Impact investment: Nature Glenelg Trust

Supporting a decade-long success story

Impact in brief

By getting in early with funding for the purchase of the conservation property at Mt Vandyke, we encouraged other funders to support the project, which will provide a safe haven for threatened mammal species.

The story behind the Nature Glenelg Trust (NGT) is another demonstration of the impact that a single individual can have on the world.

After working with the South Australian government for 12 years, ecologist Mark Bachmann came to the realisation that the responsibility for environmental protection did not just rest with the government; that not-for-profits could be highly effective.

Mark left a secure job, built a team of committed ecologists and started negotiating and fundraising for the establishment of this science-based biodiversity Trust.

From humble beginnings, the NGT now employs dozens of ecologists working across four states, runs a native plant nursery, undertakes threatened species research, recovery projects and restoration works at more than 50 wetlands. Supporter funds have also enabled the Trust to purchase important properties including, most recently, a 1,000-acre ex-blue gum plantation, which the team has transformed into a thriving wetland, as described in this ABC story.

Over the past 10 years, the team has also leveraged private support and engaged the corporate and government sectors in securing and enhancing nature across public and private land. We are helping the team upscale their impact.

Our involvement

The Rendere Trust provides ongoing funding and strategic advice to the Nature Glenelg Trust. Most recently, we helped the team secure the purchase of Mt Vandyke, a safe-haven for threatened small mammals in far south-western Victoria. This will include the construction of a feral predator-free fence. Our initial funding helped to catalyse other funders, with the property and fence now fully funded by philanthropy and government. Given the strategic location of Mt Vandyke, embedded within 50,000 hectares of bushland across two National Parks, the site will be used to protect the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Long-nosed Potoroo and Eastern Quoll. It will also act as a springboard for actions to benefit those species across the wider landscape.

“The support of The Rendere Trust is highly valued at NGT. Jim brings a deep commitment to both the work on the ground and organisational capacity more generally. We also know that other funders look to the leadership of the Rendere Trust through Jim’s active engagement with like-minded philanthropists.

“The Nature Glenelg Trust approach to philanthropy is very much to provide a welcoming environment for savvy funders who have chosen to join us in restoring, managing and protecting the natural landscapes and ecosystems we all value. Our relationship with the Trust is a great example of these shared values.” 

- Mark Bachmann

Rendere Strategic Director, Jim Phillipson

“Our involvement with the Nature Glenelg Trust opened the team’s eyes to the power of philanthropy. It encouraged them to reach out to other philanthropic organisations, which they are doing very successfully.