Categories: statistics, philanthropy popquiz, What's New, topical issues, news, philanthropy australia website, general
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You may have heard of - and hopefully participated in - the Philanthropy Popquiz which Stacey Thomas of The Myer Family Company has run on a weekly basis via email and Twitter for over a year. The Philanthropy Popquizzes are intended as interesting conversation starters around the relationship between philanthropy, the community organisations philanthropists seek to assist, and the people that interact with both.
Stacey has generously offered Philanthropy Australia the chance to take over the Popquiz and after a couple of months’ hiatus it is ready for re-launch. We’re looking forward to sharing these snapshots of opinion and generating some conversations!
In keeping with Stacey’s successful format, we’re sticking with one topic per quiz which should take no more than 3 minutes to complete. Results from previous popquizzes will be available on our website; you can also subscribe to the fortnightly email update via the Popquiz page. We’ll share the results here on the philanthropyOz Blog, and also encourage discussion via Facebook and Twitter.
This fortnight’s Philanthropy Popquiz is on:
Do you make your annual report (including financial statements) available, and why?
We encourage you to participate and share with your networks. And of course, if you have any burning questions for consideration as future popquizzes, please leave your suggestions in the Popquiz comments.
Categories: statistics, finance, research & information, general
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The ATO has released Taxation Statistics 2009-10. The figures show that while the number of Australians claiming a tax deduction for charitable giving increased in the 09-10 year there was a significant decrease in the amount given.
Some of the highlights include:
- Individuals claimed tax deductible gifts totalling $1,962 million, a decrease of 6.3%
- The number of private ancillary funds (PAFs) has increased to 955 (as of 31 October 2011)
- Giving by PAFs has increased to a total of $197 million in 09/10, an increase of 28.8%
- PAFs now have $2.2 billion in funds under management
- Workplace giving stats are included for the first time and show total workplace giving for 09/10 at $23 million
The full report and the detailed tables are available to download from the ATO website.
Categories: statistics, guest post, What's New, recommended reading, research & information, general
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This post written by Christopher Baker, Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy
Just on 12 months ago, a campaign was launched under the banner of Include a Charity. This marked a significant development in the history of co-operation amongst charitable organisations in this country. The campaign now involves some 140 of Australia’s leading charities, urging Australians to leave a charitable bequest in their wills. While Australians take a pride in the way in which we contribute to charity collections and respond to natural disasters, very few of us have any understanding about how many of us leave a bequest in our wills. I suggest that many Australians would be surprised at just how few us do set aside anything from our estates for the charities we have often supported through out our lives.
To understand bequest giving it makes sense to look at general charitable giving during our lifetimes. The measurement of charitable giving in Australia however is not strong. The most comprehensive effort to gather quantitative information on giving in Australia was undertaken at the instigation of the Federal Government in 2004/2005. The resultant ‘Giving Australia’ Report (2005), estimated that in the twelve months to the end of January 2005, nearly 9 in 10 adult Australians (87%) had given money to at least one nonprofit organisation. It is this level of participation in charitable giving that resulted last year in the World Giving Index rating Australia amongst the most ‘giving’ countries in the world.
The World Giving Index does not look at bequests, so for the best available information on that we need to return to the ‘Giving Australia‘ Report whose own survey estimates that 58% of adults in this country have a will and that 7.5% of those have included a bequest in that will. This means less than 4.5% of adult Australians reported including a gift to charity on their death.
A similar pattern emerged from a study I undertook at Swinburne University of Technology which looked at some 1,800 Victorian probate files processed in 2006. (Probate is the legal process required for transfer of intestate and willed estate assets from the deceased to the beneficiaries, where required. About half of all estates require probate.) This study found that approximately 5% of the estates examined included a charitable bequest*.
While it is both fair and reasonable that individuals should look after the needs of their family first, there is a very big gap between 87% of us giving something to charity each year, and the 5% who then leave something to charity in our will. Most leave everything to family, and more specifically to the children. This seems to occur irrespective of need. One example illustrates this point very well. A Melbourne widow aged 91 left her rather large estate of $10m to her three children, aged 71, 69 and 65. The executor of the will was the son, a retired barrister from a very wealthy suburb. The circumstances of the two daughters were not addressed in the probate file. The estate was split evenly between the three children.
How an individual distributes their estate is of course a matter of personal choice. Nevertheless, in this example had the woman left 1% of her estate as a charitable bequest, the resultant one hundred thousand dollars could have been of considerable benefit for the charity or charities concerned and the impact on the children’s share would have been negligible. Had she left 10% of the estate as a charitable bequest, the benefit to the included charities would have been tenfold; and the share left to each of the children would have been reduced from approximately $3.3m each to $3.0m.
The Swinburne study and the example above indicate that most of us settle quite simply for the default option: leave everything to the kids. Of course people provide for their children, as they should. For many, there is also a capacity to allocate a small share of their estate to a charity or charities that they value and may have supported throughout their lives. Not everyone has the capacity to leave a bequest, but many do.
What a welcome initiative it has been to see so many Australian charities coming together on the ‘Include a Charity’ initiative. The focus of the campaign is inclusive; it is encouraging Australians not to give to charity at the expense of family, but simply to include something for charity where that is a feasible and reasonable option. Many charities depend heavily on gifted funds, both regular gifts and bequests. In practice charities are in competition with one another for our charitable dollars. It is therefore quite significant that more than one hundred charities have joined forces to encourage Australians first and foremost to at least consider including a charity in their will. The initiative is not about which charity to choose, but about taking the generosity we show during our lifetimes towards charities and to extending that generosity to including a charity in our wills. Attitudinal and associated behavioural change is neither quick nor easy to achieve. The ‘Include a Charity’ is a constructive and collaborative initiative and one to be lauded.
