Connected Giving | December 2018 edition

Top gifts of 2018, Bill Gates, AET's Discretionary Grants Program, and a new NFP accounting standard.

Welcome to Connected Giving, Australian Executor Trustees monthly update on current trends and news in philanthropy. This month’s industry news summary looks back over the biggest philanthropic gifts of 2018, as well as Bill Gates’ year-end assessment. The annual Charity Reputation Index reveals not-for-profits have not suffered from the Australian crisis in trust. AET have a new partnership with ‘Include a Charity’ given the increasing importance of charitable bequests in Wills. Expressions of interest are now open for not-for-profits in the launch of a Small to Medium Stabilisation fund through the AET Discretionary Grants Program. And finally, we look at what to expect from a new accounting standard necessary for Australian not-for-profits.

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

Top philanthropic gifts of 2018

This year, Australia saw more philanthropic donations than ever across sectors such as education, the arts and civil society. Notable were loud calls by environmentalists urging the sector to take action on climate change. Among the biggest gifts of the year were Jane Hansen and Paul Little AO who made history donating $30 million to Melbourne University. John AC Gandel and Pauline Gandel also contributed $1 million to the William Cooper scholarship, which was created to honour the Indigenous activist’s connection with the Jewish community. In November, prominent philanthropist Judith Neilson contributed $100 million to create an independent journalism institute in Sydney, aiming to encourage quality journalism in Australia. Read the full article (5 mins).

Bill Gates releases year-end assessment of his philanthropy

To mark the end of the year, Bill Gates has released a blog post, discussing how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has witnessed great steps forward in areas such as global health, medical research, and climate action. Philanthropy News Digest analyses the key facts that Gates updates us on. Leading us forward into the new year, Bill Gates also includes a fascinating take on two primary areas he hopes technology will improve in the coming year. Read the full article (3 mins).

Charity Reputation Index reveals high levels of public trust in sector

The Australian public’s level of trust in the charity sector remains high, according to the annual Charity Reputation Index. While the corporate sector took a big reputational hit in 2018, the public trust in charities remained strong, with the Royal Flying Doctor Service getting the top spot for the eighth year running. Even the lowest ranked charities in Australia however, scored higher than most of Australia’s corporations. All the top 31 charities in this year’s Index have stronger scores than the no. 1 top ranked Australian corporations, such as Air New Zealand, Toyota, and Qantas. Read the full article (3 mins).

Start the philanthropy conversation with ‘Include a Charity’

Research shows that leaving charitable bequests in Wills is more common among 55-64 year olds than anyone else. With Australians over 55 collectively owning assets valued at $2.8 trillion, this means that philanthropy as a wealth management solution will become increasingly important. AET has partnered with ‘Include a Charity’, which is a not-for-profit organisation which encourages people to leave a charitable gift in their Will. This partnership provided opportunities for six Australian not-for-profit practitioners. Read the full article (3 mins).

AET Discretionary Grants Program 2018/19 - expressions of interest now open

AET are announcing the launch of a Small to Medium Stabilisation fund, through the Discretionary Grants Program. The aim of this grant is to support not-for-profit partners who are involved in building organisational capacity and effectiveness through adapting organisation and revenue models, as well as developing staff and volunteer capability through professional learning opportunities. Expressions of interest close on Friday 22 February 2019. Read the full article (1 min).

What to expect from the new NFP accounting standard

From January 1 2019, not-for-profits and charities will have new mandatory financial reporting standards. The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB), will majorly change how not-for-profits recognise and disclose income, volunteer services and donated goods. These take aim at accountability and transparency for organisations, and allow for all participants to make more informed decisions about supporting not-for-profits and charities. Although this is a good start, donors, volunteers, employers, tax payers and the general public also need improved disclosures, transparency and accountability of the expenditures undertaken by not-for-profits in achieving their social mission. Read the full article (3 mins).

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