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Lisa George, Global Head of the Macquarie Group Foundation

Global Head of the Macquarie Group Foundation, Lisa George, on leading a corporate foundation, maximising employee engagement, matched-giving, impact-tracking software and Australian philanthropy.

This episode provides insight into a dynamic corporate foundation and sheds light on the growth of philanthropy in Australia.

Macquarie Group is a diversified financial srvices organisation with 18,000 employees; working in 33 markets around the world. Interestingly, the foundation was established at the same time and alongside the company itself.

Employee engagement is a key aspect of their philanthropic work. Their matched giving program is generous (matching each employee’s giving up to AUD $50,000 annually) and they also encourage engagement through volunteering, mentoring and sharing of expertise.

Last financial year, the foundation and its employees contributed AUD $44 million to community organisations. We explore their strategic grant-making program, which is focused on economic and social mobility, and which ranges from education and employment of young people in Australia, to higher education access and career attainment in the United States. Their philanthropic work feels different in different regions, and we also hear of their new impact investing work.

Lisa is also co-chair of Philanthropy Australia and she sheds light on the state of affairs and future outlook for philanthropy in that country.

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About Lisa George

Lisa George joined Macquarie Group in 2010 and is the Global Head of the Macquarie Group Foundation. The Foundation is Macquarie Group’s philanthropic arm and is one of the largest corporate benefactors in Australia.

Macquarie staff engagement in their local communities is the founding principle of the Foundation. Since inception in 1985, the Foundation has donated more than $520 million to community organisations around the world. The Foundation also focuses on capacity building within the community sector, impact investing and increasing social and economic mobility.

Prior to this role she worked for Social Ventures Australia providing strategic support to non-profit organisations. She is currently Co-Chair of Philanthropy Australia, Director at For Purpose Investment Partners, and Chair of the Harvard Club of Australia Ferris Family Non-profit Fellowship, which awards two scholarships annually to Australian non-profit CEOs to study at Harvard Business School. Lisa holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University.


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