At the Macquarie Group Foundation, we want to achieve the most significant social impact possible, using not only our financial resources but also the skills and networks of Macquarie employees.
Our work is significantly influenced by the community activities of our employees, with the vast majority of our funding allocated to matching staff donations and fundraising. A smaller portion of our funding is available for strategic grant-making ($A6 million in our last financial year).
As part of a 2016 review of the Foundation’s goals, we have chosen to maximise our social impact by concentrating our grant making on particular community areas within each of the regions in which we operate.
The focus areas selected are based on where staff in that region have demonstrated interest, because as a corporate foundation, we take our lead from the employees who make up the wider organisation.
The focus area in each region
The majority of the Foundation’s grant making funding is now concentrated on organisations supporting social and economic opportunities for young people in the communities where we live and operate, with each region focusing its efforts on issues with local relevance.
- In the Americas, the focus is on supporting college access, success and career attainment for underrepresented youth. The Foundation will continue funding organisations like America Needs You, the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University and The HAY Center, which provide intensive career development and mentoring to enable students to realise their academic and career goals.
- In Australia, supporting education and employment opportunities for young people is the Foundation’s focus. You can read research we commissioned from the Centre for Social Impact work we did with Mckinsey and AlphaBeta to help inform this focus area. In Australia, in FY18, we funded Aurora Education Foundation, BackTrack (via Social Ventures Australia) and SYC Ltd, all of which work to assist young people to realise their education and employment potential.
- In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, supporting social mobility for young people through education and employment opportunities will be the focus. The Foundation will continue supporting organisations like Leadership Through Sport and Business (commonly known as LTSB), Reach Out, Dallaglio RugbyWorks and Islington Giving’s Mentoring Works programme, which support the social mobility of disadvantaged young people across the United Kingdom.
- The focus on supporting education and employment opportunities for migrant workers as a means to combat modern slavery will continue across Asia, where the Foundation has had a strategic, programmatic response to the issue of modern slavery since 2015. Grants will continue to be made to organisations such as Justice Centre Hong Kong, Fair Employment Foundation and the Voice of the Free, enabling these organisations to strengthen and create policies and regulation, build ethical and sustainable recruitment practices and educate vulnerable communities about their rights.
At Macquarie, one of our long-held principles is around opportunity. Without social and economic engagement, short and longer-term career opportunities are inevitably diminished, people’s living conditions and health can suffer, and social cohesion can deteriorate. Our new grant-making strategy focuses on organisations working to improve this and we look forward sharing progress on this soon.