They say that the first rule of screenwriting is to write about what you know – and I think I know a little bit about philanthropy, so I am aiming to share some it here – and I am indeed passionate to learn more about it.
A good place to start with philanthropy in Australia is – Philanthropy Australia -the peak body for foundations and organisations which provide charitable donations and gifts to charitable organisations which provide services.
Philanthropy Australia’s members are made up of corporate foundations, private family foundations, PAFs – Private Ancillary Funds (until recently referred to as PPFs – Prescribed Private Funds), Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs), and other charitable trusts and foundations. Organisations which seek funding are able to become associate members.
It works as an industry body for these organisation, often lobbying the government on issues relating to taxation and income distribution – for example in 2008/2009 when there was a Treasury department review of Prescribed Private Funds – and they successfully argued that these should remain private (ie not publish their contact details), as well as keeping the maximum distribution each year to 5% of the assets of the organisation (the government had been pushing for 11%).
Is Philanthropy Australia of any help to fundseekers? I hear you ask – While not directly, they do have an excellent Directory of Philanthropy which used to be available in hard copy (and you can probably still find some in the reference section at your public library) – but you can now subscribe online to the directory – or search the Philanthropywiki – though many of the entries are just stubs (which means there is not a lot of information in them) – I am sure that Philanthropy Australia would love someone to volunteer to help fill out the detail!
Have a look at their website – it is a great starting point for finding out who does distribute funds – though most recipients do require both dgr (deductible gift recipient) status as well as TCC (tax charitable status). Take a look at the Australian Tax Office website if you aren’t sure about what these are.
What is your experience of Philanthropy Australia?
Once upon a time I managed a new corporate foundation – and Philanthropy Australia was a fantastic resource for a newcomer to philanthropy! And really, their core business is to support trusts and foundations and grantmakers – rather than grantseekers. A number of grantseekers used to grumble that they couldn’t get any closer to grantmakers by being members – and yes, this is true. But it’s for a reason – having been a grantmaker, it bcomes very tedious to be “pitched at” at every event and function – hence the large number of grantmaker only events.
So for grantmakers and potential grantmakers – I would highly recommend a membership. For those trusts and grantmakers who don’t connect with anyone else in the sector – I encourage you to get out there and see what others are doing and why – it might just refresh the way you do things!
Thanks for this comment Sue, I agree with you – Philanthropy Australia is a great resource for funders/grant makers. And if you are a grant seeker and follow their site and their blog (and now their facebook and twitter feeds) you can glean some great information and contacts.