How did Impact100 Melbourne start?

Impact100 Melbourne was formed in 2012 after a group of people working in philanthropy heard from James Boyd, the founder of Impact100 WA on his research into giving circles in the US, and decided to form a giving circle in Melbourne.  You can read about James’ inspiring talk here.  


How does Impact100 Melbourne operate?

All the Australian Impact100 groups follow the key principles of the American Impact100 model. We operate separately but share information and collaborate closely. Our shared vision is to grow collective giving in Australia. We hope that over the next few years the number of Impact groups in Australia will grow as they have in the United States.


What are the key principles of the Impact100 Model?​

  • 100% of the money donated is given away

  • Low, affordable minimum donation level

  • Agreed mission and shared decision making process

  • High impact grants to lesser known charities where $100,000 makes a big difference



Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. All donations to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation over $2 are tax deductible. You’ll get a receipt via email when you first donate online, or by post if you donate via cheque – be sure to keep it for tax time.


Impact100 Melbourne is a sub-fund of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF), which is a registered Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). LMCF administers all of Impact100 Melbourne’s donations. Impact100 Melbourne operates in accordance with the legislative regulations of LMCF. Member donations go into the Impact100 Melbourne sub-fund and members collectively recommend to LMCF which organisation receives the grant. The $100,000 impact grant is paid directly by LMCF to the chosen organisation.


Who actually gets my donation?

Your donation goes into a special sub-fund of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. There the money is held in trust. The Impact100Melbourne committee members do not handle donated money or have any access to it.

When our donors collectively decide which organisation should get the grant, it will be paid directly to that organisation.

What is the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation?

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit foundation which seeks to build a pool of funds to benefit Melbourne. Founded in 1923 as the  Lord Mayor’s Fund for Metropolitan Hospital and Charities, LMCF is the largest community foundation in Australia. It is administered by a board of trustees on a voluntary basis, and must comply with governance and financial standards set out by the government. The financial reports of LMCF are available on its website.

The Impact100 Melbourne committee chose to establish a sub-fund of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation for several reasons: it is a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and can therefore offer a tax deduction to donors; the board and staff have the skills and experience to steward donations effectively; and its administration fee of 1% was reasonable and competitive with other offerings in the philanthropic sector.

What does it mean to be a member?

Your $1000 donation will be pooled with that of the other members and used to make one high-impact grant of $100,000 to a Melbourne-based organisation. Grant recipients will be chosen by the donors at an awards event and every $1000 (or more) member will have one vote in the selection process. Through Impact100 Melbourne you can become a major donor through collective impact.

What is expected of members?

Each person’s participation depends on their personal situation and can change from year to year. If a member has limited time, they contribute $1,000 and come to the annual  event to help choose the grant recipient/s for that year. If you have more time, you can join a sub-committee such as the grant making committee (evaluates grant applications, including assessment evenings and site visits). There may also be opportunities to become involved as a volunteer or a board member with our grant applicants which can lead to deeper ongoing relationships with not-for-profit organisations.

What if I can’t afford $1000?

In order to get a vote, you need to contribute $1000. If you can’t afford that on your own, can you team up with others to form a mini-group or syndicate? Among our donors are several couples or families contributing $1000 as a family donation, as well as one group of colleagues making the donation collectively.

In order to sign up as a group donation, each of you should make your donation individually, so that everybody gets the benefit of the tax deduction – but please email us on info@impact100melbourne.org and let us know who is in your group. That way we can make sure you’ll get your collective vote!

If you really can’t make up $1000 but would like to help, we will gratefully accept any donations at all! However, only a $1000 donation is eligible for a vote.

Do I have to sign up for more than a year?

You only join for a calendar year, but we hope you will renew each year.

What do I have to do to get involved?

The only requirement is a minimum donation of $1000. Of course, we hope you’ll take the time to make an informed decision when you join us in choosing a grant recipient. In addition, you have the option to serve on one of our committees but this is not a requirement.

How does Impact100 Melbourne keep in touch with members?

Impact100 Melbourne uses our website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, our newsletter and email to stay in touch with members. We also hope to hold some fun and interesting events. We’ve had a drinks event as well as an exclusive member-only conversation with a giving circles guru visiting from the US. There will be more to come!

What are your administrative expenses?

We anticipate that our ongoing annual costs will be about 1% of the total donated. Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation charge a 1% administration fee to manage our money, ensure good governance and provide philanthropic support. The majority of our expenses, including website design and hosting, are borne by the organising committee or provided through the generosity of some of our donors. We rely on the generous time and effort of volunteers and we also utilise gifts and sponsorships from individuals, local businesses, family and private foundations, and in-kind donations.

All the Impact100Melbourne committee members are volunteers and none of them receive any payments or material benefits of any kind from their participation. They are also all donors themselves.

Why is $1000 the minimum donation?

We feel that this is a very affordable gift for most people. Our hope is that the next generation will want to get involved at this level of membership.

What if I want to give more than $1000?

Donations over $1000 are very welcome but the policy of ‘one member, one vote’ applies when choosing who will receive the $100,000 grant.  Multiple donations by individuals or organisations of more than $1000 are welcome, however they will only be entitled to one vote.   Organisations that donate will get one vote and should nominate the appropriate contact person via email.

How will the grant recipient be decided?

Each year, we send out a call for initial grant applications. A grant review committee that is made up of our donors accepts and evaluates these grant applications then selects a few to submit full applications. These are then evaluated by researching and visiting applicants in order to arrive at the finalists. We deliver information on those finalists to each Impact100 Melbourne donor for review. At the annual grant event in November the finalists are presented to the members (through a short film) after which a collective decision on the winning recipient is made.

What if there are more than 100 donors?

If there are more than 100 donors, the grant will be larger or more than one grant will be made.  We also aim to provide a small grant to the other three organisations in our top four where possible.

Do I have to live in Melbourne to join?

No – donors from anywhere are welcome. In fact, we have donors from NSW and WA as well as Melbourne. However, grants will be made only to Melbourne-based projects.

Who is behind Impact100 Melbourne?

Our organising committee is a group of young professionals in philanthropy, the financial sector and the not-for-profit sector who love their city and want to make a positive difference in it. Some of us are full-time professionals, some are worker bees and some are stay-at-home mums or work from home.  You can find out who the individual committee members are on the 'Who We Are' page.

Donations over $2 are fully tax-deductible

Impact100Melbourne is a named sub-fund of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation ABN 63 635 798 473


Media contacts

Vanessa Meachen: 0407 845 665
Rikki Andrews: 0438 288 114

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