Sydney Community Foundation limited (SCF) has launched a sub-fund aiming to raise $1 million during the next two years to assist women in greater Sydney who are in need of medical or social support.

The Sydney Women’s Fund concentrates on boosting women’s access to education, personal safety, preventive health care and participation in sporting activities. It is the first of its kind in Sydney and is modeled on the New York Community Trust. In 2004, SCF received separate $50,000 donations as seed funding from the NSW Premiers Department and City of Sydney; this money helped SCF launch the women’s fund. Financial Planner with Centric Wealth, Bruce Christie, is on the SCF board and promotes such funds as vehicles through which the public can donate to charities. “I explain to the industry how I believe clients should engage in strategic giving and how a community foundation can fit into their scheme of things,” Christie said. He said that factoring philanthropic giving into advice “is very much a trend but not near the common area of discussion in a client interview”. “We need to get the message out that we’re a valuable option.” Management of the sub-fund will be outsourced to a professional funds manager once it pools $1 million, SCF chief executive officer, Ingrid Aitken, said. Upon reaching this size, the fund will distribute grants to charities whose work falls within its areas of focus. “We work in collaboration with other charities and service providers to gain insight into what is needed,” Aitken said. The sub-fund sits within the broader SCF company structure. Within this structure, donors can establish tax deductible trusts and other general, non-tax deductible funds. Existing sub-funds include: the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Jack Dunlop Fund and the Charities Aid Foundation.

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