Gillian Hund OAM, Patricia Burke OAM (Co-Founders) &
Christine Darcas (Executive Officer) of
Melbourne Women's Fund
MWF enables members to be part of informed, democratized giving where their power is amplified through the collective benefit they provide to vulnerable women and families in Melbourne.
We recently spoke to Patricia, Christine and Gillian to hear their thoughts on their current efforts!
What’s the most interesting effort your circle is focusing on right now?
Re-energizing and reconnecting the members and supporters of our Melbourne Women’s Fund community after living in the most locked-down city in the world over 2020 and 2021. Although we survived those two years reasonably well, it required an agile, yet time-consuming, reorientation in our approach that couldn’t entirely compensate for the joy and satisfaction our members value from in-person socializing and networking. We are now re-directing our efforts to provide those opportunities, which is exciting and liberating!
What is something your circle is currently challenged by?
Sustaining the caliber of our management. The term ‘Giving Circle’ can sound simplistic and belie the complexity involved in keeping a 100% volunteer-led organization running smoothly across areas that include an informed and collaborative grants process, marketing, events, governance, financial management, membership engagement, Next Gen and partnership/sponsorship—all underpinned by a solid three-year strategic plan. We’ve been very fortunate in having a devoted team. But life can get in the way for any of us, so we have to stay on the lookout for potential compatible volunteers and do what we can to keep them.
What Philanos resource has been most helpful to you this year, and why?
There isn’t one resource. Overall, it is great to know that Philanos is there to turn to. Even though we’re on the other side of the world, the Philanos webinars during Covid were just as relevant for us. Its reservoir of giving circle-related research is useful as well. We look forward to being able to attend the next conference (the strategic planning session at the 2020 conference was a game-changer for us in particular). You’ll be seeing us again!