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About the Foundation

The Southern Highlands Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit public foundation with Public Fund and Deductible Gift Recipient status (for Trust Funds only) that provides a permanent source of support for a range of initiatives that strengthen the local community.

The Foundation has undergone an exciting new phase of development and renewal in the past 6 months which included a change of name from Wingecarribee Community Foundation to Southern Highlands Foundation.

Mission, Values and Vision

Our mission is to help establish and support a tradition of philanthropy in the Southern Highlands by providing a simple and effective way to give something of real value back to the community.

Respect, diversity, collaboration and stewardship are the values which provide guiding principles for the way in which we operate.

Our vision is a strong and resilient Southern Highlands community.

These ideals are encapsulated in our Mission Statement:

Foster Philanthropy - Generate Hope
Strengthen Community

The Southern Highlands Foundation is a Community Foundation.

What is a Community Foundation?

Community Foundations are like community banks and are created by and for the people of our communities. A capital base is built up over time through philanthropic donations and bequests. These endowments are kept forever to provide a permanent and growing financial resource to meet the needs of the local community. Community Foundations enable people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about.

What is philanthropy?

Philanthropy is the giving of money, time, information, goods and services, voice and influence to improve the wellbeing of the community.

How did Community Foundations originate?

The first Community Foundation was established in the United States in 1914 in the city of Cleveland as a way to pool bequests and donations from the wider community. The idea soon took hold across the country and then into Canada with the United Kingdom taking up the concept in the 1980’s. In the years that have followed hundreds of thousands of individuals from all economic backgrounds have joined with their local community foundations to create permanent charitable funds to meet the needs of their communities. Community foundations are now a global phenomenon with 1400 existing around the world.

How did they begin in Australia?

Australia joined the trend in 1983 with the creation of the Victorian Community Foundation and there are now 26 established community foundations across the country with another 11 in various stages of feasibility study, development and incorporation.