Melbourne Women's Fund July / August Newsletter
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July / August  2015
MWF's First Anniversary celebration
Last week thirty members and friends came to the Atrium Bar at the Sofitel to celebrate our first anniversary (we launched in July, 2014). As the photos show we had a very enjoyable get together and Amy helped us sing ‘happy birthday’! We have found that events like this are a great way for members to connect and they give us an opportunity to welcome friends and colleagues interested in our giving circle!
Update on our two grant recipients:
Women & Mentoring and VIRWC
Women and Mentoring’s (WAM) news
Our generous MWF Life Member, Susan Alberti AO recently met with Mary Latham, CEO of Women & Mentoring and Pat to collaborate about support and networks to advance WAM’s important work in the western suburbs. Susan is very connected to the western suburbs through her role as Patron and Vice President of the Western Bulldogs, and she suggested organisations WAM could investigate to assist with referrals to their program, recruiting volunteer mentors, connecting with community organisations to refer their program participants to, and men’s organisations. 
Through MWF’s Signature Grant of $60,000, the feasibility phase and first five months of WAM’s program operation will be covered.  However WAM needs another $64,000 to fund the program for a further 7 months, including a one year external evaluation.  We ask members to refer any potential funding sources to Mary, to help build the success of WAM in the Western Suburbs. 
VIRWC’s news
Melba Marginson and her team at The Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC) will soon confirm upcoming dates and locations of their Friendship Cafes, so members can visit to share the joy of their work. 
Your $15,000 Nurturing Grant is providing a Coordinator supporting up to 50 women champions who meet 150 disadvantaged and isolated newly-arrived immigrant and refugee women weekly at their Friendship Cafes across Melbourne.  VIRWC were also recently featured on ABC News 24 and in a Financial Review article about Women, Immigrants and Social Inclusion.
Great things happen when we bring our generous, skilled and passionate women together, not only through the power of our collective donations, but through their volunteering and advice.  A recent example – one of our members will be providing pro bono accounting services to VIRWC.  If you hear of any other acts of generosity—especially donations of in-kind service, please let us know!
Merit Awards to our four finalists
The accounting has been finalized for end of financial year, and we are so proud to announce that each of the four finalists who were not successful on the Grants night will receive $1500 as a thank you and show of our support. 

We are grateful to the six new MWF members who joined just after our voting event and were happy for their donations to fund these Merit Awards.  Cheques will go out next week to our friends at:

Emerge Women and Children’s Support Network, Wellsprings for Women, Women with Disabilities Victoria, and Marist Youth Care.

With member's support we hope to continue providing Merit Awards to our grant finalists who do not win a Significant or Nurturing Grant in 2016.
Grants for Year 2 — What’s Ahead
Planning is underway to set the path for our grants effort this year.  Our grants committee and other interested members will meet for a kick-off Grants Workshop meeting on Friday, 28 August hosted by our generous Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation grants team, Anita Hopkins and Judy Buchan. 

They’ll present information on current and emerging issues for the people of greater Melbourne as identified through their Vital Signs initiative   
We’ll also look at best practice for grants assessment and hold a mini-workshop to take what we learned from last year and improve our practice.  For more information please contact Pat 
2015 Survey Results

Thanks to the members who completed the online survey we sent out following our Grants Decision event in May. We received some wonderful feedback, but most importantly we have real clarity on your expectations for the year ahead. Thanks to Tiz and Bec for working on this project! Three particular focus areas were:
Grants Process - Members would like a more refined grants process including greater background information on each of the finalist organisations as well as greater support for their pitch process.
Membership growth - Members are keen to grow our membership numbers so we can increase pooled funds for 2016 grants. We will need your assistance with this so stay tuned for ideas on how you can help recruit and support new members.
Grant recipient progress reports:  - Members are very interested in the progress of the successful grant recipients programs and we are committed to updating you regularly via this newsletter and at our upcoming events.

Helping us grow MWF’s Membership
Do you realise that MWF members are in a great position to help us attract and recruit new members to our giving circle?

By bringing your friends to our events they can experience the friendly inclusiveness and warmth that is very evident each time we get together. So please invite your friends to our next event so they can experience what our giving circle is all about!
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