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Bush Heritage, Bon Bon Reserve (Conservation Focus)

Image: Kate Taylor.

The Grant Programs

Granting Priorities

The Besen Family Foundation has four priority areas for grant making: Arts & Culture, Jewish Community, Early Childhood Education and Environment. 


Grants are made to support the immediate and long-term needs of the wider community in Victoria and Israel. 


The Foundation aims to assist these communities to build capacity and community connection and to achieve 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 seed grants for projects in Victoria that aim to achieve considerable community benefit and have a strategic impact in a selected area of need. 


An unsuccessful application does not mean that the organisation seeking support is not well regarded by the Trustees. Some applications may be reconsidered at a future time at the discretion of the Trustees.

Conservation Focus

The Besen Family Foundation is a member of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) and funds a range of environmental and conservation focused projects in Australia and Israel. Applications in this area are by invitation only.

What We Support
Program Areas

Program Areas

Health & Welfare

The Foundation's Health & Welfare program currently focuses on Early Childhood Development for children aged 0-5 from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD).


The Besen Family Foundation has joined with other philanthropic foundations in embarking upon the Investment Dialogue for Australia's Children - with the goal of improving the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families, by working with Australian communities to reduce intergenerational disadvantage. Together, Government and philanthropy will invest in community-led innovation and reform efforts that make a positive difference for children, families and the communities in which they live. 

Grants in the Health & Welfare program are currently by invitation only.


(Health & Welfare Program)
Image Courtesy Community Hubs Australia

Health & Welfare

AUJS Students at the Capital Building, Washington (Jewish Community Grants Program)

Image Courtesy AUJS

Jewish Community Grants

The Foundation aims to enhance the quality of life, resilience and development of the Jewish community in Victoria through grants towards projects that support the immediate and long-term needs of the community, build capacity and affect long-term change towards a better quality of life. 


Grants are given to projects that aim to enrich the health and welfare of the community, cultural connection and support education.

Jewish Interests
Arts & Culture

The Foundation seeks to nurture the creative talents of Victorian artists and is deeply aware of the significant contribution that can be made by a dynamic and well-resourced arts sector. 

In the Arts & Culture program, the Foundation supports projects in Theatre, Dance and Visual Arts with a focus on projects that are innovative in their art form and those that support the role of arts and culture as a vehicle for strengthening and enriching our community. Other areas the Foundation looks to support are through projects that:

  • Provide access to the arts

  • Support innovation

  • Develop diverse audiences

  • Build a sense of community

  • Extend cultural opportunities to regional areas

  • First Nations led

  • Community cultural development


Funding is also available for catalogues, commissions, exhibitions and publications. Projects may be funded for development, presentation and touring.


Individual artists may be eligible to apply to the Foundation through the Australian Cultural Fund. Further information is available when submitting an application on the How to Apply page. 

Lady Example (Arts & Culture Program)

Image: Bryony Jackson

Arts & Culture
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Boolcoolmatta Reserve

Image Courtesy Bush Heritage


The Foundation is a member of the Australian Environment Grantmakers Network (AEGN) and funds a range of environmental and conservation focused projects.


Grants in the Environment program are currently by invitation only.

Jewish Interests
What We Do Not Fund

What We Do Not Fund


Applications made within twelve months of a previous grant being approved or before an existing grant is completed will not be accepted.


Currently, applications for projects in the following areas will not be supported:

  • Doctoral and post-doctoral research

  • Travel and conferences

  • 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 purchases, construction and maintenance works

  • General fundraising appeals

  • Purchases of major items of equipment

  • Activities that are harmful to the environment

  • Single issue health organisations (i.e. organisations that target a single specific condition)

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