investor daily logo

Australian Ethical opens Community Grants program

By James Mitchell
3 minute read

Australian Ethical has opened its Community Grants program for 2019 and is inviting grassroots organisations that are making positive humanitarian, environmental and animal welfare impacts to apply.

Australian Ethical’s grants program is a defining feature of the company’s role as a purpose-driven organisation. To date, it has delivered more than $3 million over the past 19 years to support organisations and people building strong and vibrant communities across Australia and overseas.

The program offers grants of $10,000-$20,000 to not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and registered Australian charities with applications open until 31 May 2019.

Phil Vernon, Australian Ethical managing director, said that as a business, Australian Ethical is driven by a bigger purpose than just making a profit: “We believe it’s important to make the world a better place too,” he said. 


“From advocating for asylum seekers in Australia to protecting endangered rainforests and animals in Borneo, we are passionate about helping organisations make a difference. Our grants program enables organisations to make a bigger impact in the communities where they operate.”

When Australian Ethical first began in 1986, it was written into its constitution that it would give 10 per cent of profits back to the community, which is done via the Australian Ethical Foundation.

Over the years, business growth has generated more funding for the foundation, which in turn has influenced a more strategic approach to creating social and environmental impact. As a result, this year only organisations with an annual operating revenue of less than $1.5 million are eligible to apply.

“Effectively, we want our Community Grants to fund smaller, locally based groups who work closely in their communities. This targeted support for grassroots organisations is combined with our more strategic giving, focused on high-level systemic change and multi-year support for selected organisations, foundation officer Nick Chadwick said.

“Being able to ‘grow the good’ at all levels represents a fair spread across Australia as well as overseas to maximise Australian Ethical’s impact.”