Dr Christopher Baker is a Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy, in the Faculty of Business and Enterprise at Swinburne University of Technology. His current research interests include charitable giving from personal estates, diaspora giving patterns, and high net worth philanthropy. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Baker, C & Gilding, M (2012), ‘Inheritance in Australia: Family and charitable distributions from personal estates’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 273-289.
Categories: statistics, topical issues, recommended reading, events, general
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The presentation from Professor Thomas Pogge’s 2011 Stegley Lecture, What are the responsibilities of the affluent to address global poverty?, is now available for download as a PDF here.
Professor Pogge is one of the world’s most ardent critics of global injustice. His presentation examines the massive disparity between the relative wealth of most citizens in affluent countries and the profound poverty of the rest of the world, and asks whether the governments of wealthy countries and their citizens perpetuate this injustice.
Many thanks to the Asia Pacific Centre for Social Investment at Swinburne University for allowing us to share this stirring presentation.
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: statistics, recommended reading, news, research & information, general
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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week released the 2011 edition of the Human Development report. Examining data from around the world on various areas including literacy, carbon emissions, endangered species, poverty, impact of natural disasters, and mortality, the Report presents findings on the state of global development. Its recommendations focus on the challenge of sustainable development and its relationship with global warming and inequality. From the summary:
The integral relationship between inequality and unsustainability is recognized. The inequitably apportioned control and consumption of natural resources is a key driver of global warming — and yet those who will suffer most from climate change are disproportionately those least responsible for environmental deterioration. The Report seeks to identify ways in which sustainability and equity can be jointly advanced.
Australia is ranked at #2 - Very High HDI - for our overall level of development, human rights, gender equality and living conditions in the Human Development Index for 2011. Broken down into some of the areas of development, Australia ranks at #3 for Education, #5 for Health, and #18 for Income .
Norway topped the list of overall HDI at #1, with the Netherlands at #3 and USA at #4. To no surprise for many, Congo ranked at the bottom of the list of 187 indexed countries for its poor record of human rights and prosperity. Somalia was the only country not ranked due to a lack of data.
The Report is available to download free as PDF or eBook and hardcopies can be purchased for $40USD each.
The HDI website also has a fantastic array of data tools and visualisations charting the Human Development Index back to 1980.
Categories: What's New, PhilanthropyWiki, statistics, topical issues, stories, research & information, news, recommended reading, general
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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.
Categories: What's New, statistics, recommended reading, news, research & information, general
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A new study by the Australian Women Donors Network, conducted by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology, has found that 12% of Australian philanthropic grants in 2009-2010 were directed to organisations or projects for women and girls.
This compares favourably to overseas numbers of 7.5% in USA and 4.8% in Europe, but the study also revealed that some 10% of respondents said they couldn’t find projects for women and girls, and the median grant amount to women and girls was $10,000. Half of respondents did not target women and girls because they were considered to be covered in general funding.
Women Donors CEO Julia Keady has said that “The most encouraging part was 33% of respondents plan to increase giving to women and girls, which is great news!”
Much like Philanthropy Australia’s own Projects Pool (http://www.philanthropy.org.au/membership/projects-pool.html), but with a specific focus on women and girls, the Women Donors Network offers the Online Project Showcase (http://www.womendonors.org.au/index.php?option=com_sobi2&Itemid=165) which details projects that require funding and is designed for funders and foundations to source projects that need support.
Categories: statistics, news, research & information, general
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The Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) have opened their annual survey on the state of CSR in Australia for 2011/2012.
Now in its fourth year, and one of the largest ongoing CSR projects in the world, the annual survey has provided deep insights into the practices and trends of corporate social responsibility and sustainability practices and attitudes in Australia.
The survey is by invitation only, but for any questions you can contact ACCSR’s research consultant Collette Einfeld at email@example.com or phone (03) 9826 1767.
State of CSR for 2010/2011
Findings from the latest State of CSR in Australia Annual Review show that although there is growth of CSR as a management practice, take-up of CSR is hampered by organisational buy-in and commitment.
And although existing CSR practitioners are becoming more effective, fulfilling potential impact is hampered by the need to be multi-disciplinary, working across many silos of a business.
Some organisations have stood out in the CSR Top 20 for outstanding practices and effectiveness, including BHP Billiton, Westpac Banking Corporation, CPA Australia, State Trustees, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Charities Aid Foundation, Mission Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundation and The Smith Family.
Categories: statistics, research & information, general
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The inaugural survey into the current level of philanthropic investment in women and girls conducted by the Australian Women Donors Network closes on 30 June.
Even if your organisaton does not specifically invest in women and girls, or does not categorise or record your grants that way, you are encouraged to fill out the survey as its purpose is to ascertain the extent to which gender is recognised in mainstream grant-making in Australia, as well as to map the current level of Australian philanthropic investment in women and girls.
The survey, consisting of 10 questions, should take about 10-15 minutes to complete and all responses will be treated confidentially; it can also be completed anonymously.
Full information on the project is available at: http://www.bus.qut.edu.au/research/cpns/documents/ParticipantInformationSheet.pdf
The survey can be accessed at: http://survey.qut.edu.au/survey/171858/1d53/.
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