Categories: topical issues, What's New, statistics, guest post, stories, IT, research & information, advocacy, nonprofit blogs, general
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The following guest post is by Stacey Thomas, Myer Family Company.
One of the strengths of the philanthropic sector is its ability to be flexible and respond quickly to needs and trends within the community. However when it comes to communication, the methods employed by the philanthropic sector have been, until quite recently, limited and unchanging.
The sector relies on not-for-profit organisations and yet has historically offered a very one-sided and austere method of communication. For those foundations who have engaged in public communication it has tended to be through a formal publication such as an annual report, and in recent times through a more casual newsletter. And then of course there are many more foundations who have not engaged in any kind of communication.
The last couple of years have seen a slow change in the way the philanthropic sector engages with those organisations they seek to support. With the explosion of the social media revolution there are now a growing number of foundations using this as an opportunity to link with others who have an interest in philanthropy. Whether it is The Ian Potter Foundation’s Facebook page, or The Myer Foundation’s twitter account we are seeing some of Australia’s biggest philanthropic institutions opening themselves up to a more two-sided dialogue with those that they fund.
There is also a growing number of ‘philanthrocrats’, or the staff of foundations, deliberately trying to engage with the not-for-profit sector around topics from basic information sharing to seeking opinions on operational aspects. In a recent Three Eggs blog (an Australian philanthropy blog http://3eggphilanthropy.com) 26 Australian philanthropy tweeters were identified.
Categories: philanthropy australia website, What's New, government, nonprofit blogs, news, events, research & information, general
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PRESSING MATTERS STORY OF THE WEEK
A time to account for donated dollars (Daily Telegraph, 24/10/11)
Australian charities are, they would argue by necessity, as large as the causes to which they are dedicated. They mobilise hundreds of staff and volunteers in quests for funding and appoint talented management identities to oversee matters. Put simply, charities are big business.
ACNC Website Now Live
The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) Implementation Taskforce website launched this week. The website provides a breadth of information, including reports on the scoping study for a national NFP regulator, sector statistics, and the phases for implementation of the ACNC:
- Phase 1: The ACNC Taskforce (July - September 2011)
- Phase 2: Consult with the Sector (October 2011 - February 2012)
- Phase 3: Set up ACNC as regulator (March 2012 - June 2013)
- Phase 4: Enhanced ACNC business features and new charity rules (July 2013 onwards)
Ethics in Philanthropy Debate
Last night’s Ethics in Philanthropy Debate at Federation Square was challenging in unexpected ways, as the question of who, why, where and what is philanthropy was opened up to the public. Sharon Nathani gives a great run-down of the debate on her ozphilanthropy blog here. The session was also recorded by ABC Radio National to be aired soon.
Channel 31 to Showcase Philanthropic Projects
‘Great Stories’ is a half-hour series of programs showcasing great philanthropic projects, to be screened on Victoria’s Channel 31 commencing Monday 7 November, 8 - 8:30pm. The program will include segments on some great philanthropy funded projects including FareShare, Common Ground homelessness project, Fitted for Work and projects for disaster recovery in Ipswich, Qld, and Marysville, Vic. Interstate screening times are to be confirmed.
- Grantseeker Workshop (8 November, Brisbane)
- National Conference on Volunteering (9-11 November, Brisbane)
- The Maimonides Society Spring 2011 Gathering: Churchill Fellowships – Opportunity for the philanthropic sector? (14 November, Melbourne)
- Rural & Regional Affinity Group (9 November, Canberra; open to non-Member grantmakers)
- Advocacy Workshop - Change the World Through Philanthropy (15 November, Sydney / 17 November, Melbourne)
- 2011 Research Australia Awards (16 November, Melbourne)
New this week:
- Philanthropy and the marine sector with Dr Sylvia Earle (21 November, Sydney)
- Disability Projects Briefing for Philanthropy (23 November, Melbourne)
- Quality At Work Forum: Creating sustainable employment through social enterprise models (24 November, Melbourne)
- AEGN Annual General Meeting with presentation from Dr Sylvia Earle (24 November, Melbourne)
- 2011 Stegley Lecture: Professor Thomas Pogge - What are the responsibilities of the affluent to address global poverty? (21 November, Melbourne)
- Donor Morning Tea & Project Briefing: Victorian Women & Mental Health Network (30 November, Melbourne)
- ACCSR Annual Conference 2012: The Innovation Imperative - Taking CSR from Risk management to Value Creation (15 February 2012, Melbourne)
» Further details on these events are available on the Events Calendar.
