Learn more About SWGC…

The Sydney Women's Giving Circle (SWGC) was founded by journalist Catherine Fox and corporate communications executive Julia Quinn and is a sub-fund of the Sydney Community Foundation's Sydney Women's Fund. The Sydney Women's Giving Circle was launched on 31 October 2017 with an ambitious goal to raise $75,000 to help women and girls throughout Sydney who are facing tough times.  This initial goal will fund three projects and donations are tax deductible.

Catherine and Julia made a commitment to set up the circle at an event in November 2016 organised by the Australian Women Donors Network. Slightly stunned by their sudden rush of blood to the head, they were enthusiastically encouraged by Julie Reilly, CEO of AWDN, and have been lucky to have lots of advice and support from Patricia Burke and Gillian Hund who founded the Melbourne Women’s Fund. They, in turn were inspired by Colleen Willoughby, who co-founded the Washington Women’s Foundation nearly twenty years ago. It has been a model for many similar giving circles across the USA and now in Australia. 

The Sydney Women's Giving Circle is a sub-fund of Sydney Community Foundation’s Sydney Women’s Fund. Sydney Community Foundation is a registered Deductible Gift Recipient. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is a giving circle?

 A: Giving Circles are a form of collective giving, largely individuals getting together to back a cause or purpose and make a difference.  Watch this recent item on ABC's Lateline or read more here

Q: Why a giving circle?

A: Giving Circles have become a popular way of investing financial, personal and professional resources by a group of donors who have particular interest in an area of need; our focus is on donating to programs that give women the ability to build their own financial security at different stages of their lives.

Anyone who is interested in boosting the impact of their giving through joining a group and actively supporting SWGC’s aim should consider supporting the initiative. This recent discussion on ABC's Lateline regarding Giving Circles is worth watching or you can read more about collective giving here

Q: Why women?

A: Essentially it is about need and impact, when women and girls earn an income, they reinvest 90% into their families compared to 30-40% from men. (Borges, Phil 2007 Women Empowered: Inspiring Change in the Emerging World.  You may wish to read more reasons for supporting women here

Q: Can men join?

A: Of course, this giving circle is a practical way for a group of supporters to pool their giving and help women and girls throughout Sydney who are facing tough times. 

Q: Is there a minimum donation?

A: In short, no

Q: Are donations tax deductible?

A: Yes, the Sydney Women's Giving Circle is a s a sub-fund of the Sydney Community Foundation which has tax deductible status

Q: How else can I get involved? 

A: The Sydney Women's Giving Circle is looking for assistance for a range of activities.  Please register your interest here

Q: How do I know my money will reach the project?

A: The projects we have chose to support are under the auspices of the Sydney Women's Fund.  The progress and outcomes of the projects are reported regularly and will be shared on this site.

If you are interested in learning more about philanthropy in Australia you may wish to get in touch with the following organisations that we found very useful:

The Funding Network 

Australian Women Donors Network

Social Ventures Australia

Sydney Community Foundation

Sydney Women’s Fund

Melbourne Women’s Fund - a Giving Circle

Washington Women’s Foundation

About the founders

Catherine Fox is one of Australia’s leading commentators on women and the workforce. A journalist, author and presenter, she is regularly invited to address audiences around Australia ranging from the Defence Force to corporates and local government, and often appears in the media. 

After working in the financial services sector in Sydney and London, Catherine joined the Australian Financial Review. During a long career with the AFR she edited several sections of the publication, and wrote the Corporate Woman column and for Boss magazine before leaving to set up her own consulting business in 2012.

Catherine has written several books, including “Seven Myths about Women and Work” (New South 2012) which was shortlisted for the Ashurst Business Literature Prize. Her latest book “Stop fixing women: why building fairer workplaces is everybody’s business” was launched in April 2017.

Catherine helped establish the annual Westpac/Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards and is on several advisory boards, including the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board and Australian Women Donors Network. She has a BA (Communications) UTS and an MA (Hons) UNSW.

Julia Quinn is a corporate communications executive whose career has spanned government, industrial, professional and financial services sectors in largely in-house corporate affairs roles.  She has worked and consulted with some of Australia’s leading and oldest brands from Westpac to Qantas, Caltex, AMP and AGL as well as organisations who operate on a global scale. 

Having started out as a staffer in politics she is passionate about making a difference on the ground in the communities we live and work in.  Julia has track record in community involvement both professionally and personally for more than 15 years.  She is a supporter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and a champion of newer models of impact funding and community engagement, particularly the work of The Funding Network.

A career highlight was the achievement of a CEO Award at Westpac for her work to support communities following the Victorian bushfires.

Our first fundraising initiative funded:


Enterprising Women

Building on the artistic and wellbeing outcomes currently being achieved through Sylvanvale’s programs, Enterprising Women aims to help 20 women with a disability establish an income generating cooperative.

Find out more  here


Bump Up

Bump Up is a structured mentoring program combined with small business project training for young pregnant and parenting girls aged under 23. Empowering them to break the cycle of disadvantage and flourish as individuals and responsible parents.

Find out more  here


Supporting Our Sisters

Supporting Our Sisters  is hoping to reach ethnic women and mothers experiencing isolation to increase participation, engagement and integration into Australian society.

Find out more here


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