Collaborating for impact


VFFF has a long history of providing critical early support to social enterprises which tackle employment barriers and support more Australians into work. VFFF has seen the impact of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs) and the important role well timed philanthropic support can play, through previous partnerships with social enterprises including The Bread and Butter Project, CareerSeekers, CareerTrackers, The Social Outfit, Hotel Etico and Plate It Forward, as well as current partners Jigsaw and Miyay Birray.

Earlier this year VFFF leapt at the opportunity to join an innovative collaboration between some of Australia’s leading philanthropic foundations to establish the Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) Grant program.  Managed by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, the WISE Grant program was designed to offer grant funding of more than $4.7 million to successful applicants thanks to a coalition of philanthropic foundations including VFFF, Westpac Foundation, English Family Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Macquarie Group, Minderoo Foundation and Paul Ramsay Foundation.

VFFF is thrilled that fourteen organisations from around Australia have been selected to receive grants of up to $500,000 over two years. Congratulations to all the recipients - Bama Facilities Maintenance, Happy Paws Happy Hearts, Nundah Community Enterprises Cooperative, SisterWorks, The Beautiful Bunch, HoMie, Mettle Women, Civik, EcoCrews, The Reconnect Project, Seed Foundation Australia, Hamlet Inc., Lively Community and Aboriginal Art Centre Hub of Western Australia Aboriginal Corporation.

Given VFFF’s commitment to Backing Young People, the team was delighted to see a number of organisations focused on supporting young people amongst the recipients. One example is Queensland based Seed Foundation, which provides holistic support services to improve the health, wellbeing and employment outcomes of Australia's young First Peoples. Seed’s Connect n Grow social enterprise, provides recruitment and on-boarding management processes for hospital and health services that host trainees and the Seed team provides the much needed wrap around support to the trainees themselves. This combination is a winning formula, improving the experience for both employers and the young trainees.

Seed Foundation's 2023 Townsville Deadly Start Program school-based trainees
Seed Foundation's 2023 Townsville Deadly Start Program school-based trainees

"The grant will significantly assist with the additional resources required to engage with young people in regional and remote communities. It will also enable our social enterprise to continually expand the number of partnerships with employers, providing the fee-paying services that are key to the long-term sustainability of the organisation" - Seed Foundation CEO, Brett Fragiacomo

VFFF looks forward to watching all fourteen WISE Grant recipients accelerate their growth and impact over the next two years.

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