Connected Giving | March 2020 edition

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

Philanthropy's response to COVID-19

Over the past fortnight we have had numerous discussions with our charity partners who, like most Australians, are facing exceptional disruption to their daily operations.

The possibility of prolonged interruption to services present challenges on many fronts. Operating and revenue models have been ‘flipped’ upside down. Staff, board and clients of these charity organisations are facing incredible uncertainty.

We believe it is important to further explore the messaging from our February Connected Giving newsletter which profiled philanthropy’s response to crises, specifically the response to COVID-19.

In this edition we have selected a range of articles and a podcast that demonstrate how the philanthropic sector is responding to the crises both at home and abroad. We also profile one of our charity partners, Action Aid Australia who explain how COVID-19 has exacerbated concerns of vulnerable communities and how this crisis has impacted the organisation’s funding priorities.

Lastly, we are fortunate to be exposed to some incredible examples of innovation, resilience and organisational agility through our charity partners. We look forward to sharing more of these with you in future Connected Giving editions, including how we’ve adapted our own grant making in these trying times.

Keep safe and well, and please do not hesitate reach out if we can be of assistance. For more information on how to identify which charities are aligned with your desired impact, please contact us.

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

Charity profile: ActionAid Australia

ActionAid Australia, a beneficiary of a charitable trust managed by Australian Executor Trustees, is a global movement of female-led communities working to end poverty and injustice. Climate change, disasters, and health pandemics are deepening poverty and gender inequality worldwide. And women have been shut out of decision making at all levels. COVID-19 has affected every context that ActionAid work in, with the double effect of a financial crisis and health pandemic poor and vulnerable women will bear the brunt of this. ActionAid’s immediate priority is to support women on the frontlines of the crisis response, as the majority of the health workforce globally and primary carers in the home, women can play a critical role in preventing the spread of the virus. Read the full article (6 mins). 

Opposition Minister's case for supporting charities during COVID-19

Charities and not-for-profit organisations have been financially sidelined by the federal government’s response to COVID-19 and risk being the forgotten workers of this health crisis. Across Australia, charities directly employ over 800,000 full-time equivalent paid workers and indirectly employ almost 500,000 more. Mental health and aged care charities in particular have seen a huge spike in demand, yet at the same time coronavirus has  exacerbated a decline in donations. Read the full article (5 mins). 

How US funders (grant makers) are responding to COVID-19

Social distancing is already disrupting services for clients and revenue for not-for-profits globally, with many organisations now restructuring in order to prolong survival. In the US, half of all not-for-profits have 90 days or less of operating reserves. Organisations now need their grant makers to loosen restrictions on grants, delay reporting obligations, and pre-pay future commitments in order to support not-for-profit organisations in this time. A new normal of flexibility must emerge. Read the full article (6 mins).  

When performers work from home

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating stress and pressure in a myriad of ways, not only are people stressed about work and the economy, but fun plans that help to take minds off this crisis are also cancelled. What this means though, is that our entertainers are also out of work. The Journal interviews entertainers and performers to uncover how these people are dealing with the global pandemic, and what it is like for performers to work from home, if they even can. Listen to the full podcast (20 mins). 

Impact on Indigenous Australians

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 than non-Aboriginal people, especially those living in remote areas. Around 50 percent of adult First Nations people live with one major chronic disease, and almost one-quarter have two or more of these chronic conditions. Further, one in eight First Nations people live in overcrowded housing. This means that COVID-19 can spread rapidly among First Nations communities, and severely impact those living with chronic diseases. In remote areas where health services are already at capacity, and the workforce is reliant on fly-in-fly-out staff, the effects of this pandemic will be devastating. Mitigating the risk is possible, but action currently is too slow. Read the full article (7 mins). 

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