Taking Pride in Giving in 2013
17 December 2013 at 11:09 am
A promising rise in the disclosure of philanthropic gifts and an increased interest in impact investing are among key trends from 2013 with potential to transform the way Australians contribute to charity, a Melbourne event has been told.
Chris Wilson, Director of JBWere’s Philanthropic Services team, addressed the Social Venture Partners yearly wrap with a focus on the evolution of philanthropy in Australia, the continuing sophistication of donors and their approach to supporting the community.
According to the recent JBWere report Australian Giving Trends, which Wilson drew on in his address, the large number of major public gifts in 2013 “may represent the start of a cultural shift in the way wealthy Australians give”.
“2013 marked an important year for philanthropy, with several significant, though arguably just as important, public gifts made. You only have to look at Victoria, where a strong history of public philanthropy is accompanied by the highest deductible giving participation rates in the country. This is encouraging and hopefully these recent gifts lead to a greater proportion of taxpayers giving in all states,” Wilson told Pro Bono Australia News.
“Philanthropy continued to grow and evolve in 2013, particularly after the GFC induced lows of 2009-2010. The pick-up from those lows in 2011 tax data showed the highest level of donors ever recorded in Australia.
“This was maintained to 2013 with solid, if not spectacular growth in major charity appeal results. Possibly more importantly, the increase in major public gifts was impressive. It is hoped that these acts might inspire a much needed lift giving levels across all income tax brackets which have seen participation flat for the last decade.”
2013 was marked by the largest philanthropic donation in Australian history – a $65 million gift towards higher education in Western Australia by mining magnate Andrew Forrest.
The Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts of All Time Initiative also this year publicly recognised 50 noteworthy Australian philanthropic gifts.
“We continued to see a far more engaged approach to high net worth giving. The data shows that more donors are looking to structure their giving, with total donations into Private Ancillary Funds exceeding $3 billion since their creation in 2001,” Wilson said.
“There is also an increased desire from donors to understand the impact of their gifts, get their children involved in the giving process and take a more active role in the organisations they are supporting.”
Another trend in 2013 was the increased interest and activity in Impact Investing in Australia following the release of the Impact Australia report, Wilson said.
The paper, “IMPACT – Australia: Investing for social and economic benefit”, represented the first all encompassing study into impact investment in Australia. Impact investment is the notion of creating financial products that provide charities and their programs with additional capital and investors the chance to invest for both a financial and social return.
The host organisation for the event, Social Venture Partners, is a community of philanthropists participating in social investment and social entrepreneurship.
The organisation identifies Not for Profits with proven potential for social change to invest in and develops a multi-year financial support plan with the contribution of business and professional expertise from partners.
Read the JBWere Giving Trends report and the Impact Australia report here.
Read more about Social Venture Partners here.