New issue of Australian Philanthropy journal - Brave Philanthropy: taking risks and testing solutionsOn October 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm by Joanna Fulton - Permanent Link
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Brave Philanthropy: taking risks and testing solutions is the theme of our latest issue of Australian Philanthropy, Issue 82, Spring 2012.
Lisa Jordan, executive director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation wrote in Alliance magazine, (March 2012) “…taking risks is an inherent responsibility of organised philanthropy … to use private money to try to solve intractable problems … The question is, do we?” While foundations often explore and plan for financial risk in their investment management, there is little understanding of risk on the program side. “We have no forums where risk can be discussed … and we rarely use the tools we have such as evaluation to help us understand the degree to which we have succeeded or failed.”
The question of failure is a tricky one – it assumes we have identified a measure of achievement to be aimed for, and fallen short of that bar. But how many foundations have actually identified the impact they want to make in a given place or field, let alone measured success against those aims? If, on the other hand, the only true failure is a grant that nothing is learned from, why do many foundations inhibit the extent of their successes by not sharing the learnings? Issue 82 investigates whether Australian philanthropy does indeed take risks in its grant-making and learn from both its successes and failures.
By Brenton Caffin, CEO, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI)
The Australian Centre for Social Innovation works with people to create and spread new ways to lead better lives. We heard the call from the child protection system and in response we undertook a project to explore ways of preventing families fromb spiralling into crisis and to enable more families to thrive. The result was Family by Family.
Interview: Eda Ritchie (PDF)
The R. E. Ross Trust, funding across Victoria, is one of the most innovative and respected foundations in the country, showing leadership across grant-making, communications and transparency. Eda Ritchie joined the Trust as trustee in 1997 and Louise Arkles asked her about the importance of risk-taking in philanthropy.
Interview: Dr Sam Prince (PDF)
Picture this: a Scottish-born Australian doctor with Sri Lankan heritage running a chain of Mexican restaurants alongside his work in emergency medicine and doing aid work in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and now in remote communities in the Northern Territory. Phew!
Dr Sam Prince lives this life – he’s a medical doctor, a business entrepreneur, and the founder of the charities Emagine Foundation and One Disease at a Time, and to top it off he’s not yet 30. Louise Arkles, editor of Australian Philanthropy, asked Sam Prince about his philanthropy and his approach to taking risks and testing solutions.
Members of Philanthropy Australia can download the full PDF version of issue 82 here (requires Member login)
New edition of Australian Philanthropy Journal: Philanthropy in the West: mining the richness of spiritOn May 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm by Joanna Fulton - Permanent Link
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Philanthropy in the West: mining the richness of spirit is the theme of our latest issue of Australian Philanthropy, Issue 81, May 2012.
Philanthropy as a social phenomenon often has cultural or religious roots, and is imbued with historical references: think of the influence of the gold rush on the national economy and the creation of the first foundations from those profits. Australia is now reaping the profits of a resources boom, and some of the great energy and expertise that has driven the accumulation of this wealth is now being redirected to sharing the bounty.
Western Australia is a hotbed of creativity, and philanthropy is thriving - with Governor McCusker donating his salary to charities, Andrew and Nicola Forrest donating $80 million worth of shares and options, and new offices for philanthropy advisors being established in Perth. What mindsets and movements are behind these extraordinary stories? How widespread is the ‘generosity gene’ in WA, and how can the West foster greater philanthropy, both in terms of dollars and impact?
Tonya McCusker, wife of the Governor of Western Australia, and Administrator of The McCusker Charitable Foundation, spoke to Louise Arkles about her family’s experience in giving.
Back in 2001 Andrew and Nicola Forrest established the Australian Children’s Trust, to assist underprivileged children and young people. The Trust has a mandate of ‘helping people to help themselves’ and focuses on early intervention, empowering women with children, and supporting education, personal development and training for employment. Australian Philanthropy’s editor Louise Arkles spoke with Andrew and Nicola in February 2012 about how their philanthropy has developed over the past decade, and their ideas for growing the philanthropic pie.
By James Boyd
How collective giving, a growing phenomenon in the US, can help inform philanthropy, potentially enriching the lives of all Australians – and how WA is set to make a big impact.
Our previous issue, Indigenous philanthropy (Issue 80, December 2011) is now available for Members to download from the PhilanthropyWiki here.
Categories: What's New, PhilanthropyWiki, indigenous, topical issues, stories, research & information, news, recommended reading, general
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Indigenous philanthropy is the theme of our latest issue of Australian Philanthropy, Issue 80, December 2011.
Indigenous philanthropy is both an area in need of funding and support, and a lens through which other areas of philanthropic work can be viewed. Cultural, artistic, educational and health challenges are all being addressed by different groups in the not-for-profit sector. This issue of Australian Philanthropy offers firsthand accounts of the work being done. This issue also provides an opportunity for philanthropists and other professionals in the sector who work with Indigenous people and communities to share their knowledge and experiences.
