How is Foxglove unique?

Foxglove has been founded with 5 objectives in mind:

1. Our focus is international:

85% of the Australian charity dollar goes to Australian-based initiatives. Foxglove applauds charities supporting Australian projects but sees its role in the Third World where needs are significant and a small amount of funds make a remarkable difference.

2. We keep our Australian expenses very lean.

We spend a maximum of 13 cents of every dollar in Australia: Foxglove will spend 87% of its funds overseas on local grassroots initiatives. In addition, the overseas organisation will commit to spending a maximum of 10 cents in every dollar on management and monitoring.

3. We only partner with Indigenous organisations:

Foxglove only partners with indigenous in-country organisations that have the capacity to develop and implement effective local projects. This priority supports the long term sustainability of skills and structures implemented through development projects.

4. We focus on women and girls:

Women in the developing world spend 80 cents of every dollar they earn on family and community. It is estimated that a woman leaving poverty will take between 5-9 others with her. By focusing on women and girls, Foxglove has learned that everyone benefits: men and boys, villages and districts. This happens by building micro economies as well as local capacities.

5. We take a sustainable approach to development:

Projects reliant on ongoing financial support inevitably move towards dependence and disempowerment. Foxglove will only support projects that are committed to outcomes of independence and self-sufficiency.

Foxglove Commitment:

Foxglove commits to spending 87% of all donations on project costs. Good governance, administration and promotion costs are essential – but they will never overwhelm the funds reaching the ground.

Foxglove is more than a fundraiser. It is a partner, cheerleader and believer in the capacity of women around the world. It is committed to changing the story around women in the Third World through fundraising, education and resourcing so that they may ‘write’ their own stories.

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Foxglove Ethics

Foxglove is committed to fundraising and resourcing international development initiatives that support communities wanting to escape physical, emotional and economic poverty. We pursue this aim based on a belief in the inherent value of people and confidence in their capacity to make their own way with support, training, and self-belief.

But as much as Foxglove is about WHAT it does and WHO it helps, it is passionate about HOW it is done. HOW volunteers, donors, beneficiaries and partner organisations operate and WHY we do what we do. These two questions, the HOW and the WHY form the foundation of Foxglove’s Ethical Framework.

These values inform HOW and WHY we do our work

Empowerment of People:

Foxglove believes in the capacity of people. That all people, even those living in poverty, have the capacity to provide for themselves and their families. Poverty chips away at people’s self-belief leaving them isolated, passive and hopeless. There is a need for skills training, social support, access to financial capital and political advocacy. But very early in the development process, people, particularly those living in poverty, need to be allowed and encouraged to be responsible for making their own life decisions and choices. We cannot empower others, but we can make space, opportunity, and build capacity that makes empowerment a natural pathway.

Giving to Sustainability:

For too long the Third World has been the recipient of financial resources to good endeavours. Decades later we see pockets of change but deeper pockets of dependence. Financial, and other resources from the West, need to be directed to creating organisational and individual independence. Self-help approaches centred around beneficiaries, supported by healthy organisations and with meaningful involvement from indigenous sponsors are critical. Other significant indicators of sustainability include deep community engagement, local fundraising, culturally appropriate activities, and sound environmental responsibility.

Continuous Learning:

Too often reporting becomes an exercise in telling donors and support organisations of the wonderful achievements and ‘stuff’ that has happened. It is an exercise in self-promotion. But Foxglove believes in continuous improvement. That monitoring and evaluation are not simply about explaining expenditure and telling the achievements but to identify shortcomings and how we can do this better. You will see this in the reporting templates and the publications – don’t be surprised, Foxglove projects are always making changes!

Preserving Dignity:

Sad pictures and sad stories can be damaging. It is not that they do not exist and should never be told but they will not lead Foxglove’s promotion or reporting. It is important that people are presented with hope, belief, and expectation of a preferred future. These are fundamental structures creating a context supporting the empowerment of people.

To find out more about how you can 'get involved', complete the following contact form and return it to our team. 


We are a global community. We see people’s lives revealed through a worldwide web and captured on our small screens.  We see their deepest fears and struggles, giving us a glimpse into people's suffering and joy. Then we travel to meet people and hear their stories firsthand. We do not want to do this without offering something of ourselves. We are not spectators of life in the Developing World.  Neither do we only give to alleviate suffering or provide opportunity.  Instead, we see ourselves as co-citizens, sharing our lives as well as our resources.


Accountability is not a dirty word. It need not be demeaning, paternalistic, or based on mistrust. Rather it is a building block of trust, a step towards long-lasting relationship and building capacity. Foxglove sees two-way accountability as fundamental to the relationship with and between all stakeholders.


Contribution and learning are about much more than money. There is a need to see the benefit that we all enjoy as a result of a connection to one another and to causes greater than ourselves. In the Foxglove relationships, there is no one party who gives, no one party who receives. We all contribute whatever we have known that it can help the learning and growth of others.


Commitment to forming ‘partnerships’ with like-minded groups, in Australia and overseas. These partnerships bring together business, community groups and individuals creating energy and cohesion to achieve the key outcomes for Foxglove and its beneficiaries. Foxglove does not see itself as an isolated trailblazer and would rather travel slower than travel alone.

History of Foxglove

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2009 - 2014

The early days: Focus Cambodia 2009 - 2014 

After working with many different charities in Cambodia and being awarded Rotary’s highest international accolade for development work, Lesley Hewett registered Focus Cambodia in 2009. Focus Cambodia prioritised working with indigenous organisations to support education and family services for children and families living in poverty. Focus funded the building of three schools: the first a school for children living on the Stung Meanchey landfill, the second in a rural slum in Takeo Province and a third in a remote location in Kompot, one of the country’s poorest provinces. It also provided unique services including the Granny Project providing basic amenities for isolated seniors without support of family due to the genocide and the HIV epidemic.




Change a woman's life forever