Bush Heritage, Bon Bon Reserve (Conservation Focus)

Image: Kate Taylor.

The Grant Programs

Granting Priorities

The Besen Family Foundation has three priority areas for grant making: Health & Welfare, Jewish Interests and Arts & Culture. 


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.


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 partnered with the Centre for Community Child Health (CCH) at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) to support early childhood development place-based programs and to foster innovation, learning and evidence-based practice in selected communities.

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


(Health & Welfare Program)
Image Courtesy Community Hubs Australia


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

Image Courtesy AUJS

Jewish Interests

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 will be given to projects that aim to enrich the health and welfare of the community, support education and arts and cultural activities.

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. 

The Foundation supports projects in Theatre, Dance, Music and Visual Arts with a focus on the role of arts and culture as a vehicle for strengthening and enriching our community and:

  • Providing education

  • Supporting innovation

  • Audience development

  • The arts as a vehicle for building a sense of community

  • Extending cultural opportunities to regional areas

  • Community cultural development


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

In 2021 the Foundation encourages applications from grant recipients who have had projects affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. Applicants are encouraged to apply for funds towards the remounting of postponed works. 

Individual artists should contact the Foundation directly at info@besenfoundation.org.au for advice on applying for project funding.

Lady Example (Arts & Culture Program)

Image: Bryony Jackson


What We Do Not Fund


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)


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

Donations Outside Our Program Areas


The Foundation will occasionally award small grants under $10,000 to organisations across Australia which work to tackle important issues that fall outside the Foundation’s core program areas.


If you would like to send us a description of your organisation click here. Please note we may not be able to reply to all emails received.