By Rikki Andrews, Philanthropy Australia
Indigenous people are significantly over-represented in the Australian justice system. ABS surveys in 2008 note that while Indigenous people make up 2.5 per cent of the Australian population they make up over 25 per cent of the prison population. An ABS 2010 report indicated that there has been a 47 per cent rise in incarceration of Indigenous women. Most critically the Federal Government report Doing Time – Time For Doing: Indigenous youth in the criminal justice system highlighted the need for early intervention to reduce this over-representation.
Red Dust Role Models (PDF)
By Darren Smith
In remote regions of Australia some children have limited opportunities in life due to geographical isolation, limited access to education, socioeconomic conditions, severe health and hygiene issues or lack of safe and suitable play environments. Red Dust Role Models seeks to improve the general health and wellbeing of disadvantaged Indigenous youth by addressing obvious health challenges and improving educational opportunities. Red Dust seeks to remove barriers, enable access and create opportunities that provide pathways for positive social change.
By Amanda Martin, Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network
Given continuing development and land pressure across Australia, increasing water scarcity and the projected impacts of climate change on species composition and distribution across the ontinent, there are strong global, national, regional and local grounds to prioritise conservation in the Indigenous estate.
Our previous issue, Communicating with each other and the world (Issue 79, Spring 2011) is now available for Members to download from the PhilanthropyWiki here.
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Communicating with each other and the world is the theme of our latest issue of Australian Philanthropy, Issue 79, Spring 2011.
Communication — both what we say, and the methods we choose through which to say it — is always a key element of any philanthropic enterprise. In this edition of Australian Philanthropy, a range of national and international voices in the field present case studies, argue opposing positions on controversial issues, and provide thoughtful analysis on some aspects of communication which shape our sector.
Members and Journal subscribers, look out for this issue in the post this week.
By Joanna Fulton, Web & Technology Manager, Philanthropy Australia
It can seem that all of these options and tools present a mountain of choice, and too much work to even begin. Information overload. Not necessarily so. The trick is to find a tool that you and your organisation feel comfortable using, and that you feel will interest your stakeholders and increase their participation.
Attachment: Social media use by Australians infographic, September 2011 (click here to view the full image)
By Vanessa Meachen, Director, Research and Policy, Philanthropy Australia
Philanthropic foundations, like any entity involved in the creation of new ideas and concepts, are in the knowledge business. A common thread in Philanthropy Australia’s membership survey is the need to evaluate the effectiveness of funded programs and apply that to further funding decisions, as well as to enhance collaboration with other funders and reduce duplication of efforts. Foundations frequently argue that they must learn from one another’s successes and mistakes, to avoid not only re-inventing the wheel but ‘re-inventing the pothole’. Clearly, communication strategies must form the basis of this process.
By Avalee Weir, Communications Manager, The Ian Potter Foundation, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The George Alexander Foundation
The world is now waist deep in an information revolution: communication is more accessible than ever – and public expectations about access to information are higher than ever. So why are professional communications staff still such a rare breed in Australian philanthropy? Is it fear of being inundated with applications and enquiries? Concern about what might be perceived as unseemly self-promotion? Or maybe it comes down to lack of operating funds for these staff positions?
Our previous issue, Investing Offshore: Giving beyond our borders (Issue 78 Autumn 2011) is now available for Members to download from the PhilanthropyWiki here.
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We’re pleased to provide Emeritus Professor Dorothy Scott’s Oration speech transcript, presented to a public audience last night at the University of Melbourne. Dorothy’s breadth of knowledge on philanthropic intent is evident in her fascinating talk on In cash or in kind? For love or money? For now or forever?
A brief excerpt:
Most philanthropic giving in kind is not activism philanthropy but it also involves contributing knowledge and labour. From the expertise encompassed in not for profit boards of management to the efforts of the environmental volunteers who plant trees on a large scale, the contribution in kind is huge.
Philanthropic foundations themselves can also make a significant contribution in kind, as a recent study undertaken at the Myer Foundation by intern Lesley Harris, has illustrated. Based on surveying 10 foundations, Lesley identified the broad range of non-grantmaking contribution they made, from trustees using their influence to be advocates for grant recipient organisations, to serving on advisory councils and bringing together different organisations to pursue a common goal. Sometimes it goes much further than this. The work of the R.E. Ross Trust with Aboriginal communities along the Murray, drawing on Rebekah Lautman’s social work and community development skills, is an excellent example of the added value which a philanthropic trust can provide. In some areas of grantmaking, it is not a matter of in cash or in kind. Without the in kind support, the cash will not suffice. “Can we do deeds as well as donations?” could be a useful question to build into all grantmaking practice.
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Investing offshore: giving beyond our borders is the theme of our latest issue of Australian Philanthropy, Issue 78 Autumn 2011.
Containing recent academic analysis on diaspora philanthropy, considered commentary on the contentious field of microfinance, sophisticated insights into historical giving, not to mention knowledge and opinions from some of the most remarkable voices in the Australian philanthropic sector, this issue is timely and thought-provoking. This issue of Australian Philanthropy is devoted to international giving.
