Connected Giving | September-October 2018 edition

Tech giant's mega philanthropy, new insights and the future

Welcome to Connected Giving, Australian Executor Trustees monthly update on current trends and news in philanthropy. 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.

This months industry news summary looks at: the latest US tech-giant to enter mega philanthropy; unprecedented insights into Australian philanthropy; how to write a compelling Case for Support; how millennial philanthropists are different; why foundations should engage in impact investing; and a 2018 snapshot of behaviour, motivations and trends amongst givers and philanthropists, in Australia, and globally.

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

6 radically diverse reactions to Bezos’ $2 billion giving

This article seeks to lay out a handful of the (many) diverse, often critical, but universally animated, responses to Jeff & Mackenzie Bezos’ recent philanthropic announcement on September 13, 2018. The charitable fund will “focus on two areas,” Bezos explained: “funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one pre-schools in low-income communities.” Judgements on the Bezos initiative range from “One big problem…”, to, “…what democracy needs right now”, with a rich spectrum of views in between. One thing is certain – the Day One Fund has got the (philanthropy) world talking. Read the full article (6 minutes).

Unprecedented insights into Australian philanthropy

Philanthropy Australia and US-based Foundation Center have developed an interactive and searchable mapping platform aimed at creating greater transparency within philanthropic giving. Philanthropy is set to become “more strategic, responsive and transparent”, with the launch of an online platform advocates say provides “unprecedented insight” into the distribution of philanthropic funding in Australia. The platform allows users to see funding trends, identify who else is funding in their areas of interest, and discover potential new partners for collaboration. The Foundation Map currently contains data on 8,701 grants, 3,661 recipients, and $552 million in grants. Read the full article (4 minutes).

New blood needed for philanthropy: the 8 millennial differences

There is a generational-shift occurring in Australian philanthropy, with children taking over the running of philanthropic organisations from their parents. “Social change requires new blood and fresh perspectives…”, and Fiona Higgins demonstrates just how fresh and different the views of many millennials are to their parents, owing to the distinct technological, economic and social conditions they have been exposed to. A few of the more eye-catching traits of next-gen philanthropists include: a propensity for the political (collapsing the traditional dichotomy between philanthropy and political activism); more likely to consider non-cash ways of giving; and to back ideas as opposed to line items. Read the full article (5 minutes).

The sobering facts of charitable giving in Australia: the good and bad news

There’s good and bad news from the snapshot of Australian giving and philanthropy in Koda Capital’s annual report in this space. In summation, the report “paints a positive picture of philanthropy and a less rosy picture of giving in general” And among it’s more interesting findings, the report shows that: only 33% of Australian taxpayers make a donation to charity and claim a deduction; trust and confidence in charities is falling; and charities are heavily reliant on free labour – “Australian charities have 2.9 million volunteers and 1.3 million employees”. As a counterpoint to the reports more ‘sobering’ findings, the strength of women in charity shines through: despite earning 15% less than men, they donate more of their income; and “if the gender pay gap was closed, Australian charities would receive an additional $180 million in donations each year and potentially much more”. Read the full article (5 minutes).

2018 Global giving trends

On September 17, Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain, and Nonprofit Tech for Good revealed the results of the second annual 2018 Global Trends in Giving ReportThe report analyzes global giving through cultural, technological and geographical filters, and surveyed over 6,000 donors in 119 countries (as well as 1,000 non-donors across 83 countries), including Australia. New to the report this year is a breakdown of donor groups by monetary amount – from micro-donors through to major donors (>$10,000). A couple of interesting findings, among many others, include: 18% of donors have given through Facebook Fundraising Tools and 88% indicate they’ll continue to do so in the future, despite recent platform issues and security concerns; 41% percent of donors to charitable organisations also donate to online crowdfunding campaigns that support individuals. Click here to see the Public Interest Registry’s alternative breakdown of the findings, with access to the full report. Read the full article (6 minutes).

10 tips for crafting a compelling Case for Support

After formal writing education at school, university and in the workplace, writing a Case for Support is often not something that comes intuitively: it can take a substantial shift in gears to make it a compelling communication. Pathos – the appeal to emotion through convincing storytelling – is central to the craft, “Because it’s emotion, not reason, that is the key driver of charitable giving”. Interviewing others with ‘fresh eyes’, thinking about what it is that gives you goosebumps, researching beyond your organisation, and NOT stealing credit from your donors, are some of the stand-outs in this list. Read the full article (5 minutes).

Why foundations should step up their game in impact investing

There’s a growing number of people in the world of social entrepreneurship focused on not just building impact-oriented companies, but on creating a more fundamental systemic change. Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Impact Entrepreneur argue (see their full report) that philanthropy has a role to play in creating an “impact economy”, whereby triple-bottom-lines are incorporated into business paradigms universally. Specifically, “a paucity of early-stage and seed capital” is identified as a gap that philanthropy could play a major role in filling, which would in turn attract other funding. Read the full article (3 minutes).

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