Impact Investment Ready came to market with two key grants programs:

  • The Impact Investment Ready Discovery Grant (managed by Philanthropy Australia).
  • The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant (managed by Impact Investing Australia)

The Discovery Grant

The Discovery Grant is a new program this year, and aims to distribute $500,000 in grant funding to grow the investment pipeline and support the sustainability of the Industry.

Philanthropy Australia have been able to do this through a partnership with NAB (who have contributed matched funding of $250,000) and other funding partners: English Family Foundation, Rowley Trust, Snow Foundation, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, CAGES Foundation, Equity Trustees and Payce Foundation.

The Discovery Grant is essentially designed to build capacity in organisations so they’re ready to take advantage of future impact investment opportunities.

Philanthropy Australia’s Chris Wootton, told Pro Bono News that impact investment was a significant opportunity for not-for-profit organisations to secure funding.

“Impact investing now opens up… a whole new range of capital, with huge potential,” Wootton said.

“It’s a much larger source of funds, it’s potentially 20 times what is available in grants.

“A lot of not-for-profits aren’t what we call ‘impact investment ready’.

“[There’s] a gap in terms of not-for-profits either being able to identify what makes a good impact investment proposal or in actual fact they [don’t] have the capacity either internally or at the board to develop such proposals,” Wootton told Pro Bono News.

Read more of what Wootton had to say here: 


So, what sorts of things are they funding with the Discovery Grant?

Example scenarios

  • A NFP engages experienced intermediaries to work with the Board and Senior Management to review the operations of the organisation, identify possible areas that may be suitable for an impact investing opportunity, and ascertain priorities and next steps to develop a proposal and likely impact investors.
  • A NFP has identified a potential program suitable for impact investors and engages an experienced intermediary to review their proposal and asses the capability of the organisation to develop the proposal as well as identify the next steps to develop a proposal and likely impact investors.
  • A NFP engages experienced intermediaries to undertake a training needs analysis of the Board and senior staff to assess their capability to undertake impact investing and deliver in-house training programs on impact investing, loan agreements, capital raising etc. as identified.


The Growth Grant

On the other hand, the Growth Grant provides impact businesses and mission-driven organisations with grants of up to $100,000 for business, financial, legal and other capacity building support from providers to secure investment. 

This program has unlocked more than $39 million in impact investment capital and distributed almost $1.3 million in grants to 19 organisations since its March 2015 launch.

In a recent media release, Impact Investing Australia’s CEO, Daniel Madhavan said: “The Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant is playing an important role in driving social innovation in Australia.

“It is supporting for-purpose businesses to connect with and attract impact investors, helping them to achieve scale and deliver greater social and environmental impact.”


There are an impressive array of grantees receiving the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant, and if you’re interested, you can take a look at case studies linked to some of them including:

  • Hireup
  • Ethical Property Australia
  • Yume
  • Maths Pathway
  • Sydney Renewable Power Company
  • Vanguard Laundry Services.

Read the case studies here:



So, what sorts of things are they funding with the Growth Grant?

All grant funds must be used to pay for capacity building services from external intermediaries (Providers) that are directly related to your investment readiness and securing capital. The support financed by the grant must get you all the way to your capital raise.

The support needed is largely dependent on the characteristics of your organisation, but often includes:

  • financial modelling and preparation of the investment case
  • preparation of term sheets, legal documentation and information memorandum
  • review of the organisation’s constitution and legal structuring
  • liaison with and introductions to investors.

Now, what if I’ve read this whole article but I’m actually unclear on what impact investing is?

Watch this snappy little video from the awesome folks at Social Outcomes.

Ready to get more involved with impact investing?




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