- Read selected articles online or browse the full contents list on the PhilanthropyWiki
- Find out more about Australian Philanthropy on the Philanthropy Australia Website
- Individual copies and annual subscriptions to Australian Philanthropy Journal are available to purchase from our website
Our previous issue, Outcomes, outputs and impact (Issue 77 Summer 2010) is now available for Members to download from the PhilanthropyWiki here.
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Carrillo Gantner, Chairman of Sidney Myer Fund, delivered a rousing speech at Philanthropy Australia’s Trustees Dinner on 12 May, reflecting on his personal and family philanthropy.
Here’s an excerpt:
I was once told that the Japanese start every speech with an apology whereas Westerners start theirs with a joke. I am going to show my hybrid origins tonight by choosing a third course: I choose to start with a confession. I don’t want to go up the blind alley of semantics tonight, and I know this is a Philanthropy Australia dinner, but I hereby confess that I don’t much like the word “philanthropy”. While we all know it comes from two Greek words that taken together mean “love of mankind” which is a very broad concept, its usage has come to be almost exclusively associated with wealth, with large dollops of money contributed by rich people to various good causes. Please don’t get me wrong: I think this is a really wonderful thing. God bless so many people for giving very large sums of money to good causes. What worries me, however, is the perception that philanthropy is the exclusive preserve of the wealthy and, two corollaries that follow this: first, that it is not something that ordinary people engage in and second, that through philanthropy, the wealthy earn some kind of moral superiority. To use the vernacular, I suspect many ordinary Australians equate the word “philanthropist” with “wanker”.
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This address by Geoffrey White OAM provides extensive historical context for philanthropy as we now understand it, tracing the concept through ancient cultures, a statute of 1601, and relatively modern revisions of its meaning from 1891 and 1911. An exploration of modern philanthropy is then built on this historical framework. White outlines the current state of the world’s organised giving and then moves from the general to look at specifically Australia, drawing on his experiences with the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.
The second half of the speech is given over to looking at insights and issues currently in the sector, such as the question of publicity, duplication and waste of managerial resources in the proliferation of similar non-profits, working with governments, honouring the founders and trust deeds of older foundations, risk-taking, and perpetuity.
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The Scanlon Foundation has just launched the 2010 Mapping Social Cohesion Report, undertaken by Monash University. The third in the series, these surveys have revealed some interesting (and disturbing) trends; an increase in frequency of people experiencing race-based discrimination, and a decrease in trust levels.
From the Report’s summary:
The third Scanlon Foundation survey was conducted in June 2010. It builds on the knowledge gained in the two earlier Scanlon Foundation surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009 to provide a broad insight into Australian attitudes at a time of widespread discussion of population issues. The three Scanlon Foundation surveys represent the most comprehensive surveying ever undertaken of Australian attitudes on social cohesion and population issues
There are many positives in the findings of the 2010 survey. General questions relating to national life and levels of personal satisfaction elicited the high levels of positive response that were evident in the earlier Scanlon Foundation surveys. Almost unanimously (95%) Australians express a strong sense of belonging in their country, 90% take great pride in the Australian way of life, and 91% believe that maintaining the Australian way of life and culture is important. 88% of respondents indicate that ‘taking all things into consideration’, they are happy with their lives.
With regard to issues of population growth, there has been much discussion of future targets, polarised advocacy and claims that a large majority does not support the concept of a ‘Big Australia’. The Scanlon Foundation survey found that 51% of respondents considered a projected population of 36 million in 2050 as ‘too high’, 42% ‘about right’ or ‘too low’.
The 2010 survey found an increase in negative views of immigration, but the level of opposition remains low when considered in the context of surveys conducted over the last twenty years. There is almost an equal division between those who consider that the immigration intake is ‘too high’ (47%) and ‘about right’ or ‘too low’ (45%).
The survey found a sharp fall in the level of trust in the federal government, in inter-personal trust and an increase in reported experience of discrimination. In 2009, 48% of respondents indicated that they trusted the federal government ‘to do the right thing for the Australian people’ ‘almost always’ and ‘most of the time’. In 2010 this proportion had decreased to 31%.
A final key finding relates to a significant long-term shift in Australian opinion. The survey registers broad support for a non-discriminatory immigration program that is perceived to be furthering the national interest.
In conclusion, the 2010 Scanlon Foundation survey confirms the strength of personal satisfaction and positive attitude to national life and identifies a significant (and negative) shift in trust and confidence in government. It provides the basis for a nuanced understanding of Australian attitudes to population growth and issues of asylum.
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With the commencement of the new regulatory regime governing Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) effective 1 October 2009, Philanthropy Australia has created a booklet which will serve as a handbook for all PAFs.
Announced by the Assistant Treasurer, Senator the Hon. Nick Sherry, the Private Ancillary Funds Trustee Handbook was well received at its launch on 10 November in Melbourne.
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