Message from Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation

This year marks our 36th year as a Foundation, and my final year as Chair. Amid ongoing challenges around the world, we saw another record year of community giving in FY2021 with $A64 million1 contributed to more than 2,400 organisations globally.

Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed over $A475 million2 to community organisations around the world. This is thanks to donations and fundraising efforts of staff, Foundation matching and our grant making program. I am so privileged to have been able to take part in this incredible journey.

FY2021 has indeed been an extraordinary year. One plagued by a global pandemic, but also filled with empathy and invaluable learnings. To provide emergency relief to vulnerable communities and help the economic recovery, we created the COVID-19 donation fund in April 2020. We have allocated close to the entire $A20 million in grant funding. In addition, $A1.5 million to support racial equity has also been allocated to organisations working to combat ongoing racial injustices in the US.

But, as always, the work of our Foundation extends well beyond financial support. Our people continue to show incredible generosity throughout the pandemic. Almost a third5 of our staff globally donated money or time or both this past year, as tracked through our staff giving platform, My Community. There are over 200 staff currently serving on non-profit boards, providing pro bono leadership and advice. We estimate that $A5 million of value has been contributed to non-profit organisations through skilled volunteering time in FY20214.


Aiding economic recovery

COVID-19 is a humanitarian and economic crisis, with both immediate and long-term impacts. We have learned over the years that while immediate emergency funding is necessary, medium and longer-term recovery is not always considered in the face of a crisis. That is why our COVID-19 fund has supported both emergency relief and economic revival for vulnerable communities.

As at 31 March 2021, we have allocated $17.7 million of our COVID-19 fund to 36 organisations, supporting research, direct relief efforts and most recently, organisations that support workers and businesses in restarting their activities. You can read more about some of our economic recovery grantees in our Annual Review.


Supporting our Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award winners 

In 2019, five organisations received the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award, receiving $A10 million over five years to drive social, medical and environmental change. Despite the pandemic, these organisations adapted and continued to drive impact, achieving some impressive outcomes. You can read more about our five winners in the Annual Review.

More than 70 Macquarie staff also joined the Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award Ambassador Network in 2020, leveraging additional skills to help the recipients meet their goals.


Strengthening our support in our focus area

With the majority of our granting budget now being directed towards our grant making focus area, we are continuously seeking to strengthen our grant making approach. We’re also currently undergoing a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) review of our grant-making practices and policies with the aim of increasing inclusion and equity in our approach. We’ve commenced the process and look forward to sharing what we learn in the year ahead.

Many Macquarie employees continue to assist grant partners in our focus area through mentoring, career development and employability programs. Throughout FY2021, we supported these partners by providing flexible funding arrangements and access to additional grants to enable them to respond to challenges faced during the pandemic.


The power of people

And where would we be without the hard work and dedication of our people? This year we’ve had a remarkably strong community response from our staff. In FY2021, staff personally contributed $A11.8 million through donations and fundraising efforts.  

And although COVID removed valuable face-to-face contact, shifting volunteering online opened up opportunities for people who hadn’t previously been able to participate. Foundation Week was emblematic of this, with 41 Macquarie offices organising more than 230 events around the world, 85% of them held virtually.

Over the three years I’ve served as Chair, it is the passion and drive of our people that has never ceased to amaze me. I am incredibly proud of our colleagues and the Foundation for their tireless efforts to serve the communities in which we live and work.

Early in 2022 I will hand the reins to Alex Harvey, Chief Financial Officer at Macquarie Group. I am proud to leave the Macquarie Group Foundation with a solid grounding that will enable Alex to lead the Foundation confidently into the future. While we will maintain our commitment to the Foundation’s existing program of work, we are conscious of the need to make our contributions as impactful as they can be and will explore new ways of doing this by partnering with Macquarie businesses to empower people to innovate and invest for a better future. I look forward to seeing the Foundation have an even greater impact in the future and you’ll hear more about this from Alex in due course.

As I embark on my final period as Chair of the Macquarie Group Foundation, I would like to thank you for your support, it’s an honour to serve in the role.

Mary Reemst
Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation


  1. Contributed by the Foundation and Macquarie staff since inception in 1985. 
  2. Contribution figures comprise Macquarie employees’ donations and fundraising; Foundation matching support for employees’ donations and fundraising; Foundation donations to commemorate employees attaining 10-year and 25-year anniversaries at Macquarie; Foundation grants to non-profit organisations to recognise 12 months of board service by a Macquarie employee; and Macquarie and Foundation grants to community organisations (including COVID-19 donation fund and Year 2 donations for the 50th Anniversary Award) in the 12 months to 31 March 2021. 
  3. In the 12 months to 31 March 2021.
  4. In the 12 months to 31 March 2021. Figure calculated using Taproot Foundation’s average hourly value of pro bono service ($US195 per hour converted to $A255.45 as per exchange rate on 31 March 2021) multiplied by Macquarie employees’ skilled volunteering hours (18,875 hours).
  5. In the 12 months to 31 March 2021. Calculated using transaction reports provided by Benevity, Inc. (provider of Macquarie’s giving platform), as a percentage of permanent Macquarie staff.