The Sydney Myer Fund and the Myer Foundation, long known as giants of philanthropy with a long history of support dating back to 1959, released their 2009/2010 annual report today.
I particularly like this organisation – not only is it extremely clear in terms of its guidelines, but the program officers are approachable and ready to talk to potential applicants for funding (as long as they have done their research and have read the guidelines to ascertain their eligibility).
It is also – I think – and may be corrected, one of the few trusts and foundations which does publish a full accounting for its granting activities. I was very pleased to see quite a few organisations mentioned with whom I have had some level of involvement. These include Monash University, the Australian National Academy of Music , Art Gallery of South Australia, Big West Festival and Tandanya – National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.
I was particularly pleased to see Arts Project Australia listed. They are having their final exhibition for the year gala on Wednesday night (but I digress).
The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund have actively involved later generations of the family in their philanthropy – cultivating and encouraging their participation. This is where you see them referring to the G4 group – their fourth generation. I think that this annual report this year is the first where the G4 members are now convening their own interest groups, and being much more strategic about how they direct the funds that are at their discretion to allocate – and taking the responsibility to report back on that in their own names.
This gives a greater sense of connection between the foundation, its recipients and potential grantees which I find very admirable – and open.
I think that the Sidney Myer Fund and the Myer Foundation set a benchmark standard of professionalism, clarity and probity. What are your experiences with trusts and foundations of this nature?