What we do

We encourage giving back to Sydneysiders in need

We encourage local giving, to fund high impact, grassroots projects in the greater Sydney area. Our aim is to lessen the divide and provide all Sydneysiders the opportunity to thrive.

We invite Sydneysiders to Give Sydney - Now and Forever by giving to our Endowment Fund, or by establishing a sub-fund with Sydney Community Foundation.

We also provide the opportunity for donors to fund Sydney Community Foundation's priority projects directly for immediate impact. Our priority projects are selected guided by the four pillars of our work.

Our four pillars include:

  • Belonging
  • Education and employment pathways
  • Enabling independence
  • Transforming place

These are the areas into which we invest.


  • The 2009 The Common Cause report highlighted 'Belonging' as one of the six pointers towards creating a healthy city.
  • Sydney Alliance’s 2011 research highlighted that the highest issue of concern for Sydneysiders was “Building Community Harmony”.

Sydney Community Foundation has provided grants to small projects aimed at building stronger communities through creating a sense of belonging. Belonging remains a key area of our work and has become one the four pillars of our work.


Our funding has provided education pathways and employment opportunities to people living below the poverty line. We have provided scholarships funds for early learning and are now seeking funds to support talented Sydneysiders, in arts, music and academia through our sub-fund the Sydney Arts Fund.

Enabling independence

We believe that education is the first step on the journey to helping a person thrive and that true success lies in enabling independence and we do this through supporting projects that provide education and employment pathways. In 2013 and 2014 donations from the Sydney Women's Fund have supported TAFE studies for young women at risk of dropping out of school.

Transforming place

  • The Sydney Women’s Fund commissioned the Portrait of Women and Girls in Greater Sydney research report into the state of Women and Girls in Western Sydney. This remains relevant to our work. It continues to provide a vital evidence base to guide an informed, long-term investment strategy to tap the full potential of the women and girls of Sydney.

Priority projects arising from The Portrait have focused on the following cause areas:

  • Older women at risk of homelessness
  • Aboriginal Women
  • Young women and girls in low income areas
  • Migrant and Refugee women
  • Women who are carers

A second piece of research was commissioned by Sydney Community Foundation in 2013; Mapping Philanthropic Investment in South Western Sydney. Its purpose was to generate a picture of philanthropic investment in western and south western Sydney Local Government Areas (LGA’s) and to encourage philanthropists to invest more in grassroots community led not for profit organisations. It showed that only 2% of the philanthropic dollars given in Sydney go to Western Sydney compared to a  national average of 10% in other areas.

Together, these two pieces of research have informed the establishment of Sydney Community Foundation’s Place-Based Philanthropy program. Women and girls remain a central focus of the projects we fund within our broader Place-based Philanthropy program, now known as ProjectWow! It is widely recognised that women in particular are integral to healing place.

Discover projects currently being funded or seeking funds