Impact Investment: Landcare Victoria

Giving a voice to the vision

 

Impact in brief

By underwriting the appointment of a CEO and engaging other philanthropists in the cause, Landcare Victoria has been able to attract over $10M of new funding.

In the 1980s, when environmentalists and farmers were at loggerheads, the Victorian Government and Victorian Farmers Federation found a way of bringing them together via a community-based organisation called Landcare Victoria Inc.

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.

While Landcare Victoria remains in a unique position to address environmental problems by collaborating with government agencies upstream and community groups downstream, deep funding cuts were impacting its ability to resource its dynamic local groups. The 2019-20 bushfires and COVID-19 exacerbated those cuts.

The Rendere Trust stepped in to help.

Our process and contribution

We consulted with the Landcare Victoria Board and with government and community members around Victoria to get a clearer picture of what could be done to strengthen Landcare Victoria’s base.

It was clear that funding cuts had led to a chicken and egg situation; it needed a stronger voice, but couldn’t employ a CEO due to budgetary constraints. Yet, because it lacked a CEO it wasn’t able to secure funding in the first place.

The Rendere Trust partnered with the Upotipotpon Foundation to underwrite the CEO position for three years, with resource management expert, Andrew Maclean, appointed to the position in June 2020.

We also sought funding for other Landcare initiatives through the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN). This funding helped to boost the organisation’s capacity in admin, communications, member development and fundraising. It also supported the completion of Landcare Victoria’s first-ever strategic plan.

Impact

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.

To raise awareness of this work, Rendere Trust Strategic Director, Jim Phillipson, presented it at the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network’s 2021 Mega Project Showcase as a powerful demonstration of how supporting organisational capacity can empower and transform volunteer organisations.

Landcare Victoria is also now 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 demonstrates the value of a deep personal and financial investment. By engaging with the board and with government and community players in Victoria, we were able to map out a more secure future for Landcare Victoria.”

– Rendere Trust Strategic Director, Jim Phillipson