Social impact


Learn more about the Australian Charities Fund The Australian Charities Fund (ACF)

ACF was developed as a result of pro-bono work done by a team of Bain consultants for the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. The team researched charitable giving in other developed countries and observed that individuals in those countries give as much as three to six times more than the average Australian. The team reasoned that the missing ingredient might be a facility that would enable Australians to donate to the charity of their choice in an easy, effective and tax efficient manner. This insight quickly developed into ACF.

ACF's vision is to see significant social impact through employers and community organisations working together. As a social enterprise, our mission is to facilitate engaged employee giving (workplace giving programs, fundraising, time and skills sharing) by providing advice, capacity building, facilitation and leadership to employers and community organisations.

ACF's experience has been built from helping over 100 employers to launch and grow employee giving programs. These programs reach more than 250,000 employees and have generated over $60 million in direct financial contributions to 180 community organisations.

Bain Workplace Giving

Bain employees have the opportunity to give to our partner charities from their before-tax income. Partner charities were selected following consultation with our staff around their preferred organisations and causes. Since the program began in 1999, over $900,000 has been donated to these community organisations.

Our current workplace giving partners are:

The Smith Family, Red Cross, Medicens Sans Frontieres, Whitelion, The Inspire Foundation, WWF, Peter Mac Cancer Centre, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Royal Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital Westmead.

Pro bono

Each year Bain Australia partners with various Australian and international charities to complete pro bono case engagements. Although the specific nature of each engagement varies from charity to charity, the key themes underlying all, is that work is undertaken on the most difficult and pressing issues facing that charity and that the solutions offered are meaningful and relevant for both the charity and the wider community.

Bain's commitment to these projects varies. It can range from a dedicated case team of four people working over a period of many months, to ad hoc support provided by one or two consultants in their free time.

One of our recent pro bono engagements involved a dedicated case team working with The Smith Family to develop a fundraising strategy. During this project, the case team prioritised the Smith Family's various sources of funding, built a fundraising business plan and considered the financial implications of this plan.

Another example of a recent pro bono engagement is our work with a lesser known Australian charity called Whitelion. In this case, a Bain case team helped Whitelion to assess the potential value to society of placing young people who are currently in juvenile detention into work.

The client was very happy with the quality of the report:

"This document was an important one for us in NSW and nationally. We are proud that we have been able to partner with Bain and Co as the evaluation from your company is significantly more rigorous and credible than we could have produced.

I have been receiving evaluations on social programs in my time in government for over 2 decades. This report is one of the best that I have seen. It presents a cogent picture of the work of our Employment Program in a way that is logical and compelling. The analysis on the return on social investment is at the forefront of what is being expected by funders today. At the same time, it gives us a clear picture on the areas on which we can build."

-Peter Muir, Acting State Manager, Whitelion NSW


Every year the Australian offices shut down for one day and our staff go out into the community to work on projects for charitable organisations. Examples of recent projects include:

  • Devising a strategy for a youth charity to use their proprietary materials to develop a second source of income
  • Developing a business plan and strategy for an Indigenous Land Council
  • Diving for debris – collecting underwater rubbish from Manly Beach
  • A working bee at Bass Hill High School

Learn more about Bain Australia’s Community Impact Day

During the year we also have several opportunities for staff to participate in volunteering programs, in addition to our pro bono case work:

  • GOALS mentoring: Staff act as mentors for a year 9 student from a disadvantaged school over the course of one school year. The mentors work through a program with their students to share skills on work planning, goal setting, and life skills
  • FOCUS mentoring: Female staff are matched with a group of promising female students from underprivileged high schools to work through a program targeted at leadership and confidence
  • Other opportunities with the Australian Business Community Network, including career and skills workshops with high school kids

Another way that Bain makes a social impact in the Australian and international community is by offering staff the opportunity to participate in an externship with our local or global social impact partners. This involves a member of our consulting team stepping aside from their everyday role at Bain and spending 6-12 months working for an organisation that aims to make a positive social impact. Typically, the Bain extern will use their business and analytic skill set to help execute a specific project or strategic initiative.

At any stage Bain will usually have one or two consultants participating in social impact externships. One such example is a consultant on 6 month externship at Goodstart, a not-for-profit organisation that operates over 650 early learning centres for 73,000 children across Australia.