Macquarie Group Foundation 2021 Annual Review

Building a better, more equitable future

Mary Reemst, Chair, Macquarie Group Foundation, in conversation with Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO and Managing Director, Macquarie Group.

Chair's message

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

A record year of community giving1


Donated in FY2021



given since inception

Over $A5m4

in value donated through skilled volunteering


non-profits supported

200+ staff3

on non-profit boards

27% staff5

engaged with our staff giving platform

Our purpose, our impact

We’re proud of our employee-led approach to giving: supporting our people to contribute service, money, and leadership to community organisations they choose.

The dual health and economic crises caused by the pandemic has presented questions about the role that philanthropy and corporates play in our society. Philanthropy alone will not drive the change needed to secure a more equitable future for all.

As we look for ways to improve our social impact, our vision for the future is to build on our strong grassroots approach to giving and where we can, to find opportunities to partner with Macquarie’s businesses to empower people to innovate and invest for a better future. We’ll share more about this in FY2022.

Empowering young people to build a better future

In 2019, Macquarie articulated a new purpose statement: Empowering people to innovate and invest for a better future.

One way we live out this purpose is by partnering with our Macquarie business teams and local grant partners in each region to help communities invest in future generations. By supporting young people with access to training and work experience opportunities, we’re attracting diverse talent into Macquarie, while also empowering young people around the world to build a better future.

Our people

The Foundation’s focus on the communities where Macquarie employees live and work enables a better understanding of local needs, and helps to leverage employees’ time, expertise and networks for greater social impact. In FY2021 employees continued to volunteer their time in a variety of ways, including undertaking pro bono work and joining non-profit boards. Many employees provide their time and skills to non-profit organisations aligned to the Foundation’s global grant-making focus.

By pivoting towards virtual volunteering throughout FY2021, Macquarie employees were highly engaged in global initiatives such as Foundation Week, as well as regional initiatives including Mentoring Week in the Americas, Australian Business and Community Network (ABCN) programs in ANZ, Community Day in Asia and Social Mobility Week in EMEA. 

In times of crisis staff have responded, giving their time, money and skills where they were most needed. In the Americas the dual crises of the pandemic as well as continued systemic discrimination continued to highlight ongoing racial injustices in the US and across the world. The Americas Management Committee partnered with the Foundation to create the Racial Equity Fund to support community groups working on solutions towards racial equity over the next three years. Staff got involved in a working group to nominate potential recipients as well as educate and engage our staff with the Racial Equity Fund projects.  

Foundation Week


distributed to non-profit organisations globally

During the seventh annual Foundation Week in October – a campaign where non-profits receive bonus matching of up to $A5,000 from fundraising events by Macquarie teams – more than $A5.4 million was distributed to 208 non-profit organisations around the world. By hosting 85% of events  virtually, Macquarie employees ensured the non-profit organisations they’re passionate about received the support they needed during the pandemic.

A large portion of these donations - $A1m - came from a single event in the Americas, supporting the International African American Museum in raising awareness of African American culture and history.

230 events

41 offices

85% virtual events

Our grant making

We currently work with close to 100 grantees globally through three main programs.  

Strategic grant-making 

Our strategic grant-making is built around a common goal: to support social and economic opportunities in the communities where we live and operate. In FY2021, $A5 million was dedicated to this grant making program.

Macquarie 50th Anniversary Award

In 2019, from close to 1,000 applications received globally, five winners were selected to each receive $A10 million to build on a bold idea that addresses a social need. 

COVID-19 donation fund 

In April 2020, Macquarie Group allocated an additional $A20 million to support a number of organisations working to support COVID-19 affected communities.

Grant partners across the world


In the Americas, we support organisations promoting college access, success and career attainment for underrepresented youth. 

The headquarters of two of our 50th Anniversary Award winners are based in Boston, and a number of our COVID-19 donation fund grantees are also based or impacting communities around the US and South America. In 2020 we also launched the Racial Equity Fund with grant recipients based across the US.


In Australia we support organisations providing economic engagement for young people through education, employment and training. 

Two of our 50th Anniversary Award winners are headquartered in Australia, as well as five COVID-19 donation fund grantees. 


In Asia we support organisations providing better migration outcomes for young workers as a means to combat modern slavery. 

Multiple COVID-19 donation fund grantees are based across India, East Asia and Southeast Asia.


In EMEA we support organisations that promote social mobility for young people through education and employment opportunities.

One of our 50th Anniversary Award partners is headquartered in EMEA, and many of our COVID-19 donation fund grantees are operating across the United Kingdom, continental Europe and parts of Africa.

Macquarie Group Foundation Committee

The Macquarie Group Foundation Committee (the Committee) comprises senior executives who bring specific areas of expertise and experience. Committee members represent various business groups and Macquarie’s four regions and are involved in a range of different community organisations.

Macquarie Group Collection

2020 Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Prize

26 November 2020

For over 30 years, the Macquarie Group Collection has been supporting emerging Australian visual artists by acquiring and displaying their work that relates to the theme, The land and its psyche. The Collection was established in 1987 and now includes more than 850 works that have been selected by a volunteer committee of Macquarie Group staff and a curatorial expert. The Collection is on display in around 40 Macquarie offices worldwide.

Macquarie Sports

Macquarie Sports has provided sporting opportunities to more than 200,000 children across Australia. We also offer corporate scholarships to elite young sports people to pursue both their career and sporting goals. 

  1. 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. 
  2. Contributed by the Foundation and Macquarie staff since inception in 1985. 
  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.