• 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.

    See when each of our program areas is next open for applications.

    Funding Rounds
  • What We Support

    The Foundation makes grants through nine program areas which reflect Sir Ian's interest in the arts, the environment, science, medical research, education and community wellbeing.

    Program 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
  • Our Vision

    A vibrant, healthy, fair and sustainable Australia

    Vision and Mission
  • Our Story

    Honour the past, embrace the future. The Ian Potter Foundation since 1964.

    Our History
  • Latest Annual Report

    Read our latest Annual Grants Report to learn about how the Foundation proactively seeks partnerships with sector leaders wanting to build their capacity, initiate innovative programs and/or scale up proven approaches.

    Read now
Grants approved (2017-18)
Value of Grants (2017-18)
Funds distributed since 1964

Funding Rounds

Current Round | Round 2, 2019 | Applications open 25 March 2019


Open Program Areas

Expression of Interest

  • Community Wellbeing
  • Education
  • Environment & Conservation
  • Science


  • Medical Research

Important Dates

Expression of Interest

Monday 25 March 2019
Wednesday 17 April 2019


Monday 25 March 2019
Tuesday 4 June 2019 5pm AEST

Grants announced

mid September 2019

Next Round | Round 3, 2019 |

Taronga Institute of Science and Learning

This round is for Major grants and by invitation only.

Upcoming | Round 1, 2020 | Applications open 4 November 2019

ACM Production Photos 2017 credit Mark Gambino 1837 2

Open Program Areas

Expression of Interest

  • Arts

Important Dates

Expression of Interest

Monday 4 November 2019
Friday 22 November 2019


Monday 4 November 2019
Friday 24 January 2020 5pm AEST

Grants announced

late April 2020

Featured Stories

  • In the May issue of The Seahorse newsletter, CEO Craig Connelly outlines the Foundation's focus in the coming months.

    Read more



    'The Board of The Ian Potter Foundation met recently and approved a range of exciting projects across many program areas. At this meeting, the Board also considered proposed new funding guidelines that will ensure our future grantmaking remains firmly linked to the four elements of the Foundation’s vision for a vibrant, healthy, fair and sustainable Australia.'  - Craig Connelly




  • In late 2018, Dr Squirrel Main, Evaluation & Research Manager at The Ian Potter Foundation travelled to the US to attend the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference. During this trip, Squirrel attended the Foundation Evaluation Directors’ Meeting where she was able to exchange ideas with 20 peers in the US philanthropic sector.  Here Dr Main shares her learnings and reflections from this knowledge sharing opportunity.

    Learn more

    Another trend included a greater acceptance of diverse evaluation methodologies.  Emergent evaluation of trickier approaches like capacity building and collaborative grantmaking were still new within the field.

  • 'I am pleased to share that the vision for the Foundation is now '…a vibrant, healthy, fair and sustainable Australia'. In October 2018, the Board of The Ian Potter Foundation approved the recommendation to add ‘sustainable’ to the vision of the Foundation. 

    Adding ‘sustainable’ as a fourth element to our vision reflects the history of The Ian Potter Foundation as a strong supporter of Australian environmental and conservation initiatives and confirms our commitment to grantmaking informed by the best science and the strongest evidence of the time.'

    Read more

    Craig Connelly shares the news of the Board's decision to add a fourth element to the vision of The Ian Potter Foundation. He also explains the reasoning behind this and what comes next for the Foundation. 

  • The Foundation continues to proactively seek partnerships with sector leaders wanting to build their capacity, initiate innovative programs and/or scale up proven approaches. This year 142 grants totalling $24.5m were awarded to many long-term as well as new not-for-profit partners.

    This year's report also includes a review of grants supporting Indigenous communities, health and education over the past five decades.

    Learn more our grantees, their projects and the Foundation's overall approach to grantmaking.

    Read now

    The Ian Potter Foundation has always proactively sought partnerships with not-for-profit organisations. This year has seen several new partnerships established through major grants awarded to organisations supporting Indigenous communities and people at risk of homelessness.

    - Craig Connelly, CEO

  • The Board of The Ian Potter Foundation recently considered the future of the Conference and Travel program areas as part of its ongoing evaluation of all program areas.

    As a result of this process, The Ian Potter Foundation has decided to close its Conference program effective immediately. The Travel program will be suspended through 2019 to allow time for an in-depth review to determine how best to continue providing support to early career researchers.

    Read more

    Keep up to date with all developments at The Ian Potter Foundation by subscribing to our e-newsletter, The Seahorse.

    Subscribe here


Pexels Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels art birthday gift blue 1178600

May 23 2019

Grant payments and GST

Important information regarding grant payments and GST.

JTP 190513 0027

May 17 2019

CEO Report May 2019

At its latest meeting, the Board of The Ian Potter Foundation app...

Civic Crew approved DSC7633

May 15 2019

Grants Round Up May 2019

The latest funding round saw 25 grants awarded totalling $5,541,8...


May 14 2019

Travel and International Learning & Development program areas close

Over the past 12 months, the Travel and International Learning & ...


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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