If you have any events relevant to Australian grantmakers coming up, please let us know by submitting it on our website here.
Categories: recommended reading, nonprofit blogs, research & information, general
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Some interesting posts have come up on philanthropy-related blogs lately.
Lucy Bernholz of Philanthropy 2173 has some comments to make about community foundations and their leadership role, in “Community Foundations… Are We There Yet?” and summarises the changes she observed in this week’s Council On Foundations annual conference from the point of view of someone who has attended a dozen of their conferences in the past - in ‘Mistakes were made’ she talks about the presence of bloggers, for example.
Sean Stannard-Stockton of Tactical Philanthropy also has some interesting comments on some of the sessions from the conference, and in particular on the session post on the session Demonstrating Impact: Philanthropy’s Urgent Call to Action. Sean has drilled down to some of the key questions which reflect those we’ve been grappling with as a sector here in Australia:
The discussion was nominally about how foundations can do a better job letting influential Americans and the general public know about the good work they do. But at the root of this is a discussion about identifying and measuring the impact of foundation grantmaking. And at the root of that is a discussion about transparency and the sharing of information about what works AND what doesn’t work.
(More on this kind of issue and possible solutions, from an Australian perspective, will be here in coming months… stay tuned!)
Categories: IT, recommended reading, nonprofit blogs
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This year at Philanthropy Australia we’re making a concerted effort to step up to the plate of effective use of IT in the Australian nonprofit sector. As we say on our IT in the Nonprofit Sector resources page, we’re very conscious of the need for the Australian nonprofit sector to forge forward into making best use of the technology at hand to aid distribution to and communication with both the general public and the rest of the sector.
Already on a global scale the Australian nonprofit sector being left behind, as far as utilising IT goes, in comparison to the UK and USA. Wired.org was holding virtual Nonprofit Technology Conferences back in 2003, and the US Nonprofit Technology Network is already taking bookings for this year’s Conference.
Fortunately, the very benefit of this ‘new’ web technology being developed and utilised is that discussion and documentation of it is occuring online, that is to say - published to a global audience, including us!
So to help Australian readers in the nonprofit sector get into the headspace of our global peers, here are some links that you might like to check out. Though the nonprofit ‘blogosphere’ is frequently concerned with fundraising, and thus nonprofit website discussion focussed on securing donations and engaging donors, we’ve found that a lot of the guides and suggested rules posted by various bloggers are nonetheless relevant to those Philanthropy Australia Members who are reading - that is to say, philanthropic funders who are looking to build their own presence online, but aren’t sure where or how to proceed.
Categories: recommended reading, nonprofit blogs
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Here in the Philanthropy Australia office we’ve started putting our feelers out into the more informal online publishing done by nonprofits around the globe. The UK and the USA both have a number of philanthropy blogs - both professional and personal (and sometimes both!) - sharing opinions, information, and links to news and research that bloggers think their readers will be interested in.
Looking around, as far as we can tell we’re the first philanthropy blog on the Australian blogging scene. Instead of just sharing the interesting tidbits on philanathropy that we come up with with each other here in the office, we’re going to be posting links to them in this philanthropyOz Blog, and letting you know why we think you should read them.
This week we’ve come across the following:
Wealthy charity donor driven away
This article reports that charitable tax considerations may have influenced the decision of New Zealand’s richest woman, Jan Cameron, to move to Tasmania. The article discusses the limitations of the tax law on donations in New Zealand, and Philanthropy New Zealand’s push to reform the system and remove disincentives to donating large amounts of money.
Philanthropy detected in brain scans!
“ALTRUISM, one of the most difficult human behaviours to define, can be detected in brain scans, US researchers claim. They found that activity in a specific area of the brain could predict altruistic behaviour — and people’s own reports of how selfish or giving they are.”
The 59 Smartest NP Organisations Online (USA)
“These charities were chosen for their excellence in online storytelling and collaboration with their donors. We didn’t play favorites to one cause over another, nor did we look at their fundraising goals or number of members. Instead, these organizations are winners because of their web 2.0 smarts and a willingness to engage their constituents far beyond asking them to dig into their pockets.”
Blogs, Discussion and Charity
A response to The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article in their December edition on philanthropy blogs, posted on TheIncubator, a USA nonprofit blog. (If you’re a Member of Philanthropy Australia and would like a copy of that article, please contact Emily at the Resource Centre.)
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