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CEPA Makes Its Mark

1 October 2001 at 1:10 pm
Staff Reporter
Nine charities are to receive a total of $2.13 million as part of the inaugural funding by the newly established Centre for the Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia, or CEPA.

Staff Reporter | 1 October 2001 at 1:10 pm


CEPA Makes Its Mark
1 October 2001 at 1:10 pm

Nine charities are to receive a total of $2.13 million as part of the inaugural funding by the newly established Centre for the Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia, or CEPA.

CEPA is the brainchild of former Australian Olympian Ron Clarke and at the recent launch in Melbourne said he hoped the CEPA Trust would be seen as setting a milestone in the history of philanthropy in Australia.

The recipients of the first funding round are:

Jesuit Social Services $530,000
Australian Rainforest Conservation Society $350,000
Greening Australia (Qld) $114,800
Earth Sanctuaries Foundation $ 81,500
Irabina Autistic Children’s Centre $731,000
The Education Foundation of Victoria $ 77,500
Alfred Hospital Foundation $100,000
Paraquad Services for the Disabled $ 50,000
Kids Under Cover $100,000

The CEPA Trust launch announced that brochures about the organisation are being placed in 898 Australia Post outlets across Australia. The brochures provide a facility for the public to participate in donating at the post office and indicating their preferred charity. As well an on-line donation facility has been set up at their website.

Ron Clarke says the Trust is also seeking to encourage and assist businesses throughout Australia with their social investments by providing a free consultancy service to either incorporate their philanthropy within the CEPA framework or to work with them to identify areas of direct assistance.

As Pro Bono Australia reported in July, (Volume 4 Edition 2) Clarke says he’s been frustrated by the amount of money highly profitable companies are not making available to Australian charities.

Clarke may be regarded as a newcomer to philanthropy but he has been quietly working for the last two years with one of the world’s largest private charitable funds based in the US called the Atlantic Philanthropies.

In that time, the Philanthropies have donated more than $160 million anonymously to Australian projects ranging from medical research to disability support groups.

Clarke says CEPA is a completely separate organisation, quite unique to the Australian scene- although it will be initially reliant upon Atlantic Philanthropies to meet the operating expenses for money raised in this country.

At 64, Clarke says his own philanthropic bent came after he was asked to use his “sportsman” profile to help raise funds for disability groups including vision-impairment groups when his own father went blind.

The CEPA Trust operates with a distinguished list of prominent Australians on its Advisory Council. The Council selects organisations to assist from a list of charities researched by its expert consultants. Contributors can join Council members in voting for projects they prefer, while unsolicited approaches directly from charities will not be considered.

Prime Minister, John Howard delivered a video taped message to the audience at the launch commending the CEPA initiative and the energy of Ron Clarke and the Advisory Council.

CEPA operates with an extremely small administrative staff of three- Clarke and two assistants. All operational expenses are paid separately.

Clarke points out that not one cent of monies donated is used for administrative costs which are covered by private sponsorship. For more information about CEPA check out the web site at

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