Scholar Profile - Jenna Palumbo PDF Print E-mail
Jenna Filipich


Director, Western Australia at Social Ventures Australia

Awarded a BankWest Foundation / Governance Institute scholarship for a Certificate in Governance for Not-For-Profits, 2015

What sort of work does your organisation do?

Social Ventures Australia works to improve the lives of people in need. We focus on keys to overcoming disadvantage in Australia, including access to great education, pathways to fulfilling jobs, affordable housing, health services and supportive communities. By offering funding, investment, and advice we support partners across sectors to increase their social impact.

Describe a typical day's work.

As an intermediary, my work is characterised by regularly connecting with our different stakeholder groups (service providers, philanthropists, corporates, Government). We seek to understand what the barriers are to achieving greater impact and explore whether we can support their goals by offering funding, investment or advice.

What are some of the key learnings from the Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits?

I found the session on the roles and responsibilities of the board very helpful in particular the Tricker model as a framework of good corporate governance. It was also very helpful to refresh on the overall governance environment in Australia and hear the facilitator’s practical examples.

How has it impacted / changed / benefited your role and your organisation as a whole?

At SVA we work with many NFP organisations to support them with strategy development, measuring their impact or consideration of funding streams. It is important that we have a strong understanding of good governance which is essential to supporting organisations through these challenges.

How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?

I started my career in mainstream corporate finance but became increasingly interested in the area of social finance – which looks at how capital can be deployed to achieve both a social and financial return. I moved to London in 2010 to pursue this interest and was fortunate to work with two pioneering organisations in this field: Social Finance UK and Big Society Capital. I returned to Perth in 2014 to join SVA and consider how some of these models might be adapted to generate impact in Western Australia.

What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?

I believe that improving the measurement and communication of impact will lead to a more robust and more effective NFP sector. I think it is important that organisations start to develop shared measurement frameworks to encourage shared learning and also support better policy and funding decisions. Most importantly, developing an evidence base of what works will lead to better outcomes for service users and ultimately stronger communities.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I have just started mountain biking this year. I am terrible at it, but I think it’s important to do things that don’t come naturally and challenge you!

Click here to read about other ASF scholars.

Click here to find out more about the Bankwest Foundation Community Leader Scholarship Program.

"I believe that improving the measurement and communication of impact will lead to a more robust and more effective NFP sector."


Beginning her career in commercial corporate finance, Jenna became increasingly interested in the NFP sector through various pro bono and volunteer roles. Since then she has gone on to work with Social Finance UK, Big Society Capital (BSC), and most recently Social Ventures Australia where she has been the WA Director since 2014.

In 2015, ASF awarded Jenna a scholarship to attend the Governance Institute's Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, supported by the Bankwest Foundation, Governance Institute and ASF.


Annual revenue / size:

Large - $5m - $25m pa

Segment of NFP sector:

Philanthropic Intermediaries and Volunteerism Promotion

Operating in: