Impact Investment: Landcare Victoria
Giving a voice to the vision
Landcare Victoria is in a unique position to address environmental problems on the ground by collaborating with government agencies upstream and community groups downstream. Despite its global success, government funding was halved between 2003 and 2013.
With further cuts announced in 2019, Landcare was struggling to resource its dynamic local groups. Rendere stepped in to help.
In the 1980s, when environmentalists and farmers were at loggerheads, the Victorian Government and the Victorian Farmers Federation brought the warring groups together via a community-based organisation called Landcare Victoria.
The grassroots movement, which now includes over 600 groups and 60,000 members, has been so successful the model has been adopted nationally and internationally.
However, deep funding cuts were impacting its ability to operate effectively. To get a clearer picture of what could be done to strengthen the base, Rendere engaged with key stakeholders around Australia. It was clear that the funding cuts had led to a chicken-and-egg situation; Landcare needed a stronger voice, but it couldn’t employ a CEO due to budgetary constraints and because it lacked a CEO it wasn’t able to secure funding in the first place.
With the Upotipotpon Foundation, Rendere agreed to underwrite the CEO position for three years, with resource management expert, Andrew Maclean, appointed in June 2020.
Rendere also sought funding for other Landcare initiatives through the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) – funding that has boosted Landcare’s capacity in administration, member development and fundraising.
With the new team in place, Landcare Victoria was able to secure funding for 80 facilitators during the 2021-24 funding period. This increased capacity has also given other funders, including the Ross Trust, the confidence to invest.
Landcare Victoria is also playing a role in supporting regional Landcare communities to deliver bushfire recovery – a significant outcome of several million dollars.
“Your continued support of Landcare Victoria has had a huge impact on our growth and success over the past 12 months.
“The foundation your donations provide has been the basis for new projects, new funding and the development and delivery of new services to benefit Landcare in Victoria.”
– Landcare Victoria Inc. Board
“This project acts as a powerful demonstration of how supporting organisational capacity can empower and transform volunteer organisations.“
– Rendere Strategic Director, Jim Phillipson