, will be to conduct a feasibility study for the foundation and community training.

About Julian Carroll

Principal of Black Star Angus Regional Chair SAMRC Central Vic
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