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Private Funds Experience Fast Growth - Report

23 January 2014 at 8:59 am
Staff Reporter
Giving from Private Ancillary Funds is growing faster than broad giving in Australia, a recent report from JBWere’s Philanthropic Services has revealed.

Staff Reporter | 23 January 2014 at 8:59 am


Private Funds Experience Fast Growth - Report
23 January 2014 at 8:59 am

Giving from Private Ancillary Funds is growing faster than broad giving in Australia, a recent report from JBWere’s Philanthropic Services has revealed.

According to the report, the first specifically on PAFs by JBWere, the growth is due to the continued establishment of new funds and partly due to the advantage of a corpus dedicated to giving through changing economic conditions.

The report revealed that since 2007, “giving from PAFs has risen at an average annual rate of 17 per cent compared to 8 per cent for individual giving, both impressive numbers, partly boosted by strong gains in the 2007, 2008 pre-GFC years”.

“Sixty-five per cent of total giving is still a big number of people giving small dollars,” report author John McLeod said.

“However, PAFs are matching that group in terms of distribution.”

PAFs were established in June 2001 as part of the Howard Government’s response to a report by the Business and Community Partnerships Working Group on Taxation Reform to improve philanthropy in Australia.

JBWere’s PAF report revealed there’s now 1,116 PAFs in Australia, with about 80-100 set up every year. The state leading the number of PAFs is NSW however in terms of income, Victoria stands out, and Queensland and Western Australia are lagging.

McLeod said trends show that PAF donations going out to Deductible Gift Recipient organisations would reach $1.5 billion by June 2014.

“As well, I think by the end of the end of June this year we will have seen the total donations into PAFs reach $4 billion,” he said.

“We’ll probably see the number of PAFs reach around 1200. The corpus amount of dollars invested in PAFS by June 2014 will reach around $3 billion in total.”

Other findings from the report included:

• Welfare is the most popular cause for distributions but has plateaued in recent years with international affairs and environment becoming more popular;

• PAFs continue to distribute about 8 per cent of assets annually, well in excess of the minimum 5 per cent required with the average PAF distributing about $200,000 each year;

• Many PAFs are doing more than making annual distributions from the returns of a traditional financial portfolio, and  now involve their choice and use of asset types, involvement of children and providing support beyond dollars to their chosen causes;

• While well regulated, there are a number of areas where PAFs have encountered operating problems including distributing to other ancillary funds and not completing audits of PAF guideline compliance;

• When compared to other individual, bequest, trust and foundation plus corporate support for eligible DGRs, PAFs represent about 5 per cent of total giving and have grown faster than other sources.

“One of the aims of the report was for charities to get a better understanding and level of information on PAFs,” McLeod said.

“From the point of view of charities what it really highlights is the smooth level of contributions.”

He suggests that for Not for Profits looking to seek funds through PAFs, promotion was the key to success.

“The best piece of advice is promotion,” McLeod said. “Promote what your charity does and what its successes are.

“Most [PAF trustees] are looking at return and what they are looking at are charities that are not necessarily well-known but have measurable outcomes and demonstrate a social return on investment.”

To view the full report, click here.

Staff Reporter  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

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