Philanthropy Turning Full Circle
With a background in sales, business development and grant-making within trustee companies and charitable foundations assisting high net-worth individuals, Rikki Andrews is passionate about philanthropy. Andrews is today’s Changemaker.
What are you currently working on in your organisation?
Our giving circle Impact100Melbourne is rapidly approaching the end of our second year. Our model is to gather together 100 Members @ $1000 to make one high-impact $100k grant to an organisation addressing homelessness in Melbourne.
We are working hard on refining the grant applications to a final four, ensuring that our Members are engaged and involved as much as they can, and preparing for an amazing end of year event at ACMI on 13 November.
How long have you been working in the Not for Profit sector?
I have been working in the philanthropic side of the NFP sector for almost ten years. I have had a range of professional and voluntary roles in that time. I am currently a Founding Committee Member of Impact100Melbourne, a Director on Inner North Community Foundation and a Trustee of Trust for Nature. My day job involves working for one of Australia’s largest philanthropic foundations, the Gardiner Foundation, which supports Victoria’s dairy industry.
In terms of your work sitting on a Not for Profit board, what would you say is the key to an effective NFP board?
The key to an effective board is a strong but inclusive Chair, engaged and involved board members, and a willingness to commit time, talent AND treasure.
I am a great advocate for encouraging all board members to be donors to their Not for Profit – even a small donation shows true commitment and encourages others to give.
What do you like best about working in your current organisation?
What I love about Impact100Melbourne is seeing the group take on the challenge of learning more about a serious issue in our society – supporting migrants in 2013 and homelessness in 2014. Members are exposed to information and experiences that they have not encountered before.
What they learn is not confined to Impact100Melbourne but taken back and shared with their family and friends which hopefully leads to a more informed and understanding society.
I consider my greatest achievement to be …
Taking the step in late 2012 to form Impact100Melbourne with a fantastic group of Committee Members. Some I already knew and some were brand new to philanthropy.
It is so rewarding to see the group explore and develop new skills and strengths which will benefit them both professionally and personally. Making our first grant to River Nile Learning Centre in 2013 really showed us what we, relatively small donors, could achieve.
I’m always being asked …
If you had a million dollars what would you give it to? And my current answer is I would donate it to a Community Foundation and set up a sub-fund or giving account. Then each year, for the rest of my life, I can have the fun of distributing the income from the fund regardless of what I may earn personally even in retirement. I would most probably grant to projects that promote science education as I feel that is the best base for addressing the issues of the future- climate, food security, health.
Through your work, what is your ultimate dream?
We want to see giving circles like Impact100Melbourne grow well beyond 100 members. In the US there are circles with over 500 members that grant over $1million dollars into their community. Impact100Philadelphia hit 1000 members earlier this year. That’s our goal – increasing the number of people that realise their capacity to give and who are taking the time to learn about significant community issues.
Where do you feel your passion for good came from?
I grew up in a very small country town in South Australia. The kind of town where if you want anything to happen a local has to be the driver. My father and our family friends were great examples for me, constantly contributing to the community through sport, assisting the school, dance and drama activities as well as sensitive charitable support for those in need. Then when I went to school and University in Adelaide I became aware of philanthropy through the significant gifts of founding Adelaide families.
It has been wonderful to be in Melbourne, the home of philanthropy, and be able to not only volunteer but be employed in this sector.