• The Ian Potter Foundation

    The Ian Potter Foundation makes grants nationally to support charitable organisations working to benefit the community across a wide range of sectors and endeavours.

    Our Vision
  • What We Support

    The Foundation makes grants through several fundings areas that are aligned with its Vision for a vibrant, healthy, fair and sustainable Australia

    Funding Areas
  • Our Philosophy

    We are a major Australian philanthropic foundation that supports and promotes excellence and innovation, facilitating positive social change, and developing Australia's creativity and capacity as a nation.

    Funding Principles
  • Funding Rounds

    See when our funding areas are next open.

    Funding Rounds
  • Our Story

    The Ian Potter Foundation since 1964.

    We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work.
    We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

    Honour the past, embrace the future.

    Our History
Grants approved (2019-20)
Value of Grants (2019-20)
Funds distributed since 1964

Featured Stories

  • In his December CEO report, Craig Connelly reflects on the past year and shares why he feels hopeful for the future. He also shares exciting news of the Foundation's funding pledge to NGV Contemporary:

    The Ian Potter Foundation is pleased to support the NGV’s ambitious $200 million philanthropic fundraising effort with the Foundation’s largest-ever grant of $20 million supporting the development of NGV Contemporary.


    Image: A bird's eye view of the Melbourne Arts Precinct from Southbank Boulevard facing north (artist impression). Image by HASSELL + SO-IL

    Read more

    Congratulations to Lady Potter on being recognised with the Creative Partnerships Australia Arts Visionary Award for 2020, a wonderful and well-deserved acknowledgement of Lady Potter’s tireless and passionate support for the arts over many decades. 

  • In its latest funding round, The Ian Potter Foundation awarded 13 grants totalling $6,398,000.

    In the Environment program, five grants totalling $3 million were awarded to initiatives focussed on managing biodiversity.

    Five Community Wellbeing grants totalling $2 million were awarded to a range of organisations working to advance the social enterprise sector. 

    Read more


    Main image: Social enterprises exist to drive social and environmental change. Buying goods and services from them is the most effective means of breaking the cycle of disadvantage for thousands of Australians. Image courtesy of Social Traders.

    Second image: Carr Creek on the Tar Ru Lands in far western NSW, near Wentworth, part of the Murray River floodplain system. Image courtesy of Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group.


  • Within the Community Wellbeing program, five multi-year grants (totalling $984k) were awarded aiming to prevent homelessness, improve employment opportunities for at-risk individuals and provide wrap-around support for people experiencing mental illness.

    Five grants (totalling $2.21m) were awarded to organisations seeking to improve early childhood education and services to ensure all young Australians are provided with the essential building blocks for later life.


    Read more

    In the September 2020 funding round the Board awarded 10 grants totalling $3,284,000 across the Community Wellbeing and Early Childhood Development funding areas.


    Main image courtesy of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children.
    Second image courtesy of Smiling Mind.

  • This year, the philanthropic sector has rallied to assist the not-for-profit sector to provide additional support for service providers whose work assists those communities experiencing increasing economic stress.

    For our part, the Foundation held an additional special Board meeting in July at which several grants were awarded to some of our existing not-for-profit partners. These grants provided timely funding to support these organisations to pivot activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unfolding economic crisis.

    Read more

    Despite the challenges 2020 has thrown at us, here at the Foundation we remain committed to our mission to encourage excellence, enable innovation, facilitate positive social change, and develop Australia’s creativity and capacity as a nation. We achieve this by supporting outstanding charitable organisations that are leaders in their sectors.

    Images courtesy of Smiling Mind

  • As previously announced in April 2020, the Board of The Ian Potter Foundation agreed to change its approach to grantmaking for the remainder of 2020 due to the unfolding health and economic crises caused by the combination of Australia’s devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    In July 2020, the Board of The Ian Potter Foundation held an additional special meeting at which several by-invitation grant applications were considered. Most of the grants awarded were to not-for-profit organisations in order to provide timely funding in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Learn more

    In mid-May 2020, The Ian Potter Foundation was advised that it will receive a bequest valued at approximately $22.5m.  This bequest, to be known as the Margaret Reid “Kingston” bequest, will be the largest ever donation received by the Foundation, aside from Sir Ian’s contributions during his life and the bequest from his estate after his passing in 1994.

Funding Rounds

Next Round | Round 3, 2021 | By invitation only

Great Cumbung Jan2020 4

This round is for Major grants and by invitation only.

Upcoming | Round 1, 2022 | Applications open Monday 18 October 2021

Compounds Australia 1

Open Program Areas


  • Healthy - Medical Research

Important Dates


Monday 18 October 2021
Tuesday 25 January 2022 5pm AEST

Grants announced

early May 2022

Future | Round 2, 2022 | EOIs open Monday 14 March 2022

Smiling Mind2 thumbnail

Open Program Areas

Expression of Interest

  • Fair - Community Wellbeing
  • Fair - Early Childhood Development
  • Sustainable - Environment

Important Dates

Expression of Interest

Monday 14 March 2022
Thursday 31 March 2022

Grants announced

late September 2022


Support Australia's most innovative projects through a donation to The Ian Potter Foundation. Your donation will support projects that address areas of particular need or opportunity, managed by credible organisations with solid track records in their particular fields.

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