The Australian Scholarships Foundation is committed to measuring the impact of our work, both to ensure we are making the difference we intend and to constantly improve our offerings for the sector.

We have awarded 5,665 scholarships since 2009 worth $17.2 million achieving:

  • Greater access to learning and development opportunities for leaders and emerging leaders
  • Clear pathways for leadership and professional development opportunities identified
  • Education sector support to offer affordable not­ for-profit courses
  • Recognition and reward for best practice leadership
  • A commitment to supporting training that offers diversity, inclusion and delivery to community regional organisations
  • Organisations understand the value of learning and development to drive growth strategies and retain employees.
  • A more robust sector strengthened through greater leadership capabilities.
  • Greater investment by organisations in learning and development.
  • A compelling employee value proposition for not-for-profits focusing on attraction, engagement and retention of employees.
  • A hub for leaders and organisations to connect and collaborate for positive change.

Our reach

Our scholarships have been awarded to not-for-profit staff and boards across Australia. In 2022, 191 scholarships (35%) were awarded to leaders located in remote, rural and regional areas who struggle to access quality education opportunities.

State breakdown of Australian Scholarships Foundation scholarships awarded in 2022

Cross-sector support

Our recipients are drawn from across the sector, including social services, health, education and research, environment and animal welfare, arts, culture and recreation, and international development. Leaders in the sector continued to rise to the challenges of COVID-19 and natural disasters, which increased demand for their services to support their communities. During this period, 46% of our scholarships were awarded to those in the social service and health areas.

Supporting diversity in leadership

In 2022, 399 (76%) of scholarship recipients were female. Thirty-five of the recipients (6.3%) identified as
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Leaders with disability received 122 scholarships facilitated with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Network on Disability.

Scholar surveys

Our surveys repeatedly confirm the impact of our scholars’ studies. Scholars score highly on their improvement in technical skills, job performance and confidence. Our research (2019 to 2022) shows that 85% of not-for-profit scholars would not have had the opportunity to study without a scholarship, yet 92% noted improved job performance.

Evidence-based impact

The ASF has been able to offer the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership through generous funding support of Origin Energy Foundation and Perpetual since 2013. Research by Pollinate to explore, understand and validate the impact of the Fulbright Scholarship Program on its scholars, their network and the not-for-profit sector unearthed compelling outcomes.

Research by Pollinate to explore the impact of the Fulbright Scholarship Program.

Hear from our scholars

Our alumni are highly capable, experienced leaders and managers, committed to delivering their purpose and vision using resourceful and productive business methods. Click on the photos below to read more about our alumni stories and testimonials of impact.

Our ASF Alumni Ambassadors are executives and board members representing large and small not-for-profit organisations across Australia who champion capability-building and support us in creating a leadership community for the sector. Read more about their work.

This scholarship has helped me to develop my own leadership style and given me the confidence and belief in myself to take on the role of CEO of Western Chances, an amazing organisation who empowers young people to overcome barriers and achieve their potential.”

Zac Lewis, CEO, Western Chances
Master of Business Administration, Kaplan Business School (2019)

“The program was beyond expectation – I didn’t think it would be so rich in information and application to everything we do. It was an amazing opportunity to meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working across all sectors; high achievers and inspirational.”

Dr. Odette Pearson, Senior Research Fellow at Wardliparingga
Aboriginal Health Equity, SAHMRI and Adjunct Senior Fellow at Adelaide Medical School
Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders, 
Australian Institute of Company Directors (2018)

Women sitting on stairs outside

Breaking the cycle

Demand is growing for a place where not-for-profit leaders can discover the learning and development they need. Read more on the opportunities.