Connected Giving | August 2018 edition

Trends, theory, culture impact and the power dynamic

Welcome to the first edition of Connected Giving, Australian Executor Trustees monthly update on current trends and news in philanthropy. This monthly e-news publication seeks to keep you informed on recent trends in philanthropy both in Australia and abroad. What better place to start than with the concept of ‘purpose’ which ultimately defines why and how people give and who they partner with to achieve positive outcomes in our communities. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

This months industry news summary also looks at why impact investment is growing, how Australia could inch closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through philanthropy, Australia’s innovation in rural areas, culture checks for not-for-profits as well as a new guide to impact incubators

Jump to any one of the edition’s articles by clicking the links below:

Demographic trends are driving demand for impact investment and the industry is starting to adapt

Solving the world’s biggest social and environmental challenges is expensive. There must be new ways of bringing together private capital to support the work of governments and philanthropy. This is beginning to happen. Impact investment has been growing since the 1980s, eliminating the binary choice between investment and philanthropy for many. This growth has been largely driven by the changing demographic of wealth holders, as more women and millenials are included. There are still barriers to the growth of impact investment and there’s much we can still do. Read the full article (5 mins). 

Australia’s UN report card: Making progress, but could do better

Monash Sustainable Development Institute chair John Thwaites: Meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is crucial, especially in relation to the widespread extreme drought facing most of Australia, fuelled by ignored climate change. To achieve these goals and sustain long term prosperity, we have to conquer the short-term focus that dominates Australia’s political world. As more impact investment and philanthropy looks towards the SDGs, change can and is happening. The Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report outlines our strengths and weaknesses as a nation, but there is a strong overriding need to focus on the long term. Read the full article (4 mins).  

ANZ plants $250,000 in grants to help harvest rural resilience

ANZ’s Seeds of Renewal program is offering IT equipment or cash of up to $15,000 to not-for-profits that focus on strengthening our rural and bush communities. This program, in its 16th year, has allocated almost $4.6 million to 800 projects so far. Focus is on building economic strength and sustainability, environmental protection, and community health, education, and wellbeing. Read the full article (2 mins) or go to FRRR website for details.

Field guide to impact investing for Australian charitable trusts and foundations

Practical strategies for using impact investing including a step-by-step guide to help answer the questions; What is impact investing? How does it compare to traditional investing and how is it different to philanthropy? How is impact investing evolving worldwide and in Australia? Why is it important for foundations? What are Australian charitable trusts and foundations doing about it?  Read the full article here (120 mins).

Guide to Australia’s social impact incubators and accelerators released

A unique guide has been formulated, profiling 41 active programs for social entrepreneurs in australia: “Social Change Central co-founder Jay Boolkin said while there were a growing number of social impact incubator and accelerator programs available, awareness of the programs appeared to be lacking.” Read the full article here (3 mins). 

“The power dynamic is not real, it’s a creation that becomes real only because everyone wants to believe it” Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer is president of the Hewlett Foundation, and keynote speaker at the Philanthropy Australia National Conference this September. He is also one of the biggest philanthropic funders in the US. He speaks out against many norms in philanthropy, notably, rejecting the unalterable power imbalance between funders and grantees, saying that “we need grantees as much as they need us… We both know we’re not going to accomplish our goals if we don’t have an honest partnership”. Read the full article (10 mins). 

The theory of the foundation

Foundations as institutions are in flux. The implications for their operations, organisational capacity and efficiency remain unexplored. Nearly everyone involved would agree that a foundation is not just about grants, but what is it about? There are many competing related theories, but all fall short in one way or another. We need to create a theory of the foundation for itself. A theory of the foundation would give the sector a framework for analysing resource allocation, operations and effects. Read the full essay (15 mins).

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