The Besen Family Foundation has three priority areas for grantmaking: Arts & Culture; Health & Welfare and Jewish Interests. Grants are made to support the immediate and long-term needs of the wider community in Victoria and in Israel. The Foundation’s grantmaking goals are to assist these communities to build capacity and community connectedness and to affect long-term change towards a better quality of life. Grants are also made to assist innovative and creative arts projects that challenge the current boundaries of their given discipline.
The Foundation will consider supporting pilot studies, or providing seeding grants for projects in Victoria that aim to achieve considerable community benefit and have a strategic impact in a selected area of need.
Formal funding rounds are conducted where the Trustees assess requests for support and approve grants to organisations.
The Foundation has finite funds and is simply not able to support all applications, no matter how worthy they may be. Please do remember that an unsuccessful application does not mean that it is not well regarded by the Trustees. Some applications may be reconsidered at a future time at the discretion of the Trustees.
Target Program Areas
Mindful of ever-changing needs in society, the Trustees review from time to time, the target areas for support. Current funding priorities are as follows.
Arts and Culture
Grants for Arts and Culture will be given to not-for-profit organisations based in Victoria. The Besen Family Foundation has a commitment to nurturing the creative talents of Victorians and is deeply aware of the significant contribution to quality of life that can be made by a dynamic and well-resourced arts sector.
The Foundation supports projects in both Performing and Visual Arts with the current focus being:
- Audience development
- The arts as a vehicle for building a sense of community
- Extension of cultural opportunities to regional centres
- Community Cultural Development
Funding is also available for catalogues, commissions, exhibitions, publications and symposia.
Health & Welfare
Grants for Health and Welfare will be given to not-for-profit organisations based in Victoria. The current focus is for projects in the following areas:
- Projects that encourage integration and improve educational outcomes for the disadvantaged
- Building strong communities - encourage and promote social inclusiveness and community connectedness
- Crisis and emergency support
Our Health and Welfare open grants program prioritises grants to organisations with small-medium annual revenue (under $5 million) over larger organisations.
Grants for Jewish Interests will be given to not-for-profit organisations based in Victoria. Our focus is to enhance the quality of life, resilience and development of the Victorian Jewish community with grants for projects that support the immediate and long-term needs of community, build capacity and affect long-term change towards a better quality of life. Grants will be given to projects that aim to enrich the lives of the Jewish community through the arts and cultural activities, education and improving wellbeing.
The following restrictions apply:
- Applications made within 12 months of a previous grant being approved or before an exisiting grant is completed.
What We Do Not Fund
The Trustees believe that by focusing the Foundation’s resources, time and energy on specific and defined areas of interest, they will be able to be more effective and strategic with their grant making in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Extensive and considered review of both the Foundation’s funding priorities and funding exclusions are undertaken at regular intervals.
Currently, applications for projects in the following areas will not be supported.
- Health / Medical research
- Single issue health organisations (i.e. organisations that target a single specific condition)
- Doctoral and post-doctoral research
- Mental health - with the exception of projects with a community cultural development focus
- Disability - with the exception of projects with a community cultural development focus
- Ageing (except by invitation)
- Indigenous - with the exception of projects with a community cultural development focus
- Grants directly to individuals
- Deficit funding or organisations with a potential negative equity position
- Retrospective funding, meaning support for programs that have already taken place
- Capital fund raising for major building purchase, construction and maintenance works
- General fund raising appeals
- Purchases of major items of equipment
- Activities that are harmful to the environment