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Philanthropy Australia is the national peak body for philanthropy and is a not-for-profit membership organisation.
The organisation provides information, services, and networks for trusts and foundations, families and individuals who want to make a difference through their own philanthropy and to encourage others to become philanthropists. It also provides information, resources, tools and workshops for those interesting in giving, advisors and other sectoral players. Philanthropy Australia also provides information to those seeking to understand, access or partner the philanthropic sector, and to those looking for funding.
Philanthropy Australia maintains a presence in Australia's mainstream and sectoral media, in order to engage with aspiring philanthropists and grow knowledge of the sector and the organisation's work. They also publish a weekly media monitoring newsletter, PRESSing Matters, which collates and archives mentions of the sector in all major Australian print news sources.
Philanthropy Australia facilitates Affinity Groups, which are coalitions of funders who come together on a regular basis for the purpose of sharing information on a particular area of funding (for example, disability services, arts, the environment, disadvantage). One of Philanthropy Australia's key roles is to support and enhance cooperation among funders. Philanthropy Australia also manages a number of networks, which are groups of grant-makers and community investors who form a network to address a professional need or to drive a common interest or structure.
Philanthropy Australia's Knowledge Centre is a hub for sectoral information. It is responsible for the organisation's research services, publications, website and workshops. Subscribers to the Knowledge Centre and members of Philanthropy Australia are entitled to research and services from the Knowledge Centre staff and access to the library collection.
Philanthropy Australia does not make grants of any kind, nor do they act on behalf of/for any specific individual or organisation.
Vision and Mission
Philanthropy Australia's Vision: A more giving Australia
Philanthropy Australia's Mission: To lead an innovative, growing, influential and high performing philanthropic sector in Australia
Philanthropy Australia's Goals:
- Be the leader and principal representative of a vibrant philanthropic community
- Pro-actively contribute to cuttingedge thinking, discussions and practice
- Inspire a larger and stronger philanthropic sector
- Encourage all Australians to increase their giving and philanthropy
- Maximise the philanthropic sector's effectiveness and impact
- Increase Philanthropy Australia's effectiveness and resources
- Encourage and practise effective and transparent governance
For further information see #Major publications.
History of Philanthropy Australia
For a history of the sector as a whole, see Timeline of Australian Philanthropy.
1975: A steering committee is appointed to investigate possibility of forming an association of Australian philanthropic trusts and foundations
1977: The Australian Association of Philanthropy is established in Melbourne, with the principal objectives of establishing closer communications between organisations distributing charitable funds, and increasing the value of philanthropy to the community. Its figureheads are Patricia Feilman ,founding Executive Secretary of The Ian Potter Foundation, and Meriel Wilmot, Executive Officer of The Myer Foundation.
1980: membership stands at 47 organisations.
1988: A part-time secretariat for the Association is set up.
1989: Father Vincent Kiss becomes President of Philanthropy Australia.
1995: Ben Bodna becomes President of Philanthropy Australia. He is one of the driving forces behind formation of the Disability Affinity Group, and acts as the first Chair of the Group.
1997: The Australian Association of Philanthropy is renamed to the more streamlined Philanthropy Australia.
2002: Sydney office of Philanthropy Australia opened.
Philanthropy Australia was represented on the Prime Minister's Community Business Partnership and its Taxation Sub Committee for the duration of its existence.
Philanthropy Australia has always regarded representation as an important part of its work to promote and encourage giving in Australia. They work with Federal and State governments to encourage their understanding and support of, and engagement with, the philanthropic sector. They also work with government to encourage the creation of incentives for giving, and the removal of disincentives. Legislative changes that might affect their members are also monitored.
More information on Philanthropy Australia's advocacy work can be found